Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 493–498

Semi-continuous xylose-to-xylitol bioconversion by Ca-alginate entrapped yeast cells in a stirred tank reactor

  • Walter Carvalho
  • Larissa Canilha
  • Silvio S. Silva
Original Paper


Candida guilliermondii FTI 20037 cells were entrapped in Ca-alginate beads and used for xylose-to-xylitol bioconversions during five successive batches in a stirred tank reactor. Supplemented sugarcane bagasse hemicellulosic hydrolysate was used as the fermentation medium. The average volume of the Ca-alginate beads was reduced by about 30% after the 600 h taken to perform the five bioconversion cycles, thus demonstrating physical instability under the conditions prevailing in the reactor vessel. In spite of this, almost steady bioconversion rates and yields were observed along the repeated batches. In average values, a production of 51.6 g l−1, a productivity of 0.43 g l−1 h−1 and a yield of 0.71 g g−1 were attained in each batch, variation coefficients being smaller than 10%.


Sugarcane bagasse hemicellulosic hydrolysate Xylitol Ca-alginate entrapped cells Semi-continuous fermentation 

List of symbols


diameter of the Ca-alginate beads (mm)


xylitol concentration (g l−1)


xylitol productivity [QP = P/t] (g l−1)


xylose concentration (g l−1)


fermentation time (h)


volume of individual Ca-alginate beads (mm3)


volume of Ca-alginate beads in the reactor (l)


volume of fermentation medium in the reactor (l)


volume of reactor [V= V+ VM] (l)


concentration of immobilized cells in the Ca-alginate beads (g l−1)


concentration of free cells in the fermentation medium (g l−1)


concentration of cells in the reactor (g l−1)


concentration of immobilized cells in the reactor (g l−1)


percentage of immobilized cells in the reactor (%)


concentration of free cells in the reactor (g l−1)


xylose to xylitol bioconversion yield [YP/S = ΔP/ − ΔS] (g g−1)


specific rate of xylitol production (g g−1 h−1)


specific rate of xylose consumption (g g−1 h−1)


specific rate of cell growth (h−1)


specific rate of immobilized cell growth (h−1)


specific rate of free cell growth (h−1)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Carvalho
    • 1
  • Larissa Canilha
    • 1
  • Silvio S. Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de BiotecnologiaEscola de Engenharia de LorenaLorenaBrazil

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