BACKGROUND: A great amount of wastewater with high contents of chemical oxygen demand (COD) are produced by ethanol production. It would be useful to utilize distillery wastewater to produce L‐lactic acid, which could be a high additional value byproduct of ethanol production. The fermentation process of L‐lactic acid production by a newly isolated Enterococcus hawaiiensis CICIM‐CU B0114 is reported for the first time.
RESULTS: The strain produced 56 g L−1 of L‐lactic acid after cultivation for 48 h in optimized medium consisting of (g L−1) 80 glucose, 10 peptone, 10 yeast extract, 1.5 Na2HPO4 and 0.2 MgSO4. E. hawaiiensis CICIM‐CU B0114 was isolated and purified by subculture for growing and producing L‐lactic acid in distillery wastewater of very high gravity (VHG) from ethanol fermentation. L‐lactic acid fermentation was further studied with distillery wastewater substrate in 7 L and 15 L fermentors. The results showed that L‐lactic acid concentrations of 52 g L−1 and 68 g L−1 was achieved in 7 L and 15 L fermentors with the initial sugar concentrations of 67 g L−1 and 87 g L−1, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The production of L‐lactic acid by the newly isolated E. hawaiiensis CICIM‐CU B0114 was carried out and the fermentation medium was optimized by orthogonal experimental design. This new strain holds the promise of L‐lactic acid production utilizing distillery wastewater from VHG ethanol fermentation. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry