Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 93, Issue 4, pp 1485–1494 | Cite as

Continuous butanol production with reduced byproducts formation from glycerol by a hyper producing mutant of Clostridium pasteurianum

  • Alok Malaviya
  • Yu-Sin Jang
  • Sang Yup Lee
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Butanol, a four-carbon primary alcohol (C4H10O), is an important industrial chemical and has a good potential to be used as a superior biofuel. Bio-based production of butanol from renewable feedstock is a promising and sustainable alternative to substitute petroleum-based fuels. Here, we report the development of a process for butanol production from glycerol, which is abundantly available as a byproduct of biodiesel production. First, a hyper butanol producing strain of Clostridium pasteurianum was isolated by chemical mutagenesis. The best mutant strain, C. pasteurianum MBEL_GLY2, was able to produce 10.8 g l−1 butanol from 80 g l−1 glycerol as compared to 7.6 g l−1 butanol produced by the parent strain. Next, the process parameters were optimized to maximize butanol production from glycerol. Under the optimized batch condition, the butanol concentration, yield, and productivity of 17.8 g l−1, 0.30 g g−1, and 0.43 g l−1 h−1 could be achieved. Finally, continuous fermentation of C. pasteurianum MBEL_GLY2 with cell recycling was carried out using glycerol as a major carbon source at several different dilution rates. The continuous fermentation was run for 710 h without strain degeneration. The acetone–butanol–ethanol productivity and the butanol productivity of 8.3 and 7.8 g l−1 h−1, respectively, could be achieved at the dilution rate of 0.9 h−1. This study reports continuous production of butanol with reduced byproducts formation from glycerol using C. pasteurianum, and thus could help design a bioprocess for the improved production of butanol.


Anaerobic fermentation Butanol Clostridium pasteurianum Glycerol Acetone–butanol–ethanol fermentation 



We thank Jung Ae Im, Seong Joon Choi, and Mun Hee Lee for their technical assistance during this study. This work was supported by the Advanced Biomass R&D Center of Korea (ABC-2010-0029799) through the Global Frontier Research Program of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST). Further supports by BioFuelChem, EEWS program of KAIST, and the World Class University program (R32-2008-000-10142-0) of the MEST are appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Metabolic and Biomolecular Engineering National Research Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (BK21 Program), BioProcess Engineering Research Center, Center for Systems and Synthetic Biotechnology, Institute for the BioCenturyKAISTDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Bioinformatics Research CenterKAISTDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.BioFuelChemDaejeonRepublic of Korea

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