Effect of inhibitors formed during wheat straw pretreatment on ethanol fermentation by Pichia stipitis

Bellido, C.; Bolado, S.; Coca, Mónica.; Lucas, S.; González-Benito, G.; García-Cubero, Mía.Teresa.

Bioresource Technology 102(23): 10868-10874


ISSN/ISBN: 0960-8524
PMID: 21983414
DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.08.128
Accession: 052812267

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The inhibitory effect of the main inhibitors (acetic acid, furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural) formed during steam explosion of wheat straw was studied through ethanol fermentations of model substrates and hydrolysates from wheat straw by Pichia stipitis. Experimental results showed that an increase in acetic acid concentration led to a reduction in ethanol productivity and complete inhibition was observed at 3.5 g/L. Furfural produced a delay on sugar consumption rates with increasing concentration and HMF did not exert a significant effect. Fermentations of the whole slurry from steam exploded wheat straw were completely inhibited by a synergistic effect due to the presence of 1.5 g/L acetic acid, 0.15 g/L furfural and 0.05 g/L HMF together with solid fraction. When using only the solid fraction from steam explosion, hydrolysates presented 0.5 g/L of acetic acid, whose fermentations have submitted promising results, providing an ethanol yield of 0.45 g ethanol/g sugars and the final ethanol concentration reached was 12.2 g/L (10.9 g ethanol/100 g DM).