Continuous Culture Studies of Xylose-Fermenting Zymomonas mobilis

Hugh G. Lawford, Joyce D. Rousseau, Ali Mohagheghi, James D. Mcmillan

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38 Scopus Citations


The continuous cofermentation performance of xylose-fermenting Zy- momonas mobilis at 30°C and pH 5.5 was characterized using a pure-sugar feed solution that contained 8 g/L glucose and 40 g/L xylose. Successful chemostat start up resulted in complete utilization of glucose and greater than 85% utilization of xylose, but was only reproducibly achieved using initial dilution rates at or less than 0.04/h; once initiated, cofermentation could be maintained at dilution rates of 0.04 to 0.10/h. Whereas xylose and cell- mass concentrations increased gradually with increasing dilution rate, ethanol concentrations and ethanol yields on available sugars remained approximately constant at 20-22 g/L and 80-90% of theoretical, respectively. Volumetric and specific ethanol productivities increased linearly with increasing dilution rate, rising from approx 1.0 each (g/L/h or g/g/h) at a dilution rate of 0.04/h to approx 2.0 each (g/L/h or g/g/h) at a dilution rate of 0.10/h. Similarly, specific sugar-utilization rates increased from approx 2.0 g/g/h at dilution rate 0.04/h to approx 3.5 g/g/h at dilution rate of 0.10/h. The estimated values of 0.042 g/g for the maximum Z. mobilis cell- mass yield on substrate and 1.13 g/g/h for the minimum specific substrate utilization rate required for cellular maintenance energy are within the range of values reported in the literature. Results are also presented which suggest that long-term adaptation in continuous culture is a powerful technique for developing strains with higher tolerance to inhibitory hemicellulose hydrolyzates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)353-367
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology - Part A Enzyme Engineering and Biotechnology
Issue numberSpring, 1998
StatePublished - 1998

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-580-22976


  • Adaptation
  • Continuous cofermentation
  • Ethanol
  • Xylose
  • Zymomonas mobilis


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