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Cephalosporin fermentation residue (CFR), a byproduct of the pharmaceutical industry, mainly contains the mycelial biomass and unutilized culture medium, which can be reused as a high-quality protein source. This study first reports the recycling CFR into plant biostimulants using partial acid hydrolysis. Temperature, reaction time and ratio of hydrochloric acid/dry matter (H/S) were optimized for yielding both free amino acid and low molecular weight fraction based on response surface methodology. The crude protein concentration of CFR is 55%, with glutamic acid being the dominant amino acid (12.5%). Two favorable hydrolysis conditions were obtained: (1) 140 °C, 10.7 h, 17 H/S for maximizing the amino acid yield of 45.5 g/100 g CFR dw and (2) 100 °C, 10.7 h, 19 H/S for maximizing the low molecular weight fraction of 28.2%. The CFR-derived biostimulants obtained from two optimum conditions possessed two biostimulant modes of action: plant growth promotors/inhibitors and stress alleviators. However, they showed the differences in aminograms and profiles of low molecular weight compounds. Neither residual cephalosporin C nor its byproduct was detected in the CFR-derived biostimulants, suggesting that partial acid hydrolysis appears capable of recycling CFR into plant biostimulant safely. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Chen Cai, Yu Hua, Huiling Liu, Xiaohu Dai. A new approach to recycling cephalosporin fermentation residue into plant biostimulants. Journal of hazardous materials. 2021 Jul 05;413:125393

PMID: 33609861

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