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Conversion of cellulose and hemicellulose of biomass simultaneously to acetoin by thermophilic simultaneous saccharification and fermentation

Jia, Xiaojing, Peng, Xiaowei, Liu, Ying, Han, Yejun
Biotechnology for biofuels 2017 v.10 no.1 pp. 232
Bacillus subtilis, acetoin, alkali treatment, biofuels, bioreactors, biotransformation, cellulose, corn cobs, enzymatic hydrolysis, enzymes, feedstocks, fermentation, glucose, heat tolerance, hemicellulose, lignocellulose, mutagenesis, mutants, phytomass, saccharification, temperature, xylose
BACKGROUND: Acetoin (3-hydroxy-2-butanone), the precursor of biofuel 2,3-butanediol, is an important bio-based platform chemical with wide applications. Fermenting the low-cost and renewable plant biomass is undoubtedly a promising strategy for acetoin production. Isothermal simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) is regarded as an efficient method for bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass, in which the temperature optima fitting for both lignocellulose-degrading enzymes and microbial strains. RESULTS: A thermotolerant (up to 52 °C) acetoin producer Bacillus subtilis IPE5-4 which simultaneously consumed glucose and xylose was isolated and identified. By compound mutagenesis, the mutant IPE5-4-UD-4 with higher acetoin productivity was selected. When fermenting at 50 °C in a 5-L bioreactor using glucose as the feedstock by strain IPE5-4-UD-4, the acetoin concentration reached 28.83 ± 0.91 g L⁻¹ with the acetoin yield and productivity of 0.34 g g⁻¹ glucose and 0.60 g L⁻¹ h⁻¹, respectively. Furthermore, an optimized and thermophilic SSF process operating at 50 °C was conducted for acetoin production from alkali-pretreated corncob (APC). An acetoin concentration of 12.55 ± 0.28 g L⁻¹ was achieved by strain IPE5-4-UD-4 in shake flask SSF, with the acetoin yield and productivity of 0.25 g g⁻¹ APC and 0.17 g L⁻¹ h⁻¹. Meanwhile, the utilization of cellulose and hemicellulose in the SSF approach reached 96.34 and 93.29%, respectively. When further fermented at 50 °C in a 5-L bioreactor, the concentration of acetoin reached the maximum of 22.76 ± 1.16 g L⁻¹, with the acetoin yield and productivity reaching, respectively, 0.46 g g⁻¹ APC and 0.38 g L⁻¹ h⁻¹. This was by far the highest acetoin yield in SSF from lignocellulosic biomass. CONCLUSIONS: This thermophilic SSF process provided an efficient and economical route for acetoin production from lignocellulosic biomass at ideal temperature for both enzymatic hydrolysis and microbial fermentation.