Author(s): Rasmussen ML, Shrestha P, Khanal SK, Pometto AL rd, Hans van Leeuwen J
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Abstract Degradation of lignocellulosic biomass to sugars through a purely biological process is a key to sustainable biofuel production. Hydrolysis of the corn wet-milling co-product-corn fiber-to simple sugars by the brown rot fungus Gloeophyllum trabeum was studied in suspended-culture and solid-state fermentations. Suspended-culture experiments were not effective in producing harvestable sugars from the corn fiber. The fungus consumed sugars released by fungal extracellular enzymes. Solid-state fermentation demonstrated up to 40\% fiber degradation within 9days. Enzyme activity assays on solid-state fermentation filtrates confirmed the involvement of starch- and cellulose-degrading enzymes. To reduce fungal consumption of sugars and to accelerate enzyme activity, 2- and 3-d solid-state fermentation biomasses (fiber and fungus) were submerged in buffer and incubated at 37 degrees C without shaking. This anaerobic incubation converted up to almost 11\% of the corn fiber into harvestable reducing sugars. Sugars released by G. trabeum were fermented to a maximum yield of 3.3g ethanol/100g fiber. This is the first report, to our knowledge, of G. trabeum fermenting sugar to ethanol. The addition of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a co-culture led to more rapid fermentation to a maximum yield of 4.0g ethanol/100g fiber. The findings demonstrate the potential for this simple fungal process, requiring no pretreatment of the corn fiber, to produce more ethanol by hydrolyzing and fermenting carbohydrates in this lignocellulosic co-product. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry