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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

From straw to salmon: a technical design and energy balance for production of yeast oil for fish feed from wheat straw

Sigtryggsson, Christian; Potter, Hanna Karlsson; Passoth, Volkmar; Hansson, Per-Anders


BackgroundAquaculture is a major user of plant-derived feed ingredients, such as vegetable oil. Production of vegetable oil and protein is generally more energy-intensive than production of the marine ingredients they replace, so increasing inclusion of vegetable ingredients increases the energy demand of the feed. Microbial oils, such as yeast oil made by fermentation of lignocellulosic hydrolysate, have been proposed as a complement to plant oils, but energy assessments of microbial oil production are needed. This study presents a mass and energy balance for a biorefinery producing yeast oil through conversion of wheat straw hydrolysate, with co-production of biomethane and power.ResultsThe results showed that 1 tonne of yeast oil (37 GJ) would require 9.2 tonnes of straw, 14.7 GJ in fossil primary energy demand, 14.6 GJ of process electricity and 13.3 GJ of process heat, while 21.5 GJ of biomethane (430 kg) and 6 GJ of excess power would be generated simultaneously. By applying economic allocation, the fossil primary energy demand was estimated to 11.9 GJ per tonne oil.ConclusionsFossil primary energy demand for yeast oil in the four scenarios studied was estimated to be 10-38% lower than for the commonly used rapeseed oil and process energy demand could be met by parallel combustion of lignin residues. Therefore, feed oil can be produced from existing non-food biomass without causing agricultural expansion.


Lignocellulose; Biochemical conversion; Oleaginous yeast; Primary energy demand; Microbial oil; Biorefinery

Published in

Biotechnology for Biofuels and Bioproducts
2023, Volume: 16, number: 1, article number: 140
Publisher: BMC