280361 A Novel Microbial Consortium for Direct Biofuels Production From Cellulosic Biomass with in-Situ Product Removal

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 9:42 AM
Westmoreland East (Westin )
Edyta Szewczyk, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, Takao Kasuga, USDA-ARS; Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, CA and Zhiliang (Julia) Fan, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

The conventional process for cellulosic biofuels production involves six distinct steps: pretreatment, cellulase production, enzymatic hydrolysis, hexose fermentation, pentose fermentation, and product recovery. Herein,  a novel configuration for cellulosic biofuels production- Integrated bioconversion and separation (IBS) , which combines five of the six unit operations (all except pretreatment) into one step, was proposed.  The IBS configuration is achieved by a mixed culture composed of a hydrolysis enzyme producer such as a lignocellulolytic fungus and a fermentative microorganism such as a bacterium. The lignocellulolytic fungus produces hydrolysis enzymes under ATP-plentiful conditions in an aerobic environment. The hydrolysis enzymes produced by the fungus will hydrolyze the cellulose and hemicellulose to resulting hydrolysis products. The bacterium will ferment the hydrolysis products to biofuels. A novel strain engineering strategy was adopted engineer the fungus and the bacterium strains to divert most of the hydrolysis product to the fermentative microorganism for biofuel production while maintaining a robust fungus and bacterium co-culture.   The air supplied to the system for aeration can strip out the volatile biofuel products so that they will not accumulate to high concentrations that are inhibitory to the fungus or to the fermentative microorganism. Therefore, IBS is able to achieve cellulase production, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation, and product separation in one single reactor. Our preliminary results showed that such a configuration is able to achieve the production of biofuels directly from cellulose at high yiled without the addition of cellulase.

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