Resource Recovery From Food Waste For The Generation Of Valuable Biochemicals Through Carbon Chain Elongation Platform


Xu, Jiajie
E. Saikaly, Pascal
Bian, Bin


Food waste is commonly produced in large quantities from household kitchens, animal husbandries and food processing, which is commonly landfilled in Saudi Arabia and has severe environmental impacts (soil, water pollution, odor and greenhouse gas emission). The high-organic composition of this waste stream can represent a valuable source of energy using traditional anaerobic digestion (AD) technology to convert biodegradable organic waste into methane-rich biogas and nutrient-rich digestate, involving various microbial reactions. The economic benefit of AD is, however, sometimes questioned because of the relatively low price of methane in biogas generated, the high cost for construction, and operation and management of the biogas facility. Therefore, to extract more from high-organic waste streams, and thus enhance waste valorization, alternative technologies are emerging such as chain elongation. In this study, we utilized this open-culture biotechnology platform to produces medium-chain carboxylic acids (MCCAs, C6-C12), from heterogeneous low-value waste streams through anaerobic fermentation. MCCAs are commonly used as valuable biochemicals for various industrial applications, such as sustainable antimicrobials, biopolymer production, livestock feed additives for growth, or precursors for liquid biofuel production, and thus enjoy a high market price and promising scale-up potential.

Conference/Event Name
KAUST Workshop for sustainable food security

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