Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 6, pp 2821–2831 | Cite as

Trichosporon fermentans biomass flocculation from soybean oil refinery wastewater using bioflocculant produced from Paecilomyces sp. M2-1

  • Nan Qiao
  • Mingxing Gao
  • Xiuzhen Zhang
  • Yundi Du
  • Xue Fan
  • Lei Wang
  • Na LiuEmail author
  • Dayu YuEmail author
Environmental biotechnology


The soybean oil refinery (SOR) wastewater contains a high concentration of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and lipid, so the direct emissions of SOR wastewater will result in environmental pollution and waste of resources. Oleaginous yeast Trichosporon fermentans can consume organic materials in SOR wastewater to synthesize microbial oil, which achieves the purpose of SOR wastewater resource utilization. The effective harvesting technology of oleaginous yeasts can improve the utilization efficiency. In this study, Paecilomyces sp. M2-1 with high flocculating activity was isolated. The flocculants produced by M2-1 (MBF2-1) include 75% (w/w) polysaccharides, rely on cations, and display the flocculation percentage of above 77% in the range of pH 2–11. Especially under alkaline conditions, the flocculation percentage can be kept above 97%. The results of scanning electron microscope observation and zeta potential measurements suggested that the bridging, net trapping, and sweeping were the main flocculation mechanism of MBF2-1. MBF2-1 could flocculate T. fermentans that was used to reduce the organic matter in SOR wastewater and to produce microbial oil. Under the optimum conditions, the flocculation percentage of MBF2-1 against T. fermentans from SOR wastewater can reach 95%. Fatty acid content percent in microbial oil from T. fermentans was not almost affected by flocculation of MBF2-1. Moreover, MBF2-1 can further remove 55% and 53% of COD and oil content in the fermented SOR wastewater, respectively. The properties and high flocculating percentage displayed by MBF2-1 indicated its potential application prospect in oleaginous yeast harvest and food industry wastewater treatment.


Bioflocculants Paecilomyces sp. M2-1 Oleaginous yeast harvest Soybean oil refinery wastewater Trichosporon fermentans Flocculation mechanism 


Funding information

This work was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 31470787, 21708003) and Science and Technology Research Project of Jilin Province, China (grant number 20170519015JH).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Groundwater Resources and Environment, Ministry of EducationJilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.School of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureNortheast Electric Power UniversityJilinChina
  3. 3.Sci-Tech Center for Clean Conversion and High-valued Utilization of Biomass, Jilin ProvinceNortheast Electric Power UniversityJilinChina

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