Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Chemical Engineering (MChE)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Reizman, Irene

Second Advisor

Coppinger, J. Peter

Third Advisor

Brandt, Mark


This thesis explores the viability of using the yeast Candida viswanathii to convert distillers corn oil, a byproduct of the ethanol industry, into long-chain α,ω-dicarboxylic acids used in lubricants, cosmetics, and biopolymers. Glucose, xylose, and glycerol were used as carbon sources for the determination of growth parameters of this strain, of which it was found that growth on glucose resulted in the highest specific growth rate of 0.482 hr-1 and the lowest biomass yield coefficient of 0.566 - 0.754 g DCW per g substrate on average. A prior developed analytical method for determining feed and product concentrations in fermentation broth using gas chromatography was gradually improved throughout this study. However, it was found that repeatability issues still occurred with the method. The production of diacids was studied with different feedstocks and co-substrates, where it was found that diacid production occurred with all combinations, except methyl oleate and glucose. It was observed that both methyl oleate and oleic acid had solubility issues, which could be further improved within the fermentation broth.