A simple scaled down system to mimic the industrial production of first generation fuel ethanol in Brazil
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2017
Although first-generation fuel ethanol is produced in Brazil from sugarcane-based raw materials with high efficiency, there is still little knowledge about the microbiology, the biochemistry and the molecular mechanisms prevalent in the non-aseptic fermentation environment. Learning-by-doing has hitherto been the strategy to improve the process so far, with further improvements requiring breakthrough technologies. Performing experiments at an industrial scale are often expensive, complicated to set up and difficult to reproduce. Thus, developing an appropriate scaled down system for this process has become a necessity. In this paper, we present the design and demonstration of a simple and effective laboratory-scale system mimicking the industrial process used for first generation (1G) fuel ethanol production in the Brazilian sugarcane mills. We benchmarked this system via the superior phenotype of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae PE-2 strain, compared to other strains from the same species: S288c, baker's yeast, and CEN.PK113-7D. We trust that such a system can be easily implemented in different laboratories worldwide, and will allow a better understanding of the S. cerevisiae strains that can persist and dominate in this industrial, non-aseptic and peculiar environment.