Out of 113 yeast strains tested, 45 grew on pure glycerol with growth rates ranging from 0.11 to 0.37h(-1). Twenty-three strains showed specific growth rates (h(-1)), biomass production and biomass yields higher or comparable to those on glucose which suggests that crude glycerol can be utilized as carbon source in yeast cultivation for biomass production. Response surface methodology was applied to optimize crude glycerol concentration and temperature for biomass production and yield by Yarrowia lipolytica (DiSVA C 12.1), Metschnikowia sp. (DiSVA 50), Debaryomyces sp. (DiSVA 45/9), and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (DiSVA C 7.1). A biomass concentration of 25.7g/l and a biomass yield of 0.92g/g (Y/Xglyc) was obtained with Y. lipolytica DiSVA C 12.1 and with R. mucilaginosa DiSVA C 7.1, respectively. These results demonstrate the potential use of crude glycerol as carbon source in yeast cultivation and the yeast ability to convert low-value crude glycerol to added-value products.
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