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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Genetic structure of a novel biofuel-producing microorganism community.

Biofuels are an important alternative, renewable source of energy in the face of the ongoing depletion of fossil fuels. Cheese whey is a dairy industry waste characterized by high lactose concentration, which represents a significant environmental problem. Bio-ethanol production by cheese whey could be an effective nonvegetable source for renewable energy production. Here, we report the isolation of a mixed microbial population, able to produce ethanol as main fermentation product from fermenting whey. The microbial consortium has been used to perform a batch fermentation of crude whey in both anoxic and hypoxic conditions. Maximum ethanol concentrations achieved in this study was obtained using the mixed culture in hypoxic conditions, grown at pH 4 and 30 °C, with ethanol production yield of 60 g/L. Our research has pointed out an alternative way to both dispose and valorize cheese whey, a dairy by-product that could cause water pollution and harm to the environment if not properly treated.[1]


  1. Genetic structure of a novel biofuel-producing microorganism community. de Felice, B., Blasi, V.O., de Castro, O., Cennamo, P., Martino, L., Trifuoggi, M., Condorelli, V., di Onofrio, V., Guida, M. J. Genet. (2012) [Pubmed]
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