A novel solid state fermentation coupled with gas stripping enhancing the sweet sorghum stalk conversion performance for bioethanol.

Research paper by Hong-Zhang HZ Chen, Zhi-Hua ZH Liu, Shu-Hua SH Dai

Indexed on: 10 Apr '14Published on: 10 Apr '14Published in: Biotechnology for Biofuels


Bioethanol production from biomass is becoming a hot topic internationally. Traditional static solid state fermentation (TS-SSF) for bioethanol production is similar to the traditional method of intermittent operation. The main problems of its large-scale intensive production are the low efficiency of mass and heat transfer and the high ethanol inhibition effect. In order to achieve continuous production and high conversion efficiency, gas stripping solid state fermentation (GS-SSF) for bioethanol production from sweet sorghum stalk (SSS) was systematically investigated in the present study.TS-SSF and GS-SSF were conducted and evaluated based on different SSS particle thicknesses under identical conditions. The ethanol yield reached 22.7 g/100 g dry SSS during GS-SSF, which was obviously higher than that during TS-SSF. The optimal initial gas stripping time, gas stripping temperature, fermentation time, and particle thickness of GS-SSF were 10 h, 35°C, 28 h, and 0.15 cm, respectively, and the corresponding ethanol stripping efficiency was 77.5%. The ethanol yield apparently increased by 30% with the particle thickness decreasing from 0.4 cm to 0.05 cm during GS-SSF. Meanwhile, the ethanol yield increased by 6% to 10% during GS-SSF compared with that during TS-SSF under the same particle thickness. The results revealed that gas stripping removed the ethanol inhibition effect and improved the mass and heat transfer efficiency, and hence strongly enhanced the solid state fermentation (SSF) performance of SSS. GS-SSF also eliminated the need for separate reactors and further simplified the bioethanol production process from SSS. As a result, a continuous conversion process of SSS and online separation of bioethanol were achieved by GS-SSF.SSF coupled with gas stripping meet the requirements of high yield and efficient industrial bioethanol production. It should be a novel bioconversion process for bioethanol production from SSS biomass.