Valorization of municipal organic waste into purified lactic acid

Anders Thygesen, Panagiotis Tsapekos, Merlin Alvarado-Morales, Irini Angelidaki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

233 Downloads (Pure)


Municipal organic waste (biowaste) consists of food derived starch, protein and sugars, and lignocellulose derived cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and pectin. Proper management enables nutrient recycling and sustainable production of platform chemicals such as lactic acid (LA). This review gathers the most important information regarding use of biowaste for LA fermentation covering pre-treatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation and downstream processing to achieve high purity LA. The optimal approach was found to treat the two biowaste fractions separately due to different pre-treatment and enzyme needs for achieving enzymatic hydrolysis and to do continues fermentation to achieve high cell density and high LA productivity up to 12 g/L/h for production of both L and D isomers. The specific productivity was 0.4 to 0.5 h-1 but with recalcitrant biomass, the enzymatic hydrolysis was rate limiting. Novel purification approaches included reactive distillation and emulsion liquid membrane separation yielding purities sufficient for polylactic acid production.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125933
JournalBioresource Technology
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Lactic acid
  • Municipal organic waste
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis
  • Pre-treatment
  • Fermentation
  • Membrane purification


Dive into the research topics of 'Valorization of municipal organic waste into purified lactic acid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this