Submitted to: Great Lakes Regional American Chemical Society Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 2004
Publication Date: August 13, 2004
Citation: Nichols, N.N., Dien, B.S., Lopez, M.J. 2004. A biological approach to removing inhibitory compounds from biomass sugars to be used for fermentation [abstract]. Great Lakes Regional American Chemical Society Symposium. Paper No. 36. Technical Abstract: Additional value could be obtained from agricultural crops, if the sugars present in agricultural waste materials could be efficiently converted to products such as fuel ethanol. However, use of biomass-derived sugars to make value added products is limited in part by the presence of substances that are toxic to fermenting microorganisms. Organic acids, phenolics, and furan compounds arise during acid hydrolysis of biomass, and may cause a fermentation to fail. We have developed a bioremediation strategy to detoxify biomass sugars. Microorganisms were enriched from soil for the capacity to metabolize ferulic acid, furfural, and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, and for the ability to grow in acid hydrolysate of corn stover. The best isolate, a fungus, removes inhibitory substances from biomass-derived sugar streams. Bioabatement using the strain was incorporated into a fermentation scheme for converting biomass to ethanol.