Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 781–797 | Cite as

The Biological production of ethanol from synthesis gas

  • J. L. Vega
  • S. Prieto
  • B. B. Elmore
  • E. C. Clausen
  • J. L. Gaddy
Session 4 Biological processing of fossil fuels


There has been considerable interest recently in the production of liquid fuels from coal through direct or indirect liquefaction. A culture has been isolated from animal waste that is capable of producing ethanol and acetate from carbon monoxide and from hydrogen and carbon dioxide, the major components of synthesis gas. This paper presents results of batch and continuous laboratory studies with this culture. Special efforts are directed toward maximizing the ratio of ethanol to acetate.

Index Entries

Synthesis gas carbon monoxide ethanol acetate clostridia 



dilution rate (h-1)


Henry’s law constant (atm • L/mmol)


volumetric mass transfer coefficient (h-1)


amount of component (mmol)


partial pressure (atm)


time (h)


volume (L)


cell concentration (mg/L)

Subindices or Superindicies


acetic acid


carbon monoxide










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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Vega
    • 1
  • S. Prieto
    • 1
  • B. B. Elmore
    • 1
  • E. C. Clausen
    • 1
  • J. L. Gaddy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of ArkansasFayetteville

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