The current industrial production of the biodiesel relies mainly on vegetable oils that could result in the shortage of edible oils in food markets and increase in their prices. Microbial lipids produced by oleaginous microorganism have attracted a lot of attention in the recent years as a source of high-value polyunsaturated acids as well as alternative feedstock for the production of biodiesel. However, the production of microbial oils faces a number of problems concerning the costs of lipid extraction, carbon source and operational cost for microbial cultivation in conventional stirred tank bioreactor which makes production economically unfeasible. Non-food feedstocks, lignocellulose biomass and different waste streams containing lignocellulose, are low-cost sources of renewable carbon that could significantly reduce the production cost of microbial lipids. This review analyses the current production of microbial lipids from lignocellulose feedstocks and gives an overview of the main stages in the process of lipid production, pretreatment and hydrolysis of the feedstock and microbial cultivation. Cultivation of oleaginous microorganisms has been conducted by submerged cultivation and solid state fermentation. Three process configurations have been used in the lipid production including, separate hydrolysis and lipid production (SHLP), simultaneous saccharification and lipid production (SSLP) and consolidate bioprocessing (CBP). Implementing the biorefinery concept that includes co-production of different value-added products (polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, lignin and pigments) could improve the feasibility of lipid production bioprocess.
Part of the book: Advances in Biofuels and Bioenergy