Ethanol production from brown seaweed using non-conventional yeasts

Oluwatosin Obata, Joseph C. Akunna, Heike Bockhorn, Graeme M. Walker

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    Abstract

    The use of macroalgae (seaweed) as a potential source of biofuels has attracted considerable worldwide interest. Since brown algae, especially the giant kelp, grow very rapidly and contain considerable amounts of polysaccharides, coupled with low lignin content, they represent attractive candidates for bioconversion to ethanol through yeast fermentation processes. In the current study, powdered dried seaweeds (Ascophylum nodosum and Laminaria digitata) were pre-treated with dilute sulphuric acid and hydrolysed with commercially available enzymes to liberate fermentable sugars. Higher sugar concentrations were obtained from L. digitata compared with A. nodosum with glucose and rhamnose being the predominant sugars, respectively, liberated from these seaweeds. Fermentation of the resultant seaweed sugars was performed using two non-conventional yeast strains: Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis and Kluyveromyces marxianus based on their abilities to utilise a wide range of sugars. Although the yields of ethanol were quite low (at around 6 g/L), macroalgal ethanol production was slightly higher using K. marxianus compared with S. stipitis. The results obtained demonstrate the feasibility of obtaining ethanol from brown algae using relatively straightforward bioprocess technology, together with non-conventional yeasts. Conversion efficiency of these non-conventional yeasts could be maximised by operating the fermentation process based on the physiological requirements of the yeasts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)134-145
    Number of pages12
    JournalBioethanol
    Volume2
    Issue number1
    Early online date29 Jun 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016

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    Phaeophyceae
    ethanol production
    macroalgae
    yeasts
    sugars
    Kluyveromyces marxianus
    ethanol
    fermentation
    Scheffersomyces
    Scheffersomyces stipitis
    Laminaria
    rhamnose
    sulfuric acid
    biotransformation
    biofuels
    lignin
    polysaccharides
    glucose
    enzymes

    Cite this

    Obata, Oluwatosin ; Akunna, Joseph C. ; Bockhorn, Heike ; Walker, Graeme M. / Ethanol production from brown seaweed using non-conventional yeasts. In: Bioethanol. 2016 ; Vol. 2, No. 1. pp. 134-145.
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    abstract = "The use of macroalgae (seaweed) as a potential source of biofuels has attracted considerable worldwide interest. Since brown algae, especially the giant kelp, grow very rapidly and contain considerable amounts of polysaccharides, coupled with low lignin content, they represent attractive candidates for bioconversion to ethanol through yeast fermentation processes. In the current study, powdered dried seaweeds (Ascophylum nodosum and Laminaria digitata) were pre-treated with dilute sulphuric acid and hydrolysed with commercially available enzymes to liberate fermentable sugars. Higher sugar concentrations were obtained from L. digitata compared with A. nodosum with glucose and rhamnose being the predominant sugars, respectively, liberated from these seaweeds. Fermentation of the resultant seaweed sugars was performed using two non-conventional yeast strains: Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis and Kluyveromyces marxianus based on their abilities to utilise a wide range of sugars. Although the yields of ethanol were quite low (at around 6 g/L), macroalgal ethanol production was slightly higher using K. marxianus compared with S. stipitis. The results obtained demonstrate the feasibility of obtaining ethanol from brown algae using relatively straightforward bioprocess technology, together with non-conventional yeasts. Conversion efficiency of these non-conventional yeasts could be maximised by operating the fermentation process based on the physiological requirements of the yeasts.",
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    Ethanol production from brown seaweed using non-conventional yeasts. / Obata, Oluwatosin; Akunna, Joseph C.; Bockhorn, Heike; Walker, Graeme M.

    In: Bioethanol, Vol. 2, No. 1, 29.06.2016, p. 134-145.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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