Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

J (Hans) van Leeuwen


Cultivation of filamentous fungi on corn-ethanol thin stillage has been proved to have

a potential to create value-added products while reducing the COD, TSS, and other

undesirable compounds in the thin stillage. However, inconsistencies in fungal growth yields

hinder the commercial viability of large-scale fungal cultivation. The undesirable

morphological growth of fungi overburdens the energy requirement for fungal cultivation

while causing a poor mass transfer in the bioreactor. Morphological differences in fungal

growth are influenced by various fermentation parameters. Lab-scale experiments on the

cultivation of Rhizopus oligosporus on thin stillage were carried out to understand the effect

of temperature and inoculum concentration in the production of optimum yields with pellet


Production of renewable diesel from biocrude obtained via hydrothermal liquefaction

of fungal biomass cultivated on thin stillage has been demonstrated. While the process seems to be a great way to produce second-generation biofuel, inconsistencies in fungal growth, and high-energy requirement encumbers the economics of the process for large-scale production. An early-stage techno-economic analysis was conducted to understand the key logjams in the commercialization of the process. The price of gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of the renewable diesel was obtained in practical and worst-case scenarios. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to understand the effect of various model inputs and model parameters on the price of a GGE of fuel.


Copyright Owner

Kowshik Viswanath Moorthy Eggoni



File Format


File Size

66 pages