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Production of bioethanol from wheat straw: An overview on pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation

Talebnia, Farid, Karakashev, Dimitar, Angelidaki, Irini
Bioresource technology 2010 v.101 no.13 pp. 4744-4753
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, bacteria, bioethanol, biorefining, commercialization, enzymatic hydrolysis, ethanol, ethanol production, fermentation, hydrolysis, pretreatment, sugars, value-added products, wheat straw, yeasts
Wheat straw is an abundant agricultural residue with low commercial value. An attractive alternative is utilization of wheat straw for bioethanol production. However, production costs based on the current technology are still too high, preventing commercialization of the process. In recent years, progress has been made in developing more effective pretreatment and hydrolysis processes leading to higher yield of sugars. The focus of this paper is to review the most recent advances in pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation of wheat straw. Based on the type of pretreatment method applied, a sugar yield of 74-99.6% of maximum theoretical was achieved after enzymatic hydrolysis of wheat straw. Various bacteria, yeasts and fungi have been investigated with the ethanol yield ranging from 65% to 99% of theoretical value. So far, the best results with respect to ethanol yield, final ethanol concentration and productivity were obtained with the native non-adapted Saccharomyses cerevisiae. Some recombinant bacteria and yeasts have shown promising results and are being considered for commercial scale-up. Wheat straw biorefinery could be the near-term solution for clean, efficient and economically-feasible production of bioethanol as well as high value-added products.