Document Type : Research Paper
Department of Chemical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran
1- Department of Chemical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran 2-Industrial Biotechnology Group, Research Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran
Cedar and elm woods were investigated for the microbial production of xanthan gum using a commercial strain of Xanthomonas campestris. However, the yields of xanthan gum from untreated woods were inefficient. Thus, dilute phosphoric acid (1-2% w/v) pretreatment at elevated temperatures (140-180 °C) for 10-20 min and concentrated phosphoric acid (85% w/v) pretreatment at 60 °C for 1-3 h were applied to increase production yields. Concentrated acid pretreatment resulted in the highest yields of 9.9 and 10.4 g xanthan gum per 100 g of raw cedar and elm wood, respectively, whereas the untreated woods yielded 2.0 and 2.4 g xanthan gum per 100 g of raw woods. Dilute acid pretreatment was not as efficient as concentrated acid pretreatment, resulting in 4.2 and 5.2 g xanthan gum per 100 g of cedar and elm, respectively. Consequently, the woods are suitable substrates for xanthan gum production after pretreatment with concentrated phosphoric acid at 160 °C for 1 h. The quality of produced xanthan gum was also compared with a commercial xanthan gum using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and the results indicated that the produced xanthan gum was similar to the commercial product. Although the pretreatments presented in this study increased the xanthan gum yield up to fourfold, it was at the expense of increasing pretreatment costs. This research provides the basis for the economic analysis required for the commercial implementation of these pretreatments.