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Cocultivation of cellulolytic and saccharolytic microbial populations is a promising strategy to improve bioethanol production from the fermentation of recalcitrant cellulosic materials. Earlier studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of cocultivation in enhancing ethanolic fermentation of cellulose in batch fermentation. To further enhance process efficiency, a semicontinuous cyclic fed-batch fermentor configuration was evaluated for its potential in enhancing the efficiency of cellulose fermentation using cocultivation. Cocultures of cellulolytic Clostridium thermocellum LQRI and saccharolytic Thermoanaerobacter pseudethanolicus strain X514 were tested in the semicontinuous fermentor as a model system. Initial cellulose concentration and pH were identified as the key process parameters controlling cellulose fermentation performance in the fixed-volume cyclic fed-batch coculture system. At an initial cellulose concentration of 40 g liter(-1), the concentration of ethanol produced with pH control was 4.5-fold higher than that without pH control. It was also found that efficient cellulosic bioethanol production by cocultivation was sustained in the semicontinuous configuration, with bioethanol production reaching 474 mM in 96 h with an initial cellulose concentration of 80 g liter(-1) and pH controlled at 6.5 to 6.8. These results suggested the advantages of the cyclic fed-batch process for cellulosic bioethanol fermentation by the cocultures.


He-Long Jiang, Qiang He, Zhili He, Christopher L Hemme, Liyou Wu, Jizhong Zhou. Continuous cellulosic bioethanol fermentation by cyclic fed-batch cocultivation. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2013 Mar;79(5):1580-9

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PMID: 23275517

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