1,3-Propanediol Production Potential by a Locally Isolated Strain of Klebsiella Pneumoniae in Comparison to Clostridium Beijerinckii NRRL B593 from Waste Glycerol


The fermentative production of 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO) by Klebsiella pneumoniae under different initial substrate concentrations (between 5 and 110 g/L) was investigated. It was found that glycerol was almost 100% utilized and 1,3-PDO production increased up to 20 g/L of influent substrate concentration, but there was a significant decrease in both glycerol consumption and 1,3-PDO production at substrate concentrations exceeding 20 g/L. Furthermore, pH control was essential, and a lack of pH control negatively effects of 1,3-PDO production. In the second part of the study, two microorganisms, namely Clostridium beijerinckii NRRL B593 and K. pneumoniae were comparatively studied in terms of their 1,3-PDO productivity under pH controlled conditions. Higher 1,3-PDO production was achieved under pH controlled fermentation conditions (pH = 7) for both microorganisms. Even though the two microorganisms had almost the same 1,3-PDO yield (0.60 mol/mol for C. beijerinckii, 0.61 mol/mol for K. pneumoniae) at the end of fermentation period, K. pneumoniae completed the 1,3-PDO production in one-third of the time (t = 8 h with a productivity of 1.34 g/L/h) than C. beijerinckii (t = 24 h). The results of this study clearly indicated that a substrate inhibition is a challenge that needs to be studied further for higher productivities.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. 1.

    Kenar JA (2007) Glycerol as a platform chemical: sweet opportunities on the horizon? Lipid Technol 19:249–253

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Biebl H, Menzel K, Zeng AP, Deckwer WD (1999) Microbial production of 1, 3-propanediol. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 52:289–297

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Kurian JV (2005) A new polymer platform for the future—Sorona from corn derived 1, 3-propanediol. J Polym Environ 44:857–862

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Witt U, Muller RJ, Augusta J, Widdecke H, Deckwer WD (1994) Synthesis, properties and biodegradability of polyesters based on 1, 3-propanediol. Macromol Chem Phys 195:793–802

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Lawrence FR, Sullivan RH (1972) Process for making a dioxane. US Patent 3,687,981

  6. 6.

    Chuah H, Brown HS, Dalton PA (1995) Corterra poly (trimethylene terephthalate)—a new performance carpet fiber. Int Fiber J. http://www.technica.net/NF/NF1/eptt.htm

  7. 7.

    Hartlep M, Hussman W, Prayitno N, Meynial-Salles I, Zeng AP (2002) Study of two-stage processes for the microbial production of 1, 3-propanediol from glycerol. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 60:60–66

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Zeng AP, Biebl H (2002) Bulk chemicals from biotechnology: the case of 1, 3-propanediol production and the new trends. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol 74:239–259

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Mu Y, Teng H, Zhang DJ, Wang W, Xiu ZL (2006) Microbial production of 1, 3-propanediol by Klebsiella pneumoniae using crude glycerol from biodiesel preparation. Biotechnol Lett 28:1755–1759

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Saxena RK, Anand P, Saran S, Isar J (2009) Microbial production of 1, 3-propanediol: recent developments and emerging opportunities. Biotechnol Adv 27:895–913

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    APHA/AWWA/WPCF (1995) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 19th edn. American Public Health Association, USA

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Petitdemange E, Dürr C, Abbad Andaloussi S, Raval G (1995) Fermentation of raw glycerol to 1, 3-propanediol by new strains of Clostridium butyricum. J Ind Microbiol 15:498–502

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Chen X, Xiu Z, Wang J, Zhang D, Xu P (2003) Stoichiometric analysis and experimental investigation of glycerol bioconversion to 1, 3-propanediol by Klebsiella pneumoniae under microaerobic conditions. Enzym Microb Technol 33:386–394

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Ji XJ, Huang H, Zhu JG, Hu N, Li S (2009) Efficient 1, 3-propanediol production by fed-batch culture of Klebsiella pneumoniae: the role of pH fluctuation. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 159:605–613

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Ju SA, Chuloo M, Kang CH, Kong SW, Sang BI, Um Y (2010) Microbial fed-batch production of 1, 3-propanediol using raw glycerol with suspended and ımmobilized Klebsiella pneumoniae. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 161:491–501

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Gonzalez-Pajuelo M, Andrade JC, Vasconcelos I (2004) Production of 1, 3-propanediol by Clostridium butyricum VPI 3266 using a synthetic medium and raw glycerol. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 31:442–446

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Papanikolaou S, Ruiz-Sanchez P, Pariset B, Blanchard F, Kick M (2000) High production from industrial glycerol by a newly isolated Clostridium butyricum. J Biotechnol 77:191–208

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Biebl H (2000) Fermentation of glycerol by Clostridium pasteurianum—batch and continuous culture studies. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 27:18–26

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Cheng KK, Zhang JA, Liu DH, Sun Y, Liu HJ, Yang MD (2007) Pilot-scale production of 1, 3-propanediol using Klebsiella pneumoniae. Process Biochem 42:740–744

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Hiremath A, Kannabiran M, Rangaswamy V (2010) 1, 3-Propanediol production from crude glycerol from jatropha biodiesel process. New Biotechnol 28:19–23

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors wish to thank TUBITAK-CAYDAG under the grant no. 109Y150 and EBILTEM under the grant no. 2008BIL032. The data presented in this article were produced within the projects above; however, it is only the authors of this article who are responsible for the results and discussions made herein. We would also like to thank Prof. Guven Ozdemir for providing the GenBank no for the locally isolated K. pneumoniae.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nuri Azbar.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gungormusler, M., Gonen, C. & Azbar, N. 1,3-Propanediol Production Potential by a Locally Isolated Strain of Klebsiella Pneumoniae in Comparison to Clostridium Beijerinckii NRRL B593 from Waste Glycerol. J Polym Environ 19, 812 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10924-011-0326-0

Download citation


  • 1,3-Propanediol
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Biodiesel derived raw glycerol
  • Clostridium beijerinckii NRRL B593