Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Department of Bioengineering, Max-Eyth Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam,
Received: 5 September 2018
Accepted: 22 May 2019
D-lactic acid, renewable resources, polylactic acid, microbial fermentations, downstream
The production of biodegradable polymers as alternatives to petroleum-based plastics has gained significant attention in the past years. To this end, polylactic acid (PLA) constitutes a promising alternative, finding various applications from food packaging to pharmaceuticals. Recent studies have shown that D-lactic acid plays a vital role in the production of heat-resistant PLA. At the same time, the utilization of renewable resources is imperative in order to decrease the production cost. This review aims to provide a synopsis of the current state of the art regarding D-lactic acid production via fermentation, focusing on the exploitation of waste and byproduct streams. An overview of potential downstream separation schemes is also given. Additionally, three case studies are presented and discussed, reporting the obtained results utilizing acid whey, coffee mucilage and hydrolysate from rice husks as alternative feedstocks for D-lactic acid production.
*Corresponding author: +49(0)3315699852