Microorganisms for Biorefining of Green Biomass

  • Mette Hedegaard Thomsen
  • Ayah Alassali
  • Iwona Cybulska
  • Ahmed F. Yousef
  • Jonathan Jed Brown
  • Margrethe Andersen
  • Alexander Ratkov
  • Pauli Kiel
Part of the Microbiology Monographs book series (MICROMONO, volume 26)


Traditional green crops such as grass, clover, alfalfa as well as new (halophytic) green biomass of Salicornia have great potential to be utilised in the concept of the green biorefinery, where the first step is a wet fractionation of the biomass to yield a sugar- and protein-rich juice and a lignocellulosic pulp fraction.

An array of industrially important microorganisms is needed in order to efficiently convert green biomass into useful products such as lactic acid, l-lysine and ethanol using the concept of green biorefining. The first—and vital microorganism used—is lactic acid bacteria, which has the ability to quickly acidify the easy perishable juice fraction and convert it into a storable nutrient-rich medium, e.g. l-lysine fermentation. The acidification also leads to precipitation of the “leaf” protein of the juice which allows for separation of this fraction to yield a value-added protein product. The resulting brown juice can be used as medium for l-lysine fermentation, e.g. using Corynebacterium glutamicum. The pulp fraction which is primarily lignocellulose is suggested as a good substrate for ethanol fermentation after physicochemical pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. The most important microbes, given the current state of green biorefining, have been identified in this book chapter as Lactobacillus salivarius, Corynebacterium glutamicum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


Lactic Acid Lactic Acid Bacterium Corn Stover Ethanol Fermentation Corynebacterium Glutamicum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Part of this research is sponsored by The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), with contributions from Masdar Institute, Boeing, UOP Honeywell, Etihad Airways and SAFRAN.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mette Hedegaard Thomsen
    • 1
  • Ayah Alassali
    • 1
  • Iwona Cybulska
    • 1
  • Ahmed F. Yousef
    • 2
  • Jonathan Jed Brown
    • 1
  • Margrethe Andersen
    • 3
  • Alexander Ratkov
    • 4
  • Pauli Kiel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Institute Centre for Energy (iEnergy)Masdar Institute of Science and TechnologyAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Institute Centre for Water and Environment (iWATER), Department of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringMasdar Institute of Science and TechnologyAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.Biotest ApsMiddelfartDenmark
  4. 4.Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of MicrobiologySofiaBulgaria

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