Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/29/2007
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: An important barrier to commercialization of the biomass-to-ethanol process is the presence of substances that are toxic to fermenting microorganisms. Organic acids, aldehydes, phenolics, and furan compounds arise during acid hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass and may cause slow or failed fermentations. We have developed a bioremediation strategy to detoxify biomass sugars prior to fermentation. Microorganisms were enriched from soil for their capacity to metabolize ferulic acid, furfural, and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, and for their ability to grow in acid hydrolysate of corn stover. The best isolate for removing inhibitors was a fungus, Coniochaeta ligniaria NRRL30616. Analytical extraction of corn-stover hydrolysate, followed by HPLC and LC-MS analysis, has been used to quantitate a variety of aromatic acid, aliphatic acid, aldehyde, and phenolic degradation products and to follow the removal of several important compounds during inhibitor abatement.