Journal of microbiology and biotechnology

Preparation of corncob grits as a carrier for immobilizing yeast cells for ethanol production.

PMID 23221530


In this study, DEAE-corncobs [delignified corncob grits derivatized with 2-(diethylamino)ethyl chloride hydrochloride (DEAE·HCl)] were prepared as a carrier to immobilize yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) for ethanol production. The immobilized yeast cell reactor produced ethanol under optimized DEAE·HCl derivatization and adsorption conditions between yeast cells and the DEAE-corncobs. When delignified corncob grit (3.0 g) was derivatized with 0.5M DEAE·HCl, the yeast cell suspension (OD600 = 3.0) was adsorbed at >90% of the initial cell OD600. This amount of adsorbed yeast cells was estimated to be 5.36 mg-dry cells/g-DEAE corncobs. The Qmax (the maximum cell adsorption by the carrier) of the DEAE-corncobs was estimated to be 25.1 (mg/g), based on a Languir model biosorption isotherm experiment. When we conducted a batch culture with medium recycling using the immobilized yeast cells, the yeast cells on DEAE-corncobs produced ethanol gradually, according to glucose consumption, without cells detaching from the DEAE-corncobs. We observed under electron microscopy that the yeast cells grew on the surface and in the holes of the DEAEcorncobs. In a future study, DEAE-corncobs and the immobilized yeast cell reactor system will contribute to bioethanol production from biomass hydrolysates.