Bioethanol from Brewers’ Spent Grain: Pentose Fermentation
Mata, T.
Tavares, T.
Meireles, S.
Caetano, N.
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Mata T., Tavares T., Meireles S., Caetano N., 2015, Bioethanol from Brewers’ Spent Grain: Pentose Fermentation, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 43, 241-246.
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This work aims to perform a preliminary optimization of the fermentation of brewers’ spent grain (BSG) sugars to bioethanol, focusing on the pentose sugars. Firstly, it was conducted the acid pre-treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis for studying different reaction times and amounts of enzymes in order to convert cellulose and hemicelluloses into simple sugars. The greatest amount of total sugars achieved experimentally is 5.56 g/ 25 g of dry BSG, corresponding to a sugars maximum conversion of 22.24 % from a BSG sample with about 6 % cellulose and about 40 % hemicelluloses. This was obtained by sequentially adding the acids HCl and HNO3 with 1 wt% of concentration to BSG to perform the pre-treatment, simultaneously with 1.0657 g of Glucanex 100g and 2.0 mL of Ultraflo L for the hydrolysis. Secondly, it was studied the fermentation step, using both synthetic medium and BSG hydrolyzate, and the yeasts Pichia stipitis NCYC 1541 (P. stipitis) and Kluyveromyces marxianus NYCY 2791 (K. marxianus). Results show that the fermentation efficiency of all sugars in the synthetic media is higher than 80_% for both yeasts, but in the BSG hydrolyzate it is just 45.10 % for P. stipitis and 36.58 % for K. marxianus for a 72 h fermentation time at a 30 °C temperature. The theoretical ethanol yield from BSG hydrolyzates is 0.27 and 0.19 g ethanol/ g of sugars for respectively, P. stipitis and K. marxianus, but the actual ethanol yield obtained in this work is 0.0856 and 0.0308 g ethanol/ g of sugars, respectively that is three times smaller than the theoretical yield for P. stipitis and six times smaller for K. marxianus, which can be attributed to the presence of inhibitors resulting from the previous steps.
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