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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008;15(1):16-30. doi: 10.1159/000111989. Epub 2008 Mar 14.

Technological options for biological fuel ethanol.

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1
Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, Kyoto, Japan. mmg-lab@rite.or.jp

Abstract

The current paradigm to produce biotechnological ethanol is to use the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ferment sugars derived from starch or sugar crops such as maize, sugar cane or sugar beet. Despite its current success, the global impact of this manufacturing model is restricted on the one hand by limits on the availability of these primary raw materials, and on the other hand by the maturity of baker's yeast fermentation technologies. Revisiting the technical, economic, and value chain aspects of the biotechnological ethanol industry points to the need for radical innovation to complement the current manufacturing model. Implementation of lignocellulosic materials is clearly a key enabler to the billion-ton biofuel vision. However, realization of the full market potential of biofuels will be facilitated by the availability of an array of innovative technological options, as the flexibility generated by these alternative processes will not only enable the exploitation of heretofore untapped local market opportunities, but also it will confer to large biorefinery structures numerous opportunities for increased process integration as well as optimum reactivity to logistic and manufacturing challenges. In turn, all these factors will interplay in synergy to contribute in shifting the economic balance in favor of the global implementation of biotechnological ethanol.

PMID:
18349547
DOI:
10.1159/000111989
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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