Butyric acid is a valuable chemical that can be fermentatively produced in Clostridium tyrobutyricum and catalytically upgraded to drop in biofuels. Despite considerable study of glucose fermentation in C. tyrobutyricum, information about glucose and xylose co-fermentation to produce butyric acid is limited. In this work, fed-batch fermentations of corn stover hydrolysate at pH 5.0 demonstrated the co-fermentation of glucose and xylose. However, the fermentation stalled at approximately 48 hours after reaching inhibitory levels of butyric acid (18 g/L). When the fermentation pH was increased to 6.0, higher butyric acid titers (50 g/L) were achieved but the fermentation again stalled after 98 hours due to product inhibition. To demonstrate the potential of a continuous co-fermentation process, in situ product recovery via membrane-based liquid-liquid extraction (pertraction) was applied to remove butyric acid. The extracted acids were then recovered from the organic solvent via back extraction into an alkaline solution, producing a high purity product. Results from pertractive fermentations of real corn stover hydrolysate are shown below.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePresented at the 41st Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, 28 April - 2 May 2019, Seattle, Washington

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5100-73786


  • BCPL
  • biofuel
  • butyric acid
  • fermentation
  • pertraction


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