A Microbial Perspective on Ethanolic Lignocellulose Fermentation
Book chapter, 2011
Bioethanol is an alternative to fossil transportation fuel. It is produced from sugar- and starch-containing crops but current efforts have turned to ethanol from agricultural and forestry waste. These materials are not expected to compete with food and feed production and net emission of carbon dioxide is lower. Several ethanol-producing microorganisms have been assessed at laboratory scale, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, eukaryotes such as yeasts and filamentous fungi, but few have so far been used at industrial scale. In this article, the advantages and disadvantages of the different microorganisms including co-cultures are discussed with respect to ethanol production from lignocellulose raw materials. The complexity of lignocellulose materials may require development of different microorganisms for different applications, so that 'tailor-made' strains for different lignocellulose raw materials may be more efficient than one 'super-microorganism' for any raw material.