How Best Can We Ferment Sugar and Starch to Make Ethanol? – #365papers – 2017 – 112

#365papers for April 22, 2017

Bai, Anderson, and Moo-Young, 2008, Ethanol fermentation technologies from sugar and starch feedstocks: Biotechnology Advances, v. 26, p. 89-105.

What’s it about?

This paper compares in detail the fermentation capabilities of two different microorganisms, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) and Zymomonas mobilis (bacteria) for making ethanol from organic materials. Each have their pros and cons, thought it appears that overall Saccharomyces is the better alternative.

The authors also discuss challenges with the fermentation process, especially with obtaining a pure resultant ethanol while maintaining a healthy population of microorganisms.

Why does it matter?

If ethanol is going to be a primary liquid fuel in the future, it is necessary to maximize the efficiency of the process, including reducing waste materials.

Why did I read this?

I particularly liked, in this paper, that the authors outlined the metabolic pathway by which each organism generated ethanol and energy for its own growth. My interest in reading this is simply to learn more about the process of getting ethanol from plant materials.

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