Continuous production of 1,3-propanediol using raw glycerol with immobilized Clostridium beijerinckii NRRL B-593 in comparison to suspended culture


The continuous production of 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO) was investigated with Clostridium beijerinckii NRRL B-593 using raw glycerol without purification obtained from a biodiesel production process. Ceramic rings and pumice stones were used for cell immobilization in a packed-bed bioreactor. For comparison purpose, a control bioreactor with suspended culture was also run. The effect of hydraulic retention time (HRT) on the production of 1,3-PDO in both immobilized and suspended bioreactors were also investigated. The study revealed that HRT is an important factor for both immobilized and suspended systems and a HRT of 2 h is the best one in terms of volumetric production rate (g 1,3-PDO/L/h). Furthermore, cell immobilization had also obvious benefits especially for the robustness and the reliability of the production. The results indicated that cell immobilization achieved a 2.5-fold higher productivity in comparison to suspended cell system. Based on our results, continuous production of 1,3-PDO with immobilized cells is an efficient method, and raw glycerol can be utilized without any pretreatment.

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The authors wish to thank TUBITAK-CAYDAG under the grant No 109Y150 and Ege University under the grant No 09MUH007 for the financial support of this study. The data presented in this article was produced within the projects above, however, it is only the authors of this article who are responsible for the results and discussions made herein.

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Correspondence to Nuri Azbar.

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Gungormusler, M., Gonen, C. & Azbar, N. Continuous production of 1,3-propanediol using raw glycerol with immobilized Clostridium beijerinckii NRRL B-593 in comparison to suspended culture. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 34, 727–733 (2011).

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  • Immobilization
  • 1,3-Propanediol
  • Pumice stones
  • Ceramic rings
  • C. beijerinckii