, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 709-713

Evaluation of Candida acidothermophilum in ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass

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A Saccharomyces-cerevisiae-based simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) of lignocellulosic biomass is limited to an operating temperature of about 37 °C, and even a small increase in temperature can have a deleterious effect. This points to a need for a more thermotolerant yeast. To this end, S. cerevisiae D5A and a thermotolerant yeast, Candida acidothermophilum, were tested at 37 °C, 40 °C, and 42 °C using dilute-acid-pretreated poplar as substrate. At 40 °C, C. acidothermophilum produced 80% of the theoretical ethanol yield, which was higher than the yield from S.cerevisiae D5A at either 37 °C or 40 °C. At 42 °C, C. acidothermophilum showed a slight drop in performance. On the basis of preliminary estimates, SSF with C. acidothermophilum at 40 °C can reduce cellulase costs by about 16%. Proportionately greater savings can be realized at higher temperatures if such a high-temperature SSF is feasible. This demonstrates the advantage of using thermophilic or thermotolerant yeasts.

Received: 20 February 1997 / Received revision: 24 June 1997 / Accepted: 4 July 1997