Ethanol production by Zymomonas mobilis CP4 from sugar cane chips

Z. P. Shalita, M. D. White, M. Katz, M. Zur, A. Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The fermentation of large sugar cane chips (1.0-1.5 in) to ethanol by Zymomonas mobilis CP4 (Z. mobilis) was studied in two glass fermentors operating with culture circulation for agitation (the EX-FERM type): a. A laboratory scale(2.5 liter) cylindrical vessel; b. A bench scale (8 liter) wide vessel. Z. mobilis cultures consumed 89-96% of the cane sucrose, converting it to ethanol by 90-97% of the theoretical yield in the laboratory scale fermentor and by 83-90% in the bench scale fermentor culture. Comparative Saccharomyces spp. cultures in laboratory fermentor consumed 96-98% of the cane sucrose, with ethanol conversion of only 75-79% of the theoretical yield. These preliminary results indicated that sucrose in agricultural size sugar cane chips was ethanol fermentable as compared to small size sugar cane chips or to sugar cane juice. Z. mobilis CP4 cultures converted sucrose more efficiently to ethanol than Saccharomyces spp. as shown in the laboratory scale fermentor studies. The ethanol yields in a wide bench scale fermentor cultures were slightly lower than in a laboratory fermentor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-733
Number of pages5
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1981
Externally publishedYes


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