Cost Efficiencies In Lactic Acid Production
Rising prices for raw materials and the challenge to lessen the environmental impact of lactic acid production are motivating producers, including Cargill, to explore new ways to improve efficiency and reduce environmental waste. A bacterial biocatalyst had long been used in lactic acid production. However, it required the addition of increasingly costly lime and sulfuric acid during the fermentation process. And one of its by-products was gypsum, which had to be disposed.
To arrive at a better process, Cargill focused on developing a new biocatalyst – a low pH tolerant yeast. Expertise in fermentation development, genetic engineering, quantitative physiology and analytical capabilities led to an innovative process that required significantly lower amounts of raw materials and produced substantially less gypsum waste.
The new biocatalyst is helping to ensure Cargill’s lactic acid’s competitiveness, while also reducing the environmental impact of its production.