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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bioenergy Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329097

Research Project: Develop Technologies for Production of Platform Chemicals and Advanced Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Feedstocks

Location: Bioenergy Research

Title: Solvent (acetone-butanol: ab) production

item Qureshi, Nasib

Submitted to: Elsevier
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2016
Publication Date: 1/25/2017
Citation: Qureshi, N. 2017. Solvent (acetone-butanol: ab) production. In: Roitberg, B. and Cotter, P. of Elsevier's Reference Module in Life Sciences. London, United Kingdom: Elsevier. p. 1-20. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809633-8.13109-7.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This article describes production of butanol [acetone-butanol-ethanol, (also called AB or ABE or solvent)] by fermentation using both traditional and current technologies. AB production from agricultural commodities, such as corn and molasses, was an important historical fermentation. Unfortunately, this fermentation ceased operation as it could not compete with butanol production from petrochemical processes. As a result of fluctuating and increased gasoline prices, production of AB is being revived after a gap of approximately 30 years in commercial activities. The old technology had numerous problems such as energy inefficient recovery of AB by distillation, use of dilute sugar solutions, low reactor productivity, and low AB concentration in fermentation broth. During the last 30-35 years, significant progress has been made including development of better microbial strains, high productivity reactor systems, simultaneous recovery of AB from bioreactors, use of concentrated sugar solutions, and production of butanol from agricultural residues. These agricultural residues include wheat straw, barley straw, corn stover, sweet sorghum bagasse, and switchgrass. Simultaneous butanol fermentation and recovery using novel technologies has dramatically improved longevity of butanol production in batch and fed-batch reactors and solved numerous problems (including inhibition) associated with this fermentation. Additionally, use of novel substrates such as food, municipal, and domestic organic wastes have been successfully explored in combination with simultaneous hydrolysis, fermentation and product recovery.