Applied and environmental microbiology

Efficient simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of inulin to 2,3-butanediol by thermophilic Bacillus licheniformis ATCC 14580.

PMID 25107977


2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BD) is an important starting material for the manufacture of bulk chemicals. For efficient and large-scale production of 2,3-BD through fermentation, low-cost substrates are required. One such substrate, inulin, is a polydisperse fructan found in a wide variety of plants. In this study, a levanase with high inulinase activity and high pH and temperature stability was identified in Bacillus licheniformis strain ATCC 14580. B. licheniformis strain ATCC 14580 was found to efficiently produce 2,3-BD from fructose at 50°C. Then, the levanase was used for simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) of inulin to 2,3-BD. A fed-batch SSF yielded 103.0 g/liter 2,3-BD in 30 h, with a high productivity of 3.4 g/liter · h. The results suggest that the SSF process developed with the thermophilic B. licheniformis strain used might be a promising alternative for efficient 2,3-BD production from the favorable substrate inulin.