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Concept: Butanol fuel


The techno-economics of greenfield projects of a first-generation sugarcane biorefinery aimed to produce ethanol, sugar, power, and n-butanol was conducted taking into account different butanol fermentation technologies (regular microorganism and mutant strain with improved butanol yield) and market scenarios (chemicals and automotive fuel). The complete sugarcane biorefinery with the batch acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process was simulated using Aspen Plus®. The biorefinery was designed to process 2million tonne sugarcane per year and utilize 25%, 50%, and 25% of the available sugarcane juice to produce sugar, ethanol, and butanol, respectively. The investment on a biorefinery with butanol production showed to be more attractive [14.8% IRR, P(IRR>12%)=0.99] than the conventional 50:50 (ethanol:sugar) annexed plant [13.3% IRR, P(IRR>12%)=0.80] only in the case butanol is produced by an improved microorganism and traded as a chemical.

Concepts: Alcohol, Metabolism, Water, Ethanol, Fermentation, Sugarcane, Butanol, Butanol fuel


Biobutanol production by clostridia via the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) pathway is a promising future technology in bioenergetics , but identifying key regulatory mechanisms for this pathway is essential in order to construct industrially relevant strains with high tolerance and productivity. We have applied flow cytometric analysis to C. beijerinckii NRRL B-598 and carried out comparative screening of physiological changes in terms of viability under different cultivation conditions to determine its dependence on particular stages of the life cycle and the concentration of butanol.

Concepts: Biology, Life, Flow cytometry, Clostridium, Clostridia, Clostridiaceae, Butanol fuel, Clostridium beijerinckii


This study aimed to establish a mathematical modeling to evaluate the inhibitory effect of phenolic derivatives on acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation by Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1-4. Vanillin, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, and syringaldehyde were selected to represent guaiacyl, hydroxyphenyl, and syringyl phenols, respectively, to be examined in a series of fed-batch experiments. Results show the presence of phenolic derivatives blocked the pathway of the assimilation of organic acids and reduced cell growth and glucose utilization. The inhibition model projected that the levels of 0.13, 0.14, and 0.04 g L-1 for vanillin, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, and syringaldehyde, respectively, resulted in 25% inhibition of butanol production, whereas 100% inhibition was predicted at the levels of 4.94, 4.37, and 4.20 g L-1 for vanillin, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, and syringaldehyde, respectively. Syringaldehyde was more toxic than the other two compounds. The established model described that the phenolic compounds derived from different phenyl propane monomers of lignin severely obstructed biobutanol production.

Concepts: Alcohol, Mathematics, Ethanol, Phenols, Vanillin, Phenolic compounds in wine, Guaiacol, Butanol fuel


This paper reports a study of potential feedstock for butanol production via the biotechnological route. Several waste(water) streams rich in sugars and lignocellulosic biomass were studied: cheese-whey, leftovers of high sugar-content beverages, food lost or wasted, agriculture residues. The maximum butanol production rate from each type of feedstock was assessed according to the parameters indicated in the literature: feedstock availability rate, feedstock average composition and butanol yield. In Europe the potential biotechnological production of butanol from the feedstock studied was assessed to be about 39 Mt yr-1, which would be enough to meet the current European demand of biofuels. The potential butanol production at local level was also assessed taking into account the concentration of feedstock suppliers in the Campania region.

Concepts: Ethanol, Europe, According to Jim, The Current, Local government, Campania, Butanol, Butanol fuel


Conventional acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation coupled with gas stripping is conducted under strict anaerobic conditions. In this work, a fed-batch ABE fermentation integrated with gas stripping (FAFIGS) system using a non-strict anaerobic butanol-producing symbiotic system, TSH06, was investigated for the efficient production of butanol. To save energy and keep a high gas-stripping efficiency, the integrated fermentation was conducted by adjusting the butanol recovery rate. The gas-stripping efficiency increased when the butanol concentration increased from 6 to 12 g/L. However, in consideration of the butanol toxicity to TSH06, 8 g/L butanol was the optimal concentration for this FAFIGS process. A model for describing the relationship between the butanol recovery rate and the gas flow rate was developed, and the model was subsequently applied to adjust the butanol recovery rate during the FAFIGS process. In the integrated system under non-strict anaerobic condition, relatively stable butanol concentrations of 7 to 9 g/L were achieved by controlling the gas flow rate which varied between 1.6 and 3.5 vvm based on the changing butanol productivity. 185.65 g/L of butanol (267.15 g/L of ABE) was produced in 288 h with a butanol recovery ratio of 97.36%. The overall yield and productivity of butanol were 0.23 g/g and 0.64 g/L/h, respectively. This study demonstrated the feasibility of using FAFIGS under non-strict anaerobic conditions with TSH06. This work is helpful in characterizing the butanol anabolism performance of TSH06 and provides a simple and efficient scheme for butanol production.

