Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRODUCING BIOFUELS AND COPRODUCTS FROM LIGNOCELLULOSIC FEEDSTOCKS

Location: Bioenergy Research Unit

Title: Process technologies for production of fuel ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass

Authors
item Saha, Badal
item Cotta, Michael

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 19, 2010
Publication Date: November 19, 2010
Citation: Saha, B.C., Cotta, M.A. 2010. Process technologies for production of fuel ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass [abstract]. In: Proceedings of 6th International Symposium on Biocatalysis and Biotechnology, November 17-19, 2010, Seoul, Korea. p. 60.

Technical Abstract: Lignocellulosic biomass such as corn stover, wheat straw, rice straw, and switchgrass can serve as low-cost feedstock for production of fuel ethanol. These feedstocks contain complex carbohydrates (cellulose and hemicelluloses) which need to be converted to fermentable sugars and then these sugars be fermented to ethanol. Any lignocellulosic biomass is resistant to enzymatic saccharification in its native state. Pretreatment is essential prior to enzymatic saccharification which often produces fermentation inhibitiors. Upon hydrolysis, lignocellulosic feedstock generates a mixture of hexose and pentose sugars. Efficient conversion of all these sugars is necessary to reduce the production cost. We have studied the conversion of a variety of agricultural residues such as corn fiber, corn stover, wheat straw, barley straw, and rice hulls to fuel ethanol by using a variety of pretreatment options, separate enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF), and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) of sugar mixtures using a recombinant Escherichia coli strain. The pretreatment methods used include liquid hot water, dilute acid, concentrated acid, lime, alkaline peroxide, and wet oxidation. In addition, we have evaluated fed-batch, cell recycle, and continuous production of ethanol by the recombinant E. coli strain. In this presentation, we will describe our research outcomes dealing with these process technologies for production of ethanol from these feedstocks. The challenges and constraints of developing an efficient integrated process technology for production of fuel ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass and future directions of research will be highlighted.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014