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Revista Colombiana de Biotecnología

Print version ISSN 0123-3475


JIMENEZ, Martha V.; ZARKOVIC, Gabriella G.; VILLENA, Gretty K.  and  GUTIERREZ-CORREA, Marcel. Effect of pellet diameter and cell density on ethanol production with alginate immobilized yeast. Rev. colomb. biotecnol [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.1, pp.08-15. ISSN 0123-3475.

Immobilized cells have a potential use in biofuel production. They also allow re-using biomass, using diverse reactor configurations and culture systems, handling high cell densities to obtain high volumetric productivities and to simplify the downstream processing. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the influence of bead diameter and cell density on ethanol production using immobilized Saccharomyces uvarum in 2% (w/v) alginate. For that, three bead diameters (2, 2.5 and 3 mm) were evaluated. Immobilized cells were cultured on a 12% (w/v) glucose medium in column bioreactors without agitation at 28 °C for four 48 h-repeated batches. For each batch, both glucose consumption and ethanol produced were measured. Maximum yields for 2, 2.5 and 3 mm bead diameters were 81, 83 and 97% of theoretical yield. Maximum volumetric productivity of ethanol was 1.2 g/L-1/h-1 with 99.8% glucose consumption at the end of the batch, corresponding to the 3 mm bead diameter and the ethanol production per bead was 0.017 g. Accumulated ethanol production for each system was 178, 189 and 200 g/L-1 for 2, 2.5 y 3 mm bead diameter, respectively, being this directly related to bead diameter and inversely related to cell density. Ethanol yields were higher than those reported for the same species.

Keywords : Immobilization; alginate; Saccharomyces uvarum; ethanol; repeated batch.

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