Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation by co-cultures of Fusarium oxysporum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae enhances ethanol production from liquefied wheat straw at high solid content

Paschos, T.; Xiros, C.; Christakopoulos, P.

Industrial Crops and Products 76: 793-802


ISSN/ISBN: 0926-6690
DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2015.07.061
Accession: 070753989

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A co-fermentation process involving Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Fusarium oxysporum was studied, using hydrothermally pretreated wheat straw as substrate. In the first step of the study, we examined liquefaction of the material in a free-fall reactor. Both the enzyme loading and the dry matter content affected severely the liquefaction efficiency. In the second step (simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) experiments), we found that the enzymatic system of F. oxysporum contributed significantly to substrate hydrolysis, while its metabolic system played a secondary role in fermentation. SSF in the presence of F. oxysporum cells and enzymes gave 62 g L-1 ethanol. In the third step of the study, a semi-consolidated bioprocess was designed in which F. oxysporum culture (submerged or solid-state) was added at the SSF stage along with S. cerevisiae. The addition of solid F. oxysporum culture increased ethanol production by 19%, leading to a final ethanol concentration of 58 g L-1. The present study proposes a semi-consolidated process combining two microorganisms for the fermentation at high solids concentration of a liquefied material using an in house free fall mixing reactor. The semi-consolidated process proposed not only increased the ethanol yields significantly, but could also lead to lower overall cost of the process by incorporating in-situ enzyme production. is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (