Screening of thermophilic anaerobic bacteria for solid substrate cultivation on lignocellulosic substrates

Mari S. Chinn, Sue E. Nokes, Herbert J. Strobel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Interest in solid substrate cultivation (SSC) techniques is gaining for biochemical production from renewable resources; however, heat and mass transfer problems may limit application of this technique. The use of anaerboic thermophiles in SSC offers a unique solution to overcoming these challenges. The production potential of nine thermophilic anaerobic bacteria was examined on corn stover, sugar cane bagasse, paper pulp sludge, and wheat bran in submerged liquid cultivation (SmC) and SSC. Production of acetate, ethanol, and lactate was measured over a 10 day period, and total product concentrations were used to compare the performance of different organism-substrate combinations using the two cultivation methods. Overall microbial activity in SmC and SSC was dependent on the organism and growth substrate. Clostridium thermocellum strains JW20, LQRI, and 27405 performed significantly better in SSC when grown on sugar cane bagasse and paper pulp sludge, producing at least 70 and 170 mM of total products, respectively. Growth of C. thermocellum strains in SSC on paper pulp sludge proved to be most favorable, generating at least twice the concentration of total products produced in SmC (p-value < 0.05). Clostridium thermolacticum TC21 demonstrated growth on all substrates producing 30-80 and 60-116 mM of total product in SmC and SSC, respectively. Bacterial species with optimal growth temperatures of 70°C grew best on wheat bran in SmC, producing total product concentrations of 45-75 mM. For some of the organism-substrate combinations total end product concentrations in SSC exceeded those in SmC, indicating that SSC may be a promising alternative for microbial activity and value-added biochemical production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology


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