Comparative Ethanol Productivities of Different Zymomonas Recombinants Fermenting Oat Hull Hydrolysate
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Iogen Corporation of Ottawa, Canada, has recently built a 501/d biomass-to-ethanol demonstration plant adjacent to its enzyme production facility. Iogen has partnered with the University of Toronto to test the C6/C5 cofermentation performance characteristics of National Renewable Energy Laboratory's metabolically engineered Zymomonas mobilis using its biomass hydrolysates. In this study, the biomass feedstock was an agricultural waste, namely oat hulls, which was hydrolyzed in a proprietary two-stage process involving pretreatment with dilute sulfuric acid at 200–250°C, followed by cellulase hydrolysis. The oat hull hydrolysate (OHH) contained glucose, xylose, and arabinose in a mass ratio of about 8:3:0.5. Fermentation media, prepared from diluted hydrolysate, were nutritionally amended with 2.5 mL/L of corn steep liquor (50% solids) and 1.2 g/L of diammonium phosphate. The estimated cost for large-scale ethanol production using this minimal level of nutrient supplementation was 4.4¢/gal of ethanol. This work examined the growth and fermentation performance of xylose-utilizing, tetracycline-resistant, plasmid-bearing, patented, recombinant Z. mobilis cultures: CP4:pZB5, ZM4:pZB5, 39676:pZB4L, and a hardwood prehydrolysate-adapted variant of 39676:pZB4L (designated as the “adapted” strain). In pH-stat batch fermentations with unconditioned OHH containing 6% (w/v) glucose, 3% xylose, and 0.75% acetic acid, rec Zm ZM4:pZB5 gave the best performance with a fermentation time of 30 h, followed by CP4:pZB5 at 48 h, with corresponding volumetric productivities of 1.4 and 0.89 g/(L-h), respectively. Based on the available glucose and xylose, the process ethanol yield for both strains was 0.47 g/g (92% conversion efficiency). At 48 h, the process yield for rec Zm 39676:pZB4L and the adapted strain was 0.32 and 0.34 g/g, respectively. None of the test strains was able to ferment arabinose. Acetic acid tolerance appeared to be a major determining factor in cofer-mentation performance.
Index EntriesRecombinant Zymomonas oat hull hydrolysate xylose biomass hydrolysate ethanol yield acetic acid productivity
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