Energies 2013, 6(3), 1604-1617; doi:10.3390/en6031604

Impact of Furfural on Rapid Ethanol Production Using a Membrane Bioreactor

1,2,* email, 2email and 1email
Received: 9 January 2013; in revised form: 26 February 2013 / Accepted: 1 March 2013 / Published: 11 March 2013
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: A membrane bioreactor was developed to counteract the inhibition effect of furfural in ethanol production. Furfural, a major inhibitor in lignocellulosic hydrolyzates, is a highly toxic substance which is formed from pentose sugars released during the acidic degradation of lignocellulosic materials. Continuous cultivations with complete cell retention were performed at a high dilution rate of 0.5 h−1. Furfural was added directly into the bioreactor by pulse injection or by addition into the feed medium to obtain furfural concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 21.8 g L−1. At all pulse injections of furfural, the yeast was able to convert the furfural very rapidly by in situ detoxification. When injecting 21.8 g L−1 furfural to the cultivation, the yeast converted it by a specific conversion rate of 0.35 g g−1 h−1. At high cell density, Saccharomyces cerevisiae could tolerate very high furfural levels without major changes in the ethanol production. During the continuous cultures when up to 17.0 g L−1 furfural was added to the inlet medium, the yeast successfully produced ethanol, whereas an increase of furfural to 18.6 and 20.6 g L−1 resulted in a rapidly decreasing ethanol production and accumulation of sugars in the permeate. This study show that continuous ethanol fermentations by total cell retention in a membrane bioreactor has a high furfural tolerance and can conduct rapid in situ detoxification of medium containing high furfural concentrations.
Keywords: ethanol; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; membrane bioreactor; cross-flow filtration; furfural conversion kinetics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ylitervo, P.; Franzén, C.J.; Taherzadeh, M.J. Impact of Furfural on Rapid Ethanol Production Using a Membrane Bioreactor. Energies 2013, 6, 1604-1617.

AMA Style

Ylitervo P, Franzén CJ, Taherzadeh MJ. Impact of Furfural on Rapid Ethanol Production Using a Membrane Bioreactor. Energies. 2013; 6(3):1604-1617.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ylitervo, Päivi; Franzén, Carl J.; Taherzadeh, Mohammad J. 2013. "Impact of Furfural on Rapid Ethanol Production Using a Membrane Bioreactor." Energies 6, no. 3: 1604-1617.

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