Continuous Cultivation of Photosynthetic Bacteria for Fatty Acids Production

Dong-Hoon Kim, Ji-Hye Lee, Yuhoon Hwang, Seoktae Kang, Mi-Sun Kim

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In the present work, we introduced a novel approach for microbial fatty acids (FA) production. Photosynthetic bacteria, Rhodobacter sphaeroides KD131, were cultivated in a continuous-flow, stirred-tank reactor (CFSTR) at various substrate (lactate) concentrations.At hydraulic retention time (HRT) 4 d, cell concentration continuously increased from 0.97 g dcw/L to 2.05 g dcw/L as lactate concentration increased from 30 mM to 60 mM. At 70 mM, however, cell concentration fluctuated with incomplete substrate degradation. By installing a membrane unit to CFSTR, a stable performance was observed under much higher substrate loading (lactate 100 mM and HRT 1.5 d). A maximum cell concentration of 16.2 g dcw/L, cell productivity of 1.9 g dcw/L/d, and FA productivity of 665 mg FA/L/d were attained, and these values were comparable with those achieved using microalgae. The FA content of R. sphaeroides was around 35% of dry cell weight, mainly composed of vaccenic acid (C18:1, omega-7).
Original languageEnglish
JournalBioresource Technology
Pages (from-to)277-282
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Photosynthetic bacteria
  • Fatty acids
  • Membrane-coupled bioreactor
  • Lactate
  • Cell productivity


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