Fermentation of rice bran hydrolysate to ethanol using Zymomonas mobilis biofilm immobilization on DEAE-cellulose
Background The major challenges associated with the fermentation of lignocellulosic hydrolysates are the reduction in the operating cost and minimizing the complexity of the process. Zymomonas mobilis biofilm has been emerged to resolve these complexities. Biofilm has been reported to tolerate to the toxic inhibitors and easily manipulated toward the cell recycle through the cell immobilization. Results Z. mobilis ZM4 and TISTR 551 were able to develop biofilms on DEAE cellulose under the differences in the morphologies. Z. mobilis ZM4 developed homogeneous biofilm that brought DEAE fiber to be crosslinking, while Z. mobilis TISTR 551 developed heterogeneous biofilm in which crosslinking was not observed. Ethanol production under batch and repeated batch fermentation of rice bran hydrolysate containing toxic inhibitors were compared between these two biofilms. TISTR 551 biofilm produced the maximum yield (Y P/S) of 0.43 ± 0.09 g ethanol/g glucose (83.89% theoretical yield). However the repeated batch could not be proceeded due to the bacterial detachment. Z. mobilis ZM4 biofilm produced the maximum yield (Y P/S) of 0.177 ± 0.05 g ethanol/g glucose (34.74% theoretical yield) in the batch culture and the biofilm remained intact to proceed along the repeated batch. The highest ethanol yield (Y P/S) in the repeated batch of Z. mobilis ZM4 was 0.354 ± 0.07 g ethanol/g glucose (69.51% theoretical yield). Conclusions Homogeneous biofilm structure of Z. mobilis provided more recycle beneficial over the heterogeneous biofilm structure for the ethanol production from lignocellulosic hydrolysate.