Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 532852, 11 pages
Review Article

Current Trends in Bioethanol Production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Substrate, Inhibitor Reduction, Growth Variables, Coculture, and Immobilization

Department of Microbial, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Received 8 August 2014; Accepted 18 November 2014; Published 8 December 2014

Academic Editor: Maria Angeles de la Torre-Ruiz

Copyright © 2014 Asmamaw Tesfaw and Fassil Assefa. 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.


Bioethanol is one of the most commonly used biofuels in transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gases. S. cerevisiae is the most employed yeast for ethanol production at industrial level though ethanol is produced by an array of other yeasts, bacteria, and fungi. This paper reviews the current and nonmolecular trends in ethanol production using S. cerevisiae. Ethanol has been produced from wide range of substrates such as molasses, starch based substrate, sweet sorghum cane extract, lignocellulose, and other wastes. The inhibitors in lignocellulosic hydrolysates can be reduced by repeated sequential fermentation, treatment with reducing agents and activated charcoal, overliming, anion exchanger, evaporation, enzymatic treatment with peroxidase and laccase, in situ detoxification by fermenting microbes, and different extraction methods. Coculturing S. cerevisiae with other yeasts or microbes is targeted to optimize ethanol production, shorten fermentation time, and reduce process cost. Immobilization of yeast cells has been considered as potential alternative for enhancing ethanol productivity, because immobilizing yeasts reduce risk of contamination, make the separation of cell mass from the bulk liquid easy, retain stability of cell activities, minimize production costs, enable biocatalyst recycling, reduce fermentation time, and protect the cells from inhibitors. The effects of growth variables of the yeast and supplementation of external nitrogen sources on ethanol optimization are also reviewed.