Concepts: Concentration, Das Model, Butanol fuel


Butanol is a precursor of many industrial chemicals, and a fuel that is more energetic, safer and easier to handle than ethanol. Fermentative biobutanol can be produced using renewable carbon sources such as agro-industrial residues and lignocellulosic biomass. Solventogenic clostridia are known as the most preeminent biobutanol producers. However, until now, solvent production through the fermentative routes is still not economically competitive compared to the petrochemical approaches, because the butanol is toxic to their own producer bacteria, and thus, the production capability is limited by the butanol tolerance of producing cells. In order to relieve butanol toxicity to the cells and improve the butanol production, many recovery strategies (either in situ or downstream of the fermentation) have been attempted by many researchers and varied success has been achieved. In this article, we summarize in situ recovery techniques that have been applied to butanol production through Clostridium fermentation, including liquid-liquid extraction, perstraction, reactive extraction, adsorption, pervaporation, vacuum fermentation, flash fermentation and gas stripping. We offer a prospective and an opinion about the past, present and the future of these techniques, such as the application of advanced membrane technology and use of recent extractants, including polymer solutions and ionic liquids, as well as the application of these techniques to assist the in situ synthesis of butanol derivatives.

Concepts: Gasoline, Ethanol, Solvent, Producer, Record producer, Butanol, Executive producer, Butanol fuel


Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1-4 is well known as a hyper-butanol producing strain. However, little information is available concerning its butanol production mechanism and the development of more robust strains. In this study, key biosynthetic genes (either endogenous or exogenous) including the sol operon (bld-ctfA-ctfB-adc), adhE1, adhE1(D485G), thl, thlA1(V5A), thlA(V5A) and the expression cassette EC (thl-hbd-crt-bcd) were overexpressed in C. saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1-4 to evaluate their potential in enhancement of butanol production. The overexpression of sol operon increased ethanol production by 400%. The overexpression of adhE1 and adhE(D485)(G) resulted in a 5.6- and 4.9-fold higher ethanol production, respectively, producing final acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) titers (30.6 and 30.1gL(-1)) of among the highest as ever reported for solventogenic clostridia. The most significant increase of butanol production (by 13.7%) and selectivity (73.7%) was achieved by the overexpression of EC. These results provides a solid foundation and essential references for the further development of more robust strains.

Concepts: Gene, Alcohol, Gene expression, Acetone, Ethanol, Solvent, Butanol fuel


Brewer’s spent grain (BSG) is a promising feedstock for ABE fermentation. Sulfuric acid pretreatment of BSG at pH 1, 121°C and different solid loadings (5-15% w/w) was investigated. Enzymatic hydrolysis and ABE fermentation by Clostridium beijerinckii DSM 6422 of non-washed and washed pretreated BSG were performed to compare monosaccharide release and butanol production. Pretreatment at 15% w/w BSG resulted in higher availability of sugars in both the enzymatic hydrolysates and pretreatment liquid, and overall yields of 75gbutanol/kg BSG and 95gABE/kg BSG were obtained. When the enzymatic hydrolysate from the washed pretreated BSG was fermented, butanol (6.0±0.5g/L) and ABE (7.4±1.0g/L) concentrations were lower compared with 7.5±0.6g/L butanol and 10.0±0.8g/L ABE from a control. The fermentation of the liquid released in the pretreatment at 15% w/w resulted in a butanol production of 6.6±0.8g/L with a total ABE of 8.6±1.3g/L after overliming.

Concepts: Alcohol, Carbon dioxide, Enzyme, Carbohydrate, Fructose, Fermentation, Butanol, Butanol fuel


This study reports a unique acetone uncoupled Clostridium species strain CT7, which shows efficient capability of glycerol utilization with high butanol ratio. Medium compositions, such as substrate concentration, micronutrients and pH show significant effects on butanol production from glycerol by strain CT7. To further maximize butanol production, fermentation conditions were optimized by using response surface methodology (RSM). Final butanol production of 16.6g/L with yield of 0.43g/g consumed glycerol was obtained, representing the highest butanol production and yield from glycerol in the batch fermentation mode. Furthermore, strain CT7 could directly convert crude glycerol to 11.8g/L of butanol without any pretreatment. Hence, strain CT7 shows immense potential for biofuels production using waste glycerol as cheap substrate.

Concepts: Enzyme, Ethanol, Clostridium acetobutylicum, Response surface methodology, Clostridium, Glycerol, Butanol, Butanol fuel


Extractive butanol fermentation with non-ionic surfactant, a recently explored area, has shown promising results with several advantages but is relatively less investigated. This work reports the extractive fermentation with selected non-ionic surfactants (L62 and L62D) to enhance butanol production using a high-butanol producing strain (Clostridium beijerinckii MCMB 581). Biocompatibility studies with both the surfactants showed growth. Higher concentrations of surfactant (>5%) affected the cell count. 15.3 g L(-1) of butanol and 21 g L(-1) of total solvents were obtained with 3% (v/v) L62 which was respectively, 43% (w/w) and 55% (w/w), higher than control. It was found that surfactant addition at 9th h doubled the productivity (from 0.13 to 0.31 g L(-1) h(-1) and 0.17 to 0.39 g L(-1) h(-1), respectively for butanol and total solvent). Butanol productivity obtained was 2-3 times higher than similar studies on extractive fermentation with non-ionic surfactants. Interestingly, mixing did not improve butanol production.

Concepts: Acetone, Ethanol, Solvent, Surfactant, Solution, Butanol, N-Butanol, Butanol fuel