BACKGROUND: Biobutanol production is still not economically competitive because of some principal drawbacks including high cost in feedstock consumption, low butanol concentration in the fermentation broth caused by severe product inhibition. An alternative fermentation mode is becoming an urgent requirement to solve these problems. Biobutanol production by absorbent fermentation with a renewable carrier, i.e. pretreated straw materials, is studied in this paper.<br /><br />RESULTS: Compared with other types of porous media, alkali-treated steam-exploded straw was proved to be a suitable carrier for absorbent fermentation of butanol. The Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) concentration increased by 52% compared with submerged culture at an initial glucose concentration of 65 g/L. The adsorption of ABE solvent on substrate and increased bacterial concentration alleviated the end product inhibition and partly explained this positive effect. The steam pretreatment conditions, solid-liquid ratio, substrate types and substrate concentration were also investigated. Steam-explosion at 1.1 MPa for 4 min and solid-liquid ratio of 1:10 was shown to be the optimum. Glucose showed a great advantage over xylose, and higher glucose content was more conducive to biobutanol production. However, the yield of solvent decreased with the increased initial sugar concentration. Considering comprehensively, 100 g/L initial glucose was considered to be the optimum.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: This work demonstrated an effective approach of improved butanol fermentation and its probable mechanisms of this positive effect, i.e. the adsorption of ABE solvent and the adhesion of bacteria on porous substrate accounted for the production improvement and the proportional variation of solvent constituents.
He, Q., & Chen, H. (2013). Improved efficiency of butanol production by absorbent fermentation with a renewable carrier. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1754-6834-6-121