Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2007
Publication Date: March 29, 2007
Citation: Qureshi, N., Saha, B.C., Li, X., Hughes, S.R., Cotta, M.A. 2007. Recent advances in bioconversion of agricultural biomass to butanol by fermentation: employing potential of available renewable resources to produce a superior biofuel [abstract]. American Chemical Society. Paper No. 178. Technical Abstract: As a result of a sharp increase in gasoline/petroleum prices we, at the USDA’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, have intensified our research program on bioconversion of agricultural biomass such as corn stover, corn fiber, rice and wheat straw, rice hulls, switch grass, and miscanthus to biofuels (ethanol, butanol, acetone) and chemicals by fermentation. In order to achieve economic production of these fuels and chemicals, various unique approaches including upstream processing (hydrolysis of biomass to release sugars), genetic manipulation of microorganisms, bioreactor and bioprocess development, and product separation and purification are applied. Butanol, which is a superior fuel than ethanol, can be produced using Clostridium beijerinckii P260. We have used a number of agriculturally based substrates including corn, corn fiber, corn fiber xylan, and wheat straw for the production of this valuable fuel. A number of processes have been developed that include: i) batch; ii) fed-batch; iii) separate hydrolysis and fermentation; iv) combined hydrolysis and fermentation; and v) simultaneous hydrolysis, fermentation, and recovery processes. The details of these processes on the production of butanol from agricultural biomass will be presented. Recently, DuPont Chemicals and British Petroleum have announced commercialization of this valuable fermentation to produce motor fuel.