World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 27, Issue 11, pp 2521–2528 | Cite as

Bioethanol production in batch mode by a native strain of Zymomonas mobilis

  • Laura Pinilla
  • Rodrigo Torres
  • Claudia OrtizEmail author
Original Paper


Two wild strains of Zymomonas mobilis were isolated (named as ML1 and ML2) from sugar cane molasses obtained from different farms of Santander, Colombia. Initially, selection of the best ethanol-producer strains was carried out using ethanol production parameters obtained with a commercial strain Z. mobilis DSM 3580. Three isolated strains were cultivated in a culture medium containing yeast extract, peptone, glucose and salts, at pH 6 and 32°C with stirring rate of 65 rpm during 62 h. The best results of ethanol production were obtained with the native strain ML1, reaching a maximum ethanol concentration of 79.78 g l−1. ML1 and ML2 strains were identified as Z. mobilis, according to the morphology, biochemical tests and molecular characterization by PCR of specific DNA sequences from Z. mobilis. Subsequently, the effect of different nitrogen sources on production of ethanol was evaluated. The best results were obtained using urea at a 0.73 g/l. In this case, maximum concentration of ethanol was 83.81 g l−1, with kinetic parameters of yield of ethanol on biomass (YP/X) = 69.01(g g−1), maximum volumetric productivity of ethanol (Qpmax) = 2.28 (g l−1 h−1), specific productivity of ethanol (qP) = 3.54 (h−1) and specific growth rate (μ) = 0.12 h−1. Finally, we studied the effect of different culture conditions (pH, temperature, stirring, C/N ratio) with a Placket-Burman′s experimental design. This optimization indicated that the most significant variables were temperature and stirring. In the best culture conditions a significant increase in all variables of response was achieved, reaching a maximum ethanol concentration of 93.55 g l−1.


Bioethanol Zymomonas mobilis Biofuels Batch fermentation 



We would like to thank Swarn Arya from Cornell University for helpful discussions and suggestions on this paper. The support of Laboratory of Chromatography-UIS is also gratefully recognized. This work was supported by VIE-UIS (Research Program).

Supplementary material

11274_2011_721_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BiologyUniversidad Industrial de SantanderBucaramanga, SantanderColombia
  2. 2.School of ChemistryUniversidad Industrial de SantanderBucaramanga, SantanderColombia
  3. 3.School of Bacteriology and Clinical LaboratoryUniversidad Industrial de SantanderBucaramanga, SantanderColombia

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