, Volume 114, Issue 1-3, pp 713-721

High-productivity continuous biofilm reactor for butanol production

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Abstract

Corn steep liquor (CSL), a byproduct of the corn wet-milling process, was used in an immobilized cell continuous biofilm reactor to replace the expensive P2 medium ingredients. The use of CSL resulted in the production of 6.29 g/L of total acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) as compared with 6.86 g/L in a control experiment. These studies were performed at a dilution rate of 0.32 h−1. The productivities in the control and CSL experiment were 2.19 and 2.01 g/(L·h), respectively. Although the use of CSL resulted in a 10% decrease in productivity, it is viewed that its application would be economical compared to P2 medium. Hence, CSL may be used to replace the P2 medium. It was also demonstrated that inclusion of butyrate into the feed was beneficial to the butanol fermentation. A control experiment produced 4.77 g/L of total ABE, and the experiment with supplemented sodium butyrate produced 5.70 g/L of total ABE. The butanol concentration increased from 3.14 to 4.04 g/L. Inclusion of acetate in the feed medium of the immobilized cell biofilm reactor was not found to be beneficial for the ABE fermentation, as reported for the batch ABE fermentation.