Microbial oils with high unsaturated fatty acids content, especially oleic acid content, are good feedstock for high quality biodiesel production. Trichosporon capitatum was found to accumulate lipid with around 80% oleic acid and 89% total unsaturated fatty acids content on nitrogen-limited medium. In order to improve its lipid yield, effects of medium components and culture conditions on cell growth and lipid accumulation were investigated. Optimization of media resulted in a 61% increase in the lipid yield of T. capitatum after cultivation at 28°C and 160. rpm for 6. days. In addition, T. capitatum could grow well on cane molasses and afford a lipid yield comparable to that on synthetic nitrogen-limited medium. The biodiesel from the microbial oil produced by T. capitatum on cane molasses displayed a low cold filter plugging point (-15°C), and so T. capitatum might be a promising strain to provide lipid suitable for high quality biodiesel production. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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