Sugar fermentation by Fusarium oxysporum to produce ethanol

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As a first step in the research on ethanol production from lignocellulose residues, sugar fermentation by Fusarium oxysporum in oxygen-limited conditions is studied in this work. As a substrate, solutions of arabinose, glucose, xylose and glucose/xylose mixtures are employed. The main kinetic and yield parameters of the process are determined according to a time-dependent model. The microorganism growth is characterized by the maximum specific growth rate and biomass productivity, the substrate consumption is studied through the specific consumption rate and biomass yield, and the product formation via the specific production rate and product yields. In conclusion, F. oxysporum can convert glucose and xylose into ethanol with product yields of 0.38 and 0.25, respectively; when using a glucose/xylose mixture as carbon source, the sugars are utilized sequentially and a maximum value of 0.28 g/g ethanol yield is determined from a 50% glucose/50% xylose mixture. Although fermentation performance by F. oxysporum is somewhat lower than that of other fermenting microorganisms, its ability for simultaneous lignocellulose-residue saccharification and fermentation is considered as a potential advantage.

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