A self-aggregating strain ofSaccharomyces uvarum (U4) was used as a biocatalyst to carry out continuous ethanol fermentation in a tower fermentor equipped with a cell separator. Cell aggregates (2–3 mm) formed a stable packed bed in the fermentor, and the cell separator retained yeast cells effectively. Corn steep liquor was used as a nitrogen source for the fermentation of corn syrup and black strap molasses. An ethanol productivity of 54 g/L/h was reached using corn syrup at a dilution rate of 0.7/h, and sugar concentration in the feed was 15% (w/v). For molasses fermentation, an ethanol productivity of 22 g/L/h was obtained at a dilution rate of 0.7/h, and sugar concentration in the feed was 12.5% (w/v). Ethanol yields obtained from tower fermentation are higher than those obtained from flask fermentation (96% for corn syrup fermentation and 92% for molasses fermentation). No significant loss in fermentation activity was observed after 3 mo of operation.
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 45-46(1), pp.531-544