Table of Contents
ISRN Biotechnology
Volume 2013, Article ID 137835, 7 pages
Research Article

Ethanol and Volatile Fatty Acid Production from Lignocellulose by Clostridium cellulolyticum

1Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA
2Novozymes A/S, Krogshoejvej 36, 2880 Bagsvaerd, Denmark
3Plant Mycotoxin Research Unit, ARS, USDA, Albany, CA 94710, USA

Received 14 April 2012; Accepted 14 June 2012

Academic Editors: B. Castiglioni and J.-C. Sigoillot

Copyright © 2013 K. Williams et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Clostridium cellulolyticum is capable of producing glycosyl hydrolase enzymes as well as fermentation products including ethanol and acetate. In this study, the potential of using C. cellulolyticum for ethanol and volatile fatty acid production from straw and grape pomace was examined. For rice straw, the effects of alkaline pretreatment and substrate sterilization prior to fermentation on products yields were also investigated. Effects of alkaline pretreatment and necessity for subsequent washing were tested for two types of grape pomace. For rice straw, the highest ethanol yield was 0.16 g/gVS from the straw pretreated with 10% sodium hydroxide loading at 121C for 1 hour. Sterilization of the straw prior to fermentation was found to be not significant for ethanol production. Sterilization appeared to decrease native acetogen populations in the rice straw, resulting in lower acetic acid yields. The highest ethanol yield from grape pomace was of 0.09 g/gVS from the pretreated pomace. Pomace type (red or white) and washing were found to be not significant. Ethanol yields by C. cellulolyticum were lower than those from yeast in a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation system, but overall conversion of cellulose and hemicellulose was high, between 68 and 79%.