Biotechnological utilization of lignocellulosic biomass for the production of lactic acid and energy

Lactic acid is a natural organic acid with a long history of use in cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, and moreover for the production of oxygenated chemicals, plant growth regulators, and special chemical intermediates. Apart from that, it is considered a specialty chemical with various applications both in the food and non-food industries. It has been utilized as a raw material in the production of biodegradable polylactide (PLA). Thus, the recent demand for PLA sharply increased the global interest in lactic acid production. To date, the successfully realized commercial production of lactic acid has involved the utilization of pure sugars or edible crops.  Nevertheless, on account of concerns over feedstock costs and the limited worldwide food availability, lignocellulosic resources have become attractive and inexpensive raw materials for the production of lactic acid. Our aim is to find methods for utilizing lignocellulosic biomass for the ultimate purpose of producing lactic acid and energy under the optimum conditions, as well as useful metabolites through the action of suitable microorganisms. This research is based on the ability of specific bacterial strains to metabolize different sources of carbon, resulting in the production of products useful for the industry.

 

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