Converting Wastes to Bio-based Succinic Acid
Unmet Need: Economically viable and sustainable method of succinic acid production.
Succinic Acid (SA) is a high value bio-based product with a predicted market size of $1.8 billion in 2025. Currently, succinic acid is being synthesized by either chemical refinery using petroleum or biologically through sugar fermentation. Both processes require pretreatment of the feedstock and are not economically viable. There is a need for an economical strategy of SA production.
The Technology: Using organic wastes as feedstock for SA production.
Researchers at WSU are using organic wastes as a feedstock for the production of SA. This bioprocess consists of two-stages. In the first stage, organic wastes are converted into a group of simple compounds; volatile fatty acids (VFAs), mainly consisting of acetate. In the second stage, the resultant VFA is used as the substrate for the production of succinate by a genetically engineered non-conventional yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, in a separate bioreactor.
• Production of Bio-based Succinic Acid.
• This is a cost-effective approach to produce bio-based succinic acid as compared to other conventional approaches being used currently.
• The VFAs produced at the end of the first stage can either be the end products or be used as precursors for generating biofuels or industrial chemicals making this a very sustainable approach.