Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


French, W. Todd

Committee Member

Hernandez, Rafael

Committee Member

Kundu, Santanu

Committee Member

Gude, Veera Gnaneswar

Committee Member

Borazjani, Abdolhamid

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering


The potential of oleaginous yeast Rhodotorula glutinis for the sustainable production of biodiesel feedstock via fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass in pulp and paper wastewater as a fermentation media was investigated. The overall objective was to increase the levels of lipid feedstock in oleaginous yeast in order to reduce biodiesel production cost. To meet sustainable production of biodiesel, industrial wastewater and waste lignocellulose biomass were used as cultivation media and carbon source, respectively. Pulp and paper wastewater effluent was selected as a source of water and nutrients for the production of microbial lipids due to its environmental pollution as it creates large volume of wastewater discharge with high chemical oxygen demand (COD). Since medium composition and process fermentation condition can significantly affect the fermentative performance of oleaginous microorganisms, to find the optimum cultivation condition, design of experiment combined with RSM optimization technique was performed, which has been shown to be successful to predict the optimum condition for the biomass and lipid production in batch fermentation. In addition, lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysate was used as a substrate to improve the cost associated with feedstock fermentation. Lignocellulosic hydrolysate, a product of degradation of lignocelllosic biomass, contains degradation by-products such as 5- hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), furfural and acetic acid that are known as major inhibitors that influences microorganism growth process. Therefore, their impacts on the fermentative performance and lipid productivity of oleaginous yeast were explored. A detailed operating condition and equipment design for the process of biocrude production from pulp and paper wastewater on a commercial scale was developed. A technological assessment of the process was performed to evaluate their technical benefits and limitations. Results show that pulp and paper wastewater can be used as a cultivation media for the production of microbial lipids using R. glutinis. However, its carbon content has to be improved. Analysis of the design and cost of the process showed that acid hydrolysis process using paper mill sludge as lignocellulosic biomass required the smallest process equipment units but at a higher raw material cost compared to fermentation process.