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While the ethanol production from biomass by consolidated bioprocess (CBP) is considered to be the most ideal process, simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) is the most appropriate strategy in practice. In this study, one-pot bioethanol production, including cellulase production, saccharification of cellulose, and ethanol production, was investigated for the conversion of biomass to biofuel by co-culture of two different microorganisms such as a hyper cellulase producer, Acremonium cellulolyticus C-1 and an ethanol producer Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Furthermore, the operational conditions of the one-pot process were evaluated for maximizing ethanol concentration from cellulose in a single reactor.
Ethanol production from cellulose was carried out in one-pot bioethanol production process. A. cellulolyticus C-1 and S. cerevisiae were co-cultured in a single reactor. Cellulase producing-medium supplemented with 2.5 g/l of yeast extract was used for productions of both cellulase and ethanol. Cellulase production was achieved by A. cellulolyticus C-1 using Solka-Floc (SF) as a cellulase-inducing substrate. Subsequently, ethanol was produced with addition of both 10%(v/v) of S. cerevisiae inoculum and SF at the culture time of 60 h. Dissolved oxygen levels were adjusted at higher than 20% during cellulase producing phase and at lower than 10% during ethanol producing phase. Cellulase activity remained 8–12 FPU/ml throughout the one-pot process. When 50–300 g SF/l was used in 500 ml Erlenmeyer flask scale, the ethanol concentration and yield based on initial SF were as 8.7–46.3 g/l and 0.15–0.18 (g ethanol/g SF), respectively. In 3-l fermentor with 50–300 g SF/l, the ethanol concentration and yield were 9.5–35.1 g/l with their yields of 0.12–0.19 (g/g) respectively, demonstrating that the one-pot bioethanol production is a reproducible process in a scale-up bioconversion of cellulose to ethanol.
A. cellulolyticus cells produce cellulase using SF. Subsequently, the produced cellulase saccharifies the SF, and then liberated reducing sugars are converted to ethanol by S. cerevisiae. These reactions were carried out in the one-pot process with two different microorganisms in a single reactor, which does require neither an addition of extraneous cellulase nor any pretreatment of cellulose. Collectively, the one-pot bioethanol production process with two different microorganisms could be an alternative strategy for a practical bioethanol production using biomass.