Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 15-19

First online:

Fermentation of glycerol to 1,3-propanediol: use of cosubstrates

  • H. BieblAffiliated withGesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH
  • , S. MartenAffiliated withGesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH

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Three fermentable substances, glucose, 1,2-ethanediol and 1,2-propanediol were checked as cosubstrates for the fermentation of glycerol by Clostridium butyricum and Citrobacter freundii with the aim of achieving a complete conversion of glycerol to 1,3-propanediol. Glucose was fermented by C. butyricum mainly to acetate, CO2 and reducing equivalents in the presence of glycerol and contributed markedly to the 1,3-propanediol yield. However, because of relatively slow growth on glucose, complete conversion was not achieved. If the two glycols were used as cosubstrates for glycerol fermentation, the 1,3-propanediol yield did not increase but dimished considerably, as they were converted to more reduced products, i.e. alcohols instead of acids. From 1,2-propanediol 2-propanol was formed in addition to 1-propanol. The ratio of the propanols was dependent on the culture conditions.