Efficient bio-ethanol production from napiegrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) was investigated. A low-moisture anhydrous ammonia (LMAA)-pretreated napiegrass was subjected to simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation (SSCF), which was performed at 36°C using Escherichia coli KO11, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, cellulase, and xylanase. It was found that use of xylanase as well as the LMAA-pretreatment was effective for the SSCF. After the SSCF for 96 h, the ethanol yield reached 74% of the theoretical yield based on the glucan (397 mg g-1) and xylan (214 mg g-1) occurring in dry powdered LMAA-pretreated napiergrass.
Napiegrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) was treated with a low-moisture anhydrous ammonia (LMAA) pretreatment by adding an equal weight of water and keeping it under atmospheric ammonia gas at room temperature for four weeks. After the removal of ammonia and washing with water, a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) was conducted for the LMAA-pretreated napiergrass (1.33 g) in a buffer solution (8 mL) using a mixture of a cellulase (80 mg) and a xylanase (53 mg) as well as the cell suspension (0.16 mL) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ethanol and xylose resulted in 91.2% and 62.9% yields, respectively. The SSF process was scaled up using LMAA-pretreated napiergrass (100.0 g) to give ethanol (77.2%) and xylose (52.8%). After the removal of ethanol, the pentose fermentation of the SSF solution (40 mL), which contained 1.00 g of xylose, using cell suspension of Escherichia coli KO11 (70 mL) gave 86.3% yield of ethanol. Total ethanol yield reached 68.9% based on xylan (21.4 wt%) and glucan (39.7 wt%) of the LMAA-pretreated napiergrass.
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