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Optimization of bioethanol production from kitchen waste

Uncu, Oya Nihan
Kitchen waste, which is collected in large amounts from cafeterias, restaurants, dining halls, food processing plants, and household kitchens, have become a valuable material for bioprocess engineering. Due to the high carbohydrate fraction, kitchen waste has great potential to be used as a potential substrate for ethanol production. Utilization of it as a raw material in ethanol fermentation would also contribute to reduction of costs. In the first part of this study, the effect of pretreatment method and enzymatic hydrolysis on glucose production was evaluated. Dry baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was used in fermentation experiments conducted with and without fermentation medium at pH 4.5 and 30oC for 48 hours. Close values of glucose concentration were obtained from no pretreated and hot water treated samples. The fermentation results indicated that ethanol can be produced at similar concentrations in bioreactors with and without fermentation medium addition (p > 0.05). Thus, it is concluded that use of kitchen wastes as is disposed and without fermentation medium in ethanol fermentation could lower the cost to a large extent. In the second part of this study, the effects of solid load, which is proportional to the glucose concentration (10% to 20% (w/w)), inoculum level of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (5% to 15% (v/v)), and fermentation time (48 to 96 h) on production of bioethanol from kitchen waste were studied using Response Surface Methodology (RSM). A three-factor Box Behnken design was used. Ethanol concentration was used as a response in the resulting experimental design. High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) method was used to determine ethanol and glucose concentrations. The statistical analysis of the constructed model developed by RSM suggested that linear effects of solid load, inoculum level, and fermentation time and quadratic effects of inoculum level and fermentation time were all significant (p < 0.05) on bioethanol production. The model was verified by additional runs, which were not present in the design matrix. It was found that the constructed model could be used to determine successfully the bioethanol concentration with > 90% precision. An optimum ethanol concentration of 32.16 g/L was suggested by the model with 20% (w/w) solid load, 8.85% (v/v) inoculum level and 58.8 hours of fermentation. Further study is needed to evaluate the optimal fermentation conditions in a large scale fermentation.