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Solar-Energy Driven Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation of Starch to Bioethanol for Fuel-Cell Applications.

ChemSusChem (2015-09-10)
Betina Tabah, Indra Neel Pulidindi, Venkateswara Rao Chitturi, Leela Mohana Reddy Arava, Aharon Gedanken
ABSTRACT

A solar reactor was designed to perform the conversion of starch to ethanol in a single step. An aqueous starch solution (5 wt %) was fed into the reactor bed charged with Baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and amylase, resulting in approximately 2.5 wt % ethanol collected daily (ca. 25 mL day(-1) ). A significant amount of ethanol (38 g) was collected over 63 days, corresponding to 84 % of the theoretical yield. The production of ethanol without additional energy input highlights the significance of this new process. The ethanol produced was also demonstrated as a potential fuel for direct ethanol fuel cells. Additionally, the secondary metabolite glycerol was fully reduced to a value-added product 1,3-propanediol, which is the first example of a fungal strain (Baker's yeast) converting glycerol in situ to 1,3-propanediol.

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