Batch and fed-batch ethanol fermentation of cheese-whey powder with mixed cultures of different yeasts

Csilla Farkas, Judit M. Rezessy-Szabo, Vijai Kumar Gupta, Erika Bujna, Tuan M. Pham, Klára Pásztor-Huszár, Lászlo Friedrich, Rajeev Bhat, Vijay Kumar Thakur, Quang D. Nguyen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Eight yeast strains of Lachancea thermotolerans, Kluyveromyces marxianus, and Kluyveromyces waltii have been tested for their ability to ferment lactose into ethanol in mashes containing 10% (w/v) cheese whey powder (CWP). The K. marxianus NCAIM Y00963 achieved 3.5% (v/v) ethanol concentration at 96–120 h of fermentation. The ethanol production by the selected lactose-positive strains and the well-known ethanologenic Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Levuline Fb) in mixed culture was also investigated at different CWP concentrations and inoculation techniques in batch mode. The mixed culture in an equal ratio (1:1) of cell counts of K. marxianus and S. serevisiae showed an increase in lactose conversion rate. The two yeast strains in a ratio of 3:1 (three-quarters of K. marxianus and a quarter of S. cerevisiae in a total of 4.5 × 1010 cells) resulted in 72.33% eficiency of lactose bioconversion and 7.6% (v/v) ethanol production at 17.5% (w/v) of CWP concentration. In the repeated inoculation process, with the addition of three-quarter part of 3:1 ratio of mixed culture (3.3 × 1010 cells of K. marxianus) into 150 mL CWP mash at initiation and the rest quarter part (1.2 × 1010 cells of S. cerevisiae) at 24 h, 8.86% (v/v) ethanol content with 87.5% eficiency of lactose conversion was reached. Both the ethanol concentration and eficiency of bioconversion were increased to 10.34% (v/v) and 92%, respectively, by combination with fed-batch fermentation technology. Our results can serve a very good basis for the development of industrial technology for the utilization of cheese whey.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4495
Issue number23
Early online date29 Nov 2019
Publication statusFirst published - 29 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioethanol
  • Cheese whey
  • Fermentation
  • Lactose conversion
  • Mixed culture


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