Biodegradation of glycerol using bacterial isolates from soil under aerobic conditions
Kumar, Kuttanpillai Santhosh
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Glycerol, a non-biodegradable by-product during biodiesel production is a major concern to the emerging biodiesel industry. Many microbes in natural environments have the ability to utilize glycerol as a sole carbon and energy source. The focus of this study was to screen for microorganisms from soil, capable of glycerol utilization and its conversion to value added products such as ethanol and 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO). Twelve bacterial isolates were screened for glycerol utilization ability in shake flask fermentations using M9 media supplemented with analytical grade glycerol (30 g/L) at various pH values (6, 7 and 8) and temperatures (30◦C, 35◦Cand 40◦C). Among these, six bacterial isolates (SM1, SM3, SM4, SM5, SM7 and SM8) with high glycerol degradation efficiency (>80%) were selected for further analysis. Highest level of 1,3-PDO production (15 g/L) was observed with isolate SM7 at pH 7 and 30◦C, while superior ethanol production (14 g/L) was achieved by isolate SM9 at pH 8 and 35◦C, at a glycerol concentration of 30 g/L. The selected strains were further evaluated for their bioconversion efficiency at elevated glycerol concentrations (50–110 g/L). Maximum 1,3-PDO production (46 g/L and 35 g/L) was achieved at a glycerol concentration of 70 g/L by isolates SM4 and SM7 respectively, with high glycerol degradation efficiency (>90). Three isolates (SM4, SM5 and SM7) also showed greater glycerol tolerance (up to 110 g/L). The isolates SM4 and SM7 were identified as Klebsiella pneumoniae and SM5 as Enterobacter aerogenes by 16S rDNA analysis. These novel isolates with greater glycerol tolerance could be used for the biodegradation of glycerol waste generated from the biodiesel industry into value-added commercial products.
Raghunandan, K.; Mchunu, S.; Kumar, A.; Kumar, K.S.; Govender, A.; Permaul, K. and Singh, S. 2014. Biodegradation of glycerol using bacterial isolates from soil under aerobic conditions, Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering, 49:1, 85-92, DOI: 10.1080/10934529.2013.824733