Coculture fermentation of banana agro-waste to ethanol by cellulolytic thermophilic Clostridium thermocellum CT2

  • KRY Harish
  • M Srijana
  • RD Madhusudhan
  • Reddy Gopal
Keywords: Clostridium thermocellum, coculture fermentation, banana waste, ethanol, thermophile


Banana is a major cash crop of many regions generating good amount of waste after harvest. This agro waste which is left for natural degradation is used as substrate for single step ethanol fermentation by thermophilic, cellulolytic, ethanologenic Clostridium thermocellum CT2, a new culture isolated from elephant droppings. Scanning electron microscopic pictures clearly indicate cellulolysis and close interaction of selected isolate CT2 with cellulose. The optimum conditions for cellulose fermentation were 60°C, pH 7.5, inoculums size 5% and incubation time 5 days. Ethanol produced and reducing sugars were estimated by gas chromatography. Clostridium thermosaccharolyticum HG8 and Thermoanaerobacter ethanolicus ATCC 31937 were used in coculture fermentation with CT2. Coculture fermentation of CT2 with HG8 was more efficient in terms of ethanol production, cellulose degradation and reducing sugars utilization. A maximum ethanol yield of 0.41g/g substrate used was obtained on
coculturing CT2 with HG8 on alkali treated banana waste. Coculture was active even at substrate concentrations up to 100 g/l, a maximum ethanol of 22 g/l was obtained at 100 g/l substrate concentration on coculturing CT2 with HG8. This is the first report on anaerobic single step conversion
of banana waste to ethanol by C. thermocellum.

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eISSN: 1684-5315