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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Bioethanol and lipid production from the enzymatic hydrolysate of wheat straw after furfural extraction

Brandenburg, Jule; Poppele, Ieva; Blomqvist, Johanna; Puke, Maris; Pickova, Jana; Sandgren, Mats; Rapoport, Alexander; Vedernikovs, Nikolajs; Passoth, Volkmar


This study investigates biofuel production from wheat straw hydrolysate, from which furfural was extracted using a patented method developed at the Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry. The solid remainder after furfural extraction, corresponding to 67.6% of the wheat straw dry matter, contained 69.9% cellulose of which 4% was decomposed during the furfural extraction and 26.3% lignin. Enzymatic hydrolysis released 44% of the glucose monomers in the cellulose. The resulting hydrolysate contained mainly glucose and very little amount of acetic acid. Xylose was not detectable. Consequently, the undiluted hydrolysate did not inhibit growth of yeast strains belonging to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lipomyces starkeyi, and Rhodotorula babjevae. In the fermentations, average final ethanol concentrations of 23.85 g/l were obtained, corresponding to a yield of 0.53 g ethanol per g released glucose. L. starkeyi generated lipids with a rate of 0.08 g/h and a yield of 0.09 g per g consumed glucose. R. babjevae produced lipids with a rate of 0.18 g/h and a yield of 0.17 per g consumed glucose. In both yeasts, desaturation increased during cultivation. Remarkably, the R. babjevae strain used in this study produced considerable amounts of heptadecenoic, alpha,- and gamma-linolenic acid.


Wheat straw; Lignocellulose; Furfural production; Ethanol; Biodiesel

Published in

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
2018, Volume: 102, number: 14, pages: 6269-6277
Publisher: SPRINGER