Ethanologenic fermentation by Parageobacillus thermoglucosidasius with continuous hot microbubble gas-stripping

Joseph Calverley, Christopher Ibenegbu, Abdulkadir Hussein-Sheik, H C Hemaka Bandulasena, David J Leak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The increased use of biofuels in place of fossil fuels is one strategy to support the transition to net-zero carbon emissions, particularly in transport applications. However, expansion of the use of 1st generation crops as feedstocks is unsustainable due to the conflict with food use. The use of the lignocellulosic fractions from plants and/or co-products from food production including food wastes could satisfy the demand for biofuels without affecting the use of land and the availability of food, but organisms which can readily ferment all the carbohydrates present in these feedstocks often suffer from more severe bioethanol inhibition effects than yeast. This paper demonstrates the potential of hot gas microbubbles to strip ethanol from a thermophilic fermentation process using Parageobacillus thermoglucosidasius TM333, thereby reducing product inhibition and allowing production to continue beyond the nominal toxic ethanol concentrations of ≤ 2% v/v. Using an experimental rig in which cells were grown in fed-batch cultures on sugars derived from waste bread, and the broth continuously cycled through a purpose-built microbubble stripping unit, it was shown that non/low-inhibitory dissolved ethanol concentrations could be maintained throughout, despite reaching productivities equivalent to 4.7% v/v dissolved ethanol. Ethanol recovered in the condensate was at a concentration appropriate for dewatering to be cost effective and not prohibitively energy intensive. This suggests that hot microbubble stripping could be a valuable technology for the continuous production of bioethanol from fermentation processes which suffer from product inhibition before reaching economically viable titres, which is typical of most thermophilic ethanologenic bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165
Number of pages12
JournalMicrobial Cell Factories
Volume23
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2024

Data Availability Statement

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article. Parageobacilllus thermoglucosidasius TM333 is the property of ReBio Ltd.

Keywords

  • Ethanol/metabolism
  • Fermentation
  • Biofuels
  • Hot Temperature
  • Microbubbles
  • Gases/metabolism
  • Bacillaceae/metabolism

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