Recent progress on industrial fermentative production of acetone–butanol–ethanol by Clostridium acetobutylicum in China

Mini-review

Abstract

China is one of the few countries, which maintained the fermentative acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE) production for several decades. Until the end of the last century, the ABE fermentation from grain was operated in a few industrial scale plants. Due to the strong competition from the petrochemical industries, the fermentative ABE production lost its position in the 1990s, when all the solvent fermentation plants in China were closed. Under the current circumstances of concern about energy limitations and environmental pollution, new opportunities have emerged for the traditional ABE fermentation industry since it could again be potentially competitive with chemical synthesis. From 2006, several ABE fermentation plants in China have resumed production. The total solvent (acetone, butanol, and ethanol) production capacity from ten plants reached 210,000 tons, and the total solvent production is expected to be extended to 1,000,000 tons (based on the available data as of Sept. 2008). This article reviews current work in strain development, the continuous fermentation process, solvent recovery, and economic evaluation of ABE process in China. Challenges for an economically competitive ABE process in the future are also discussed.

Keywords

Acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) Fermentation Clostridium acetobutylicum China 

References

  1. Chiao JS, Sun ZH (2007) History of the acetone–butanol–ethanol fermentation industry in China: development of continuous production technology. J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol 13:12–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chiao JS, Zheng YX, Shen YQ (1960) Studies on acetone-butanol continuous fermentation and production. Shanghai Science Proceedings,pp 1–23 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  3. Desai RP, Papoutsakis ET (1999) Antisense RNA strategies for metabolic engineering of Clostridium acetobutylicum. Appl Environ Microbiol 65:936–945Google Scholar
  4. Dürre P (2008) Fermentative butanol production: bulk chemical and biofuel. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1125:353–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dyr J, Munk V (1954) Biosynthesis of riboflavin by Clostridium acetobutylicum. Chekhoslovatskaia Biol 3:23–29Google Scholar
  6. Ezeji T, Qureshi N, Blaschek HP (2007a) Butanol production from agricultural residues: Impact of degradation products on Clostridium beijerinckii growth and butanol fermentation. Biotechnol Bioeng 97:1460–1469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ezeji TC, Qureshi N, Blaschek HP (2007b) Bioproduction of butanol from biomass: from genes to bioreactors. Curr Opin Biotechnol 18:220–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Green EM, Boynton ZL, Harris LM, Rudolph FB, Papoutsakis ET, Bennett GN (1996) Genetic manipulation of acid formation pathways by gene inactivation in Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824. Microbiology 142:2079–2086CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Harris LM, Blank L, Desai RP, Welker NE, Papoutsakis ET (2001) Fermentation characterization and flux analysis of recombinant strains of Clostridium acetobutylicum with an inactivated solR gene. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 27:322–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Heap JT, Pennington OJ, Cartman ST, Cartera GP, Minton NP (2007) The ClosTron: a universal gene knock-out system for the genus Clostridium. J Microbiol Meth 70:452–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jones DT, Woods DR (1986) Acetone–butanol fermentation revisited. Microbiol Rev 50:484–524Google Scholar
  12. Jones DT, Keis S (1995) Origins and relationships of industrial solvent-producing clostridial strains. FEMS Microbiol Rev 17:223–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Karakashev D, Thomsen AB, Angelidaki I (2007) Anaerobic biotechnological approaches for production of liquid energy carriers from biomass. Biotechnol Lett 29:1005–1012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee SY, Park JH, Jang SH, Nielsen LK, Kim J, Jung KS (2008) Fermentative butanol production by Clostridia. Biotechnol Bioeng 101:209–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. López-Contreras AM, Claassen PA, Mooibroek H, De Vos WM (2000) Utilisation of saccharides in extruded domestic organic waste by Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 for production of acetone, butanol and ethanol. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 54:162–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. López-Contreras AM, Smidt H, van der Oost J, Claassen PA, Mooibroek H, de Vos WM (2001) Clostridium beijerinckii cells expressing Neocallimastix patriciarum glycoside hydrolases show enhanced lichenan utilization and solvent production. Appl Environ Microbiol 67:5127–5133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lynd L (1989) Production of ethanol from lignocellulosic materials using thermophilic bacteria: Critical evaluation of potential and review. In: Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology, vol 38. Springer, Berlin, pp 1–52Google Scholar
  18. Lynd LR, van Zyl WH, McBride JE, Laser M (2005) Consolidated bioprocessing of cellulosic biomass: an update. Curr Opin Biotech 16:577–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu Y, Liu HJ, Zhang JA, Cheng KK, Chen ZD (2008) Research progress in new biofuel butanol. Mod Chem Ind 28:28–33 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  20. Mays T (2008) DuPont and BP disclose advanced biofuels partnership targeting multiple butanol molecules. Available via DIALOG. http://www2.dupont.com/EMEA_Media/en_GB/newsreleases_2008/article20080214.html. Accessed 14 Feb 2008
  21. Nair RV, Green EM, Watson DE, Bennett GN, Papoutsakis ET (1999) Regulation of the sol locus genes for butanol and acetone formation in Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 by a putative transcriptional repressor. J Bacteriol 181:319–330Google Scholar
  22. Nimcevic D, Gapes JR (2000) The acetone–butanol fermentation in pilot plant and pre-industrial scale. J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol 2:15–20Google Scholar
  23. Qureshi N, Saha BC, Cotta MA (2007) Butanol production from wheat straw hydrolysate using Clostridium beijerinckii. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 30:419–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shao L, Hu S, Yang Y, Gu Y, Chen J, Yang YL, Jiang WH, Yang S (2007) Targeted gene disruption by use of a group II intron (targetron) vector in Clostridium acetobutylicum. Cell Res 17:963–965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shen PZ, Ren C (2005) Demand forecast about the production and market of butyl alcohol and octyl alcohol. Chem Ind Eng Progr 24:216–220 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  26. Sun ZH (1981) The design and technology of acetone–butanol continuous fermentation. Ind microbiol 11:31–37 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Sun ZH (1987) A method of acetone-butanol production by directly fermenting starch materials with absorbed immobilized cells. Chinese patent CN 87103534Google Scholar
  28. Sun ZH, Chiao JS (2003) Microbiological engineering: acetone–butanol. Chemical Industry, Beijing, pp 148–156 in ChineseGoogle Scholar
  29. Woods DR (1995) The genetic engineering of microbial solvent production. Trends Biotechnol 13:259–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhang Y, Yang YL, Chen J, Chiao RS (1995) A Clostridium acetobutylicum strain with high butanol ratio, methods for cultivation, and its application. Chinese patent CN1143677Google Scholar
  31. Zhang YF, Chen J, Yang YL, Chiao JS (1996) The screening and application of the Clostridium acetobutylicum with high butanol ratio. Ind microbiol 26:1–6 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  32. Zverlov VV, Berezina O, Velikodvorskaya GA, Schwarz WH (2006) Bacterial acetone and butanol production by industrial fermentation in the Soviet Union: use of hydrolyzed agricultural waste for biorefinery. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 71:587–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, School of BiotechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

Personalised recommendations