Production of itaconic acid from cellulose pulp: Feedstock feasibility and process strategies for an efficient microbial performance

Abraham Antonius Johannes Kerssemakers, Pablo Doménech, Marco Cassano, Celina Kiyomi Yamakawa, Giuliano Dragone, Solange I. Mussatto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

94 Downloads (Pure)


This study assessed the feasibility of using bleached cellulose pulp from Eucalyptus wood as a feedstock for the production of itaconic acid by fermentation. Additionally, different process strategies were tested with the aim of selecting suitable conditions for an efficient production of itaconic acid by the fungus Aspergillus terreus. The feasibility of using cellulose pulp was demonstrated through assays that revealed the preference of the strain in using glucose as carbon source instead of xylose, mannose, sucrose or glycerol. Additionally, the cellulose pulp was easily digested by enzymes without requiring a previous step of pretreatment, producing a glucose-rich hydrolysate with a very low level of inhibitor compounds, suitable for use as a fermentation medium. Fermentation assays revealed that the technique used for sterilization of the hydrolysate (membrane filtration or autoclaving) had an important effect in its composition, especially on the nitrogen content, consequently affecting the fermentation performance. The carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (C:N ratio), initial glucose concentration and oxygen availability, were also important variables affecting the performance of the strain to produce itaconic acid from cellulose pulp hydrolysate. By selecting appropriate process conditions (sterilization by membrane filtration, medium supplementation with 3 g/L (NH4)2SO4, 60 g/L of initial glucose concentration, and oxygen availability of 7.33 (volume of air/volume of medium)), the production of itaconic acid was maximized resulting in a yield of 0.62 g/g glucose consumed, and productivity of 0.52 g/L h.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberen13071654
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Production of itaconic acid from cellulose pulp: Feedstock feasibility and process strategies for an efficient microbial performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this