CAN VINASSE BE USED AS CARBON SOURCE FOR POLY(3-HYDROXYBUTYRATE) PRODUCTION BY Cupriavidus necator DSM 545?

Abstract Vinasse is the main liquid waste of the ethanol industry and its valorization by a bioprocess as a substrate for production of a value-added product contributes to the ethanol process. This work aimed to study the possibility to use vinasse for poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) production by Cupriavidus necator. The growth of C. necator was evaluated using different vinasse concentrations and no inhibitory effect was observed. Cultivations in a bioreactor were carried out with pure vinasse, vinasse with nitrogen and vinasse with nitrogen and mineral salts. The best values of total biomass (5.1 g.L-1) and PHB (26% of total biomass) were obtained in the cultivation with nitrogen and salts added. The results indicated that vinasse could be used for PHB production. However, vinasse should be used in association with another substrate, aiming to improve the production. This is the first report on vinasse valorization for PHB production by C. necator.