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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 Aug;95(3):565-75. doi: 10.1007/s00253-012-4173-2. Epub 2012 Jun 14.

Pectin-rich biomass as feedstock for fuel ethanol production.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, 1000 Cedar Street, 550, Biological Sciences, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

Abstract

The USA has proposed that 30 % of liquid transportation fuel be produced from renewable resources by 2030 (Perlack and Stokes 2011). It will be impossible to reach this goal using corn kernel-based ethanol alone. Pectin-rich biomass, an under-utilized waste product of the sugar and juice industry, can augment US ethanol supplies by capitalizing on this already established feedstock. Currently, pectin-rich biomass is sold (at low value) as animal feed. This review focuses on the three most studied types of pectin-rich biomass: sugar beet pulp, citrus waste and apple pomace. Fermentations of these materials have been conducted with a variety of ethanologens, including yeasts and bacteria. Escherichia coli can ferment a wide range of sugars including galacturonic acid, the primary component of pectin. However, the mixed acid metabolism of E. coli can produce unwanted side products. Saccharomyces cerevisiae cannot naturally ferment galacturonic acid nor pentose sugars but has a homoethanol pathway. Erwinia chrysanthemi is capable of degrading many of the cell wall components of pectin-rich materials, including pectin. Klebsiella oxytoca can metabolize a diverse array of sugars including cellobiose, one degradation product of cellulose. However, both E. chrysanthemi and K. oxytoca produce side products during fermentation, similar to E. coli. Using pectin-rich residues from industrial processes is beneficial because the material is already collected and partially pretreated to facilitate enzymatic deconstruction of the plant cell walls. Using biomass already produced for other purposes is an attractive practice because fewer greenhouse gases (GHG) will be anticipated from land-use changes.

PMID:
22695801
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3396330
Free PMC Article
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