Biological production of ethanol from coal synthesis gas

Medium development studies


The anaerobic bacteriaClostridium ljungdahlii produces ethanol and acetate from CO, CO2, and H2 in synthesis gas. Early studies with the bacterium showed that relatively high concentrations of ethanol could be produced by lowering the fermentation pH and eliminating yeast extract from the medium in favor of a defined medium. This article presents the results from a medium development study based on the aerobic bacteriumEscherichia coli. The results of continuous-reactor studies in a continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) with and without cell recycle are shown to demonstrate the utility of this improved medium.

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Correspondence to E. C. Clausen.

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Phillips, J.R., Klasson, K.T., Clausen, E.C. et al. Biological production of ethanol from coal synthesis gas. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 39, 559–571 (1993).

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Index Entries

  • C. ljungdahlii
  • ethanol
  • acetate
  • synthesis gas
  • carbon monoxide
  • hydrogen