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Optimization of enzymatic hydrolysis and ethanol fermentation from AFEX-treated rice straw

Zhong, Cheng, Lau, Ming W., Balan, Venkatesh, Dale, Bruce E., Yuan, Ying-Jin
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2009 v.84 no.4 pp. 667-676
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ammonia, biomass, biorefining, endo-1,4-beta-glucanase, enzymatic hydrolysis, ethanol, ethanol fermentation, glucose, hydrolysis, inoculum density, polygalacturonase, rice straw, washing, xylan, xylanases, xylose
An abundant agricultural residue, rice straw (RS) was pretreated using ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) process with less than 3% sugar loss. Along with commercial cellulase (Spezyme® CP) at 15 filter paper unit/g of glucan, the addition of Multifect® Xylanase at 2.67 mg protein/g glucan and Multifect® Pectinase at 3.65 mg protein/g glucan was optimized to greatly increase sugar conversion of AFEX-treated RS. During enzymatic hydrolysis even at 6% glucan loading (equivalent to 17.8% solid loading), about 80.6% of glucan and 89.6% of xylan conversions (including monomeric and oligomeric sugars) were achieved. However, oligomeric glucose and xylose accounted for 12.3% of the total glucose and 37.0% of the total xylose, respectively. Comparison among the three ethanologenic strains revealed Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A(LNH-ST) to be a promising candidate for RS hydrolysate with maximum ethanol metabolic yield of 95.3% and ethanol volumetric productivity of 0.26 g/L/h. The final concentration of ethanol at 37.0 g/L was obtained by S. cerevisiae 424A(LNH-ST) even with low cell density inoculum. A biorefinery combining AFEX pretreatment with S. cerevisiae 424A(LNH-ST) in separate hydrolysis and fermentation could achieve 175.6 g EtOH/kg untreated rice straw at low initial cell density (0.28 g dw/L) without washing pretreated biomass, detoxification, or nutrient supplementation.