, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 383-386

Ethanol production by Kluyveromyces marxianus IMB3 during growth on straw-supplemented whiskey distillery spent wash at 45 °C

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The thermotolerant, ethanol-producing yeast strain, Kluyveromyces marxianus IMB3 was grown on media consisting of straw-supplemented distillery spent wash from The Old Bushmill's Distillery Co. Ltd., Bushmills, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. Media were supplemented with cellulase activity and fermentations were carried out at 45 °C. When pulverized straw was used as substrate in this system at concentrations of 2, 4 and 6% (w/v), ethanol concentrations increased to maxima of 1.45, 2.2 and 3 g/l, respectively. Based on straw containing a maximum of 40% cellulose, these ethanol concentrations accounted for 36, 27 and 24% of the maximum theoretical yield, respectively. When the straw was pre-treated with NaOH and used in the spent wash containing system at concentrations of 2, 4 and 6% (w/v) ethanol, concentrations increased to maxima of 3, 6.2 and 10.5 g/l, respectively and these accounted for 75, 76 and 86% of the maximum theoretical yield. When these results are compared with previously published data relating to the use of straw in laboratory-based media, they suggest that whiskey distillery spent wash may provide an adequate medium for supplementation with complex carbohydrate and subsequent ethanol production in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation processes.

Received: 25 January 1997