Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 131–144 | Cite as

Ethanolic fermentation of pentoses in lignocellulose hydrolysates

  • Bärbel Hahn-HäGerdal
  • Torbjörn Lindén
  • Thomas Senac
  • Kerstin Skoog
Session 2 Applied Biological Research I


In the fermentation of lignocellulose hydrolysates to ethanol, two major problems are encountered: the fermentation of the pentose sugar xylose, and the presence of microbial inhibitors. Xylose can be directly fermented with yeasts, such as Pachysolen tannophilus, Candida shehatae, and Pichia stipis, or by isomerization of xylose to xylulose with the enzyme glucose (xylose) isomerase (XI; EC, and subsequent fermentation with bakers’ yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The direct fermentation requires low, carefully controlled oxygenation, as well as the removal of inhibitors. Also, the xylose-fermenting yeasts have a limited ethanol tolerance. The combined isomerization and fermentation with XI and S. cerevisiae gives yields and productivities comparable to those obtained in hexose fermentations without oxygenation and removal of inhibitors. However, the enzyme is not very stable in a lignocellulose hydrolysate, and S. cerevisiae has a poorly developed pentose phosphate shunt. Different strategies involving strain adaptation, and protein and genetic engineering adopted to overcome these different obstacles, are discussed.

Index Entries

Lignocellulose hydrolysate fermentation ethanol yeast xylose isomerase 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bärbel Hahn-HäGerdal
    • 1
  • Torbjörn Lindén
    • 1
  • Thomas Senac
    • 1
  • Kerstin Skoog
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied MicrobiologyLund University Chemical CenterSweden

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