Effects of plastic composite support and pH profiles on pullulan production in a biofilm reactor

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Pullulan is a linear homopolysaccharide which is composed of glucose units and often described as α-1, 6- linked maltotriose. The applications of pullulan range from usage as blood plasma substitutes to environmental pollution control agents. In this study, a biofilm reactor with plastic composite support (PCS) was evaluated for pullulan production using Aureobasidium pullulans. In test tube fermentations, PCS with soybean hulls, defatted soy bean flour, yeast extract, dried bovine red blood cells, and mineral salts was selected for biofilm reactor fermentation (due to its high nitrogen content, moderate nitrogen leaching rate, and high biomass attachment). Three pH profiles were later applied to evaluate their effects on pullulan production in a PCS biofilm reactor. The results demonstrated that when a constant pH at 5.0 was applied, the time course of pullulan production was advanced and the concentration of pullulan reached 32.9 g/L after 7-day cultivation, which is 1.8-fold higher than its respective suspension culture. The quality analysis demonstrated that the purity of produced pullulan was 95.8% and its viscosity was 2.4 centipoise. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy spectra also supported the supposition that the produced exopolysaccharide was mostly pullulan. Overall, this study demonstrated that a biofilm reactor can be successfully implemented to enhance pullulan production and maintain its high purity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-861
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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