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Bioresour Technol. 2011 Apr;102(8):5145-52. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.02.008. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

Effect of reduced sulfur compounds on the fermentation of phosphoric acid pretreated sugarcane bagasse by ethanologenic Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology & Cell Science, University of Florida, Box 110700, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


The addition of reduced sulfur compounds (thiosulfate, cysteine, sodium hydrosulfite, and sodium metabisulfite) increased growth and fermentation of dilute acid hydrolysate of sugarcane bagasse by ethanologenic Escherichia coli (strains LY180, EMFR9, and MM160). With sodium metabisulfite (0.5mM), toxicity was sufficiently reduced that slurries of pretreated biomass (10% dry weight including fiber and solubles) could be fermented by E. coli strain MM160 without solid-liquid separation or cleanup of sugars. A 6-h liquefaction step was added to improve mixing. Sodium metabisulfite also caused spectral changes at wavelengths corresponding to furfural and soluble products from lignin. Glucose and cellobiose were rapidly metabolized. Xylose utilization was improved by sodium metabisulfite but remained incomplete after 144 h. The overall ethanol yield for this liquefaction plus simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation process was 0.20 g ethanol/g bagasse dry weight, 250 L/tonne (61 gal/US ton).

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