Enhanced simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of pretreated beech wood by in situ treatment with the white rot fungus Irpex lacteus in a membrane aerated biofilm reactor

Brethauer, S., Robert Lawrence, S., & Michael Hans-Peter, S.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the combination of steam pretreatment and biological treatment with lignin degrading fungal strains in order to enable efficient bioprocessing of beech wood to ethanol. In a sequential process of steam and fungal pretreatment followed by enzymatic hydrolysis, Irpex lacteus almost doubled the glucose yield for mildly pretreated beech wood, but could not improve yields for more severely pretreated substrates. However, when simultaneous saccharification and fermentation is combined with in situ I. lacteus treatment, which is enabled by the application of a membrane aerated biofilm reactor, ethanol yields of optimally steam pretreated beech could be improved from 65 to 80%. Generally, in situ fungal treatment during bioprocessing of lignocellulose is an interesting method to harness the versatile abilities of white rot fungi.

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