Biocatalyst Development for Biothanol Production from Hydrolysates, Chapter 9

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    Lignocellulosic biomass is a promising feedstock for fuel ethanol production because it is both readily available and less expensive than either corn or sugarcane. However, several hurdles must be overcome before these diverse feedstocks can be utilized efficiently as a substrate by fermentative microorganisms. Several microorganisms can efficiently ferment the glucose component in cellulose toethanol, but conversion of the pentose sugars in the hemicellulose fraction, and particularly xylose, remains a bottleneck in biomass-to-ethanol conversion. A recent economic analysis of xylose fermentation (1) has identified higher ethanol yields and concentrations as the most important factors influencing production costs, with increased volumetric productivity being an important secondarytarget. Even though microorganisms with improved fermentation performance have been developed, high ethanol yields and concentrations have yet to be achieved from lignocellulosic feedstocks. The development of novel microorganisms for the rapid and efficient fermentation of the various hexose and pentose sugars found in lignocellulosic biomass must continue to be directed toward the achievementof these critical performance targets. This paper reviews recent advances in the development of microorganisms for ethanol production from lignocellulosic feedstocks and highlights those strategies that have demonstrated some measure of success.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Title of host publicationHandbook on Bioethanol: Production and Utilization
    EditorsC. E. Wyman
    StatePublished - 1996

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CH-422-6946


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