Bioreactor-scale production of rhamnolipids from food waste digestate and its recirculation into anaerobic digestion for enhanced process performance: Creating closed-loop integrated biorefinery framework

Davidraj Johnravindar, Jonathan W.C. Wong, Raffel Dharma Patria, Kristiadi Uisan, Rajat Kumar, Guneet Kaur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Reaching industrially relevant productivities in bioprocesses and their efficient integration in the existing industrial infrastructure remain as important challenges in the circular economy to create closed loop sustainability framework. Using anaerobic digestion (AD) biorefinery as a model, the present work addressed these problems via integration of next-generation rhamnolipids production with AD. A high rhamnolipids concentration of 10.25 ± 1.34 g/L was obtained by fed-batch fermentation using food waste digestate as medium. Digestate-derived rhamnolipids contained Rha-C10-C10 and Rha-Rha-C10-C10 as the predominant congeners. These were used back in single-phase AD to demonstrate their effect on sludge solubilization and digestion efficiency. A dosage of 0.02 g rhamnolipids/g total suspended solids was found to be optimal which enhanced the hydrolysis-acidogenesis reactions to up to 27% over control. It however retarded methane production which could be overcome by the prolongation of digestion time. Finally, the value chain appreciation by the proposed process was demonstrated by a feasibility analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127578
Number of pages12
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume360
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bioenergy
  • Biosurfactant
  • Submerged fermentation
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Waste valorization

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