Removal and upgrading of lignocellulosic fermentation inhibitors by in situ biocatalysis and liquid-liquid extraction

Kyle J. Tomek, Carlos Rafael Castillo Saldarriaga, Fernando Peregrino Cordoba Velasquez, Tongjun Liu, David B. Hodge, Timothy A. Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Hydroxycinnamic acids are known to inhibit microbial growth during fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysates, and the ability to diminish hydroxycinnamic acid toxicity would allow for more effective biological conversion of biomass to fuels and other value-added products. In this work, we provide a proof-of-concept of an in situ approach to remove these fermentation inhibitors through constituent expression of a phenolic acid decarboxylase combined with liquid-liquid extraction of the vinyl phenol products. As a first step, we confirmed using simulated fermentation conditions in two model organisms, Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, that the product 4-vinyl guaiacol is more inhibitory to growth than ferulic acid. Partition coefficients of ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, 4-vinyl guaiacol, and 4-ethyl phenol were measured for long-chain primary alcohols and alkanes, and tetradecane was identified as a co-solvent that can preferentially extract vinyl phenols relative to the acid parent and additionally had no effect on microbial growth rates or ethanol yields. Finally, E. coli expressing an active phenolic acid decarboxylase retained near maximum anaerobic growth rates in the presence of ferulic acid if and only if tetradecane was added to the fermentation broth. This work confirms the feasibility of donating catabolic pathways into fermentative microorganisms in order to ameliorate the effects of hydroxycinnamic acids on growth rates, and suggests a general strategy of detoxification by simultaneous biological conversion and extraction. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2015;112: 627-632.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages627-632
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Volume112
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Profile

ferulic acid
Biocatalysis
Liquid-Liquid Extraction
Fermentation
Guaiacol
Coumaric Acids
Acids
Liquids
Growth
Phenol
Escherichia coli
Biomass
Detoxification
Alkanes
Phenols
Microorganisms
Yeast
Toxicity
Ethanol
Alcohols

Keywords

  • In situ biocatalysis
  • Lignocellulose hydrolysate fermentation
  • Metabolic engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Removal and upgrading of lignocellulosic fermentation inhibitors by in situ biocatalysis and liquid-liquid extraction. / Tomek, Kyle J.; Saldarriaga, Carlos Rafael Castillo; Velasquez, Fernando Peregrino Cordoba; Liu, Tongjun; Hodge, David B.; Whitehead, Timothy A.

In: Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol. 112, No. 3, 01.03.2015, p. 627-632.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tomek, Kyle J. ; Saldarriaga, Carlos Rafael Castillo ; Velasquez, Fernando Peregrino Cordoba ; Liu, Tongjun ; Hodge, David B. ; Whitehead, Timothy A./ Removal and upgrading of lignocellulosic fermentation inhibitors by in situ biocatalysis and liquid-liquid extraction. In: Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 2015 ; Vol. 112, No. 3. pp. 627-632
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