Volume 7, Issue 2
Published: March 1, 2013
Second generation biofuel from a fifth generation bioreactor

The second generation production process is more complex than the first, largely because the carbon required is not present in a form that is easily available to microorganisms, such as starch or sugar.

Cellulose needs to first be cleaved in an enzymatic process. This makes the overall procedure a two phase process that consists of enzymatic hydrolysis to release the sugar followed by the actual fermentation. In order to accelerate the process and save on the expenditures involved in purchasing two different plants, efforts are being made to combine these two processes. This process with simultaneous hydrolysis and fermentation is called Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF).

The art of combining these two process steps is to design a bioreactor that meets the stringent requirements regarding the thorough mixing of solids during the hydrolysis step just as ideally as it provides perfect cultivation conditions and bioprocess control during the anaerobic fermentation.

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