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The aim of this study was to develop a bioprocess capable of producing caproic acid using a binary fermentation system consisting of Clostridium kluyveri H068 and Methanogen 166 which could then be applied to the brewing of Chinese strong flavor liquor. We initially explored the mechanism by which the Methanogen 166 strain facilitates caproic acid accumulation, revealing its ability to convert accumulated H2 that is produced by C. kluyveri H068 into methane, thereby eliminating the hydrogen-mediated feedback inhibition that normally constrains C. kluyveri H068 and thus enhancing caproic acid production. In addition, laboratory experiments were conducted to optimize this binary fermentation system, allowing us to determine that the optimum conditions for caproic acid production are a mixed inoculum size of 10% with a C. kluyveri H588/Methanogen 166 inoculation ratio of 2:1 (v/v), a sodium acetate concentration of 20 g/L, a 4% ethanol content (v/v), and a yeast extract concentration of 10 g/L. We further scaled this optimized condition up to use in a 1000 L fermenter and the obtained caproic acid broth was subjected to pit-entry fermentation. Our results demonstrated that this pit-entry fermentation approach was an efficient means of improving the quality of Chinese strong flavor liquor.
Yan, S., & Dong, D. (2018). Improvement of caproic acid production in a Clostridium kluyveri H068 and Methanogen 166 co-culture fermentation system. AMB Express, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13568-018-0705-1