Submitted to: Journal of Industrial Microbiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/26/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Corn fiber, consisting of lignocellulosic biomass and starch, represents a renewable resource that is available in sufficient quantities from the corn wet milling industry to serve as a low cost feedstock for production of fuel alcohol. Several promising enzymatic and chemical processes have potential for the conversion of cellulose, hemicellulose, and the remaining gstarch to fermentable sugars. In all cases the hydrolysates are rich in pentoses (D-xylose and L-arabinose) and glucose. A lack of microorganisms that will convert these mixed substrates to ethanol is a major constraint to the efficient and economical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass. Fundamental molecular approaches will be reviewed for development of superior ethanologenic microorganisms that can ferment pentose and hexose sugars. Specifically, the fermentative conversion of sugars from corn fiber hydrolysates by recombinant bacteria, containing chromosomally integrated genes encoding the ethanol pathway will be presented. In addition, recent recombinant efforts to enhance the direct saccharification of cellulose and conversion of pyruvate to ethanol by filamentous fungi will be presented. Application of these novel metabolic engineering techniques have the potential to boost current ethanol production.