Evaluation of industrial dairy waste (milk dust powder) for acetone-butanol-ethanol production by solventogenic Clostridium species.

PMID 25126487


Readily available inexpensive substrate with high product yield is the key to restoring acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation to economic competitiveness. Lactose-replete cheese whey tends to favor the production of butanol over acetone. In the current study, we investigated the fermentability of milk dust powder with high lactose content, for ABE production by Clostridium acetobutylicum and Clostridium beijerinckii. Both microorganisms produced 7.3 and 5.8 g/L of butanol respectively, with total ABE concentrations of 10.3 and 8.2 g/L, respectively. Compared to fermentation with glucose, fermentation of milk dust powder increased butanol to acetone ratio by 16% and 36% for C. acetobutylicum and C. beijerinckii, respectively. While these results demonstrate the fermentability of milk dust powder, the physico-chemical properties of milk dust powder appeared to limit sugar utilization, growth and ABE production. Further work aimed at improving the texture of milk dust powder-based medium would likely improve lactose utilization and ABE production.