Spent coffee grounds (SCGs) are a promising substrate that can be valorized by biotechnological processes, such as for short-chain organic acid (SCOA) production, but their complex structure implies the application of a pretreatment step to increase their biodegradability. Physicochemical pretreatments are widely studied but have multiple drawbacks. An alternative is the application of biological pretreatments that include using fungi Trametes versicolor and Paecilomyces variotii that naturally can degrade complex substrates such as SCGs. This study intended to compare acidic and basic hydrolysis and supercritical CO 2 extraction with the application of these fungi. The highest concentration of SCOAs, 2.52 gCOD/L, was achieved after the acidification of SCGs pretreated with acid hydrolysis, but a very similar result, 2.44 gCOD/L, was obtained after submerged fermentation of SCGs by T. versicolor. This pretreatment also resulted in the best acidification degree, 48%, a very promising result compared to the 13% obtained with the control, untreated SCGs, highlighting the potential of biological pretreatments.
- Carbon Dioxid