, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 528-535

Ethanol production by Clostridium thermocellum grown on hydrothermally and organosolv-pretreated lignocellulosic materials

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Two strains of the thermophilic anaerobe Clostridium thermocellum, the wild type NCIB 10682 and its ethanol-hyperproductive mutant 647, were tested for their ability to grow on natural lignocellulosic materials (poplar wood, wheat straw) which had been pretreated by either hydrothermolysis or an organosolv process. For both materials and both strains, the dependencies of substrate accessibility on the pretreatment temperature were established in terms of cellulose hydrolysis and of product formation.

In addition to the non-pH-controlled shake flask assays, in vitro experiments with cell-free culture supernatant and in vivo cellulolyses under pH regulation in a laboratory fermenter indicated that lignocellulosics pretreated at approx. 230°C were degraded efficiently by the Clostridium strains investigated.