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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bioenergy Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #395977

Research Project: New Bioproducts for Advanced Biorefineries

Location: Bioenergy Research

Title: From agricultural wastes to fermentation nutrients: A case study of 2,3-butanediol production

item OKONKWO, CHRISTOPHER - The Ohio State University
item DUDUYEMI, ADEMOLA - The Ohio State University
item UJOR, VICTOR - University Of Wisconsin
item ATIYEH, HASAN - Oklahoma State University
item ILOBA, IFEANYI - The Ohio State University
item Qureshi, Nasib
item EZEJI, THADDEUS - The Ohio State University

Submitted to: Fermentation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/28/2022
Publication Date: 12/31/2022
Citation: Okonkwo, C.C., Duduyemi, A., Ujor, V.C., Atiyeh, H.K., Iloba, I., Qureshi, N., Ezeji, T.C. 2022. From agricultural wastes to fermentation nutrients: A case study of 2,3-butanediol production. Fermentation. 9(1). Article 36.

Interpretive Summary: The 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), also known as 2,3-butylene glycol, is a chemical with many uses, which includes being used to make other chemicals. It is used to help make printing inks, perfumes, fumigants, moistening and softening agents, explosives, plasticizes, and pharmaceuticals. It can also be used to make transportation fuels. While currently produced using petroleum, it can also be made using renewable resources via fermentation. An economic barrier to using fermentation is the cost of the additional nutrients that are required to grow the microorganism. In these studies, 2,3-BD was produced in fermentation media where the expensive and highly refined nutrients were substituted with biochars made using poultry-litter (PLBC) or forage sorghum (FSBC). In addition to being less expensive, the biochar fermentations produced 33% more 2,3-BD than the control fermentation. A technical economic analysis predicted that using biochars would make the process cost competitive with the traditional route. Besides helping to grow the bioeconomy, this research also provides a new market for waste poultry litter. Two and half pounds of poultry litter waste is generated per chicken and last year we raised 9.2 billion broiler chickens in the United States of America.

Technical Abstract: The goal of this study was to improve resource use efficiency in agricultural systems and agro-based industries, reduce wastes that go to landfills and incinerators, and consequently, improve the economics of 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD) production. This study evaluated the feasibility of 2,3-BD production by replacing the mineral nutrients, and buffers with anaerobic digestate (ADE), poultry-litter (PLBC)- and forage-sorghum (FSBC)-derived biochars. Fermentation media formulations with ADE and 5–20 g/L PLBC or FSBC were evaluated for 2,3-BD production using Paenibacillus polymyxa as a biocatalyst. An optimized medium containing nutrients and buffers served as control. While 2,3-BD production in the ADE cultures was 0.5-fold of the maximum generated in the control cultures, 2,3-BD produced in the PLBC and FSBC cultures were ~1.3-fold more than the control (33.6 g/L). Cost analysis showed that ADE and biochar can replace mineral nutrients and buffers in the medium with the potential to make bio-based 2,3-BD production profitably feasible.