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Crit Rev Microbiol. 1988;15 Suppl 1:S33-67.

The acetone-butanol-ethanol fermentation.

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Department of Applied Microbiology and Food Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


Renewed interest in the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation as a route for industrial production of butanol has been evident since the oil crisis of the 1970s. The present review includes an historical recap of the traditional industrial process and culturing practices useful in maintaining viable solvent-producing cultures, and then summarizes new and exciting research on the physiology and genetics of the microorganisms as well as process design. Most of these reports relate to improvements in solvent yield and the overall process, since traditional production is not efficient under present economic conditions. Conclusions are then made on future developments necessary for the establishment of an economically viable industrial process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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