Current Microbiology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 87–90 | Cite as

Effects of furfural on ethanol fermentation bySaccharomyces cerevisiae: Mathematical models

  • Antonio R. Navarro


Different inocula with high yeast concentration were investigated as a means of overcoming the inhibitory effect of furfural in ethanol fermentation. In order to verify the toxicity of the furfural, a series of fermentation runs were made with 0.25, 5.50, and 9.00 g/L (dry weight) ofSaccharomyces cerevisiae inoculum and 1, 3, and 5 g/L of furfural. The extent of cell death occurring in the early phase of fermentation was dependent on the initial cell concentration. With high initial yeast concentration, the effect of furfural is canceled, because it is depleted at an early stage of fermentation. The ethanol weight yield averaged 0.45 on the basis of sugar consumed. The ethanol productivity and specific growth rate decreased with the increase of furfural concentration, and the inhibitory effect almost disappeared with high cell concentration (9 g/L). Mathematical models were developed that relate productivity and growth rate with furfural and cell concentration.


Fermentation Specific Growth Cell Concentration Ethanol Productivity Specific Growth Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio R. Navarro
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of MicrobiologyNational University of TucumanTucumanArgentina

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