Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 159-164

First online:

Ethanol production using Zymomonas mobilis immobilized on an ion exchange resin

  • Thomas A. KrugAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Engineering, Queen's University
  • , Andrew J. DaugulisAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Engineering, Queen's University

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Ten ion exchange resins as well as activated carbon and ceramic chips were examined for their ability to adsorb cells of Zymomonas mobilis. A cationic macroreticular resin was shown to be the most efficient adsorbant and was used to immobilize cells of Z. mobilis in a column bioreactor. The bioreactor was operated with a feed glucose concentration of 100 g/L at a dilution rate of 11.2 h-1 and a productivity based on void volume of 377 g ethanol/L-h was obtained with 80% substrate utilization. It was observed that the cell concentration in the bioreactor increased during continuous operation and that the form of Z. mobilis changed from single cells to filamentous forms of the bacterium. Plugging problems occurred after 200 h of operation as a result of excessive filamentous cell growth.