Optimization of low-cost medium for very high gravity ethanol fermentations by Saccharomyces cerevisiae using statistical experimental designs

Bioresource Technology
Francisco B PereiraLucília Domingues


Statistical experimental designs were used to develop a medium based on corn steep liquor (CSL) and other low-cost nutrient sources for high-performance very high gravity (VHG) ethanol fermentations by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The critical nutrients were initially selected according to a Plackett-Burman design and the optimized medium composition (44.3 g/L CSL; 2.3 g/L urea; 3.8 g/L MgSO₄·7H₂O; 0.03 g/L CuSO₄·5H₂O) for maximum ethanol production by the laboratory strain CEN.PK 113-7D was obtained by response surface methodology, based on a three-level four-factor Box-Behnken design. The optimization process resulted in significantly enhanced final ethanol titre, productivity and yeast viability in batch VHG fermentations (up to 330 g/L glucose) with CEN.PK113-7D and with industrial strain PE-2, which is used for bio-ethanol production in Brazil. Strain PE-2 was able to produce 18.6±0.5% (v/v) ethanol with a corresponding productivity of 2.4±0.1g/L/h. This study provides valuable insights into cost-effective nutritional supplementation of industrial fuel ethanol VHG fermentations.


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