Comparison of mixed-acid fermentations inoculated with six different mixed cultures. Academic Article uri icon


  • The MixAlco process biologically converts biomass to carboxylate salts that may be converted to a variety of chemicals and fuels. This study examines the fermentation performance of six different mixed cultures, and how the performance was affected by the bacterial composition of each community. All six countercurrent fermentations had very similar performance, but were dissimilar in microbial community composition. The acid concentrations varied by only 12% between fermentation trains and the conversions varied only by 6%. The microbial communities were profiled using 16S rRNA tag-pyrosequencing, which revealed the presence of dynamic communities that were dominated by bacteria resembling Clostridia, but they shared few taxa in common. Yue-Clayton similarity calculations of the communities revealed that they were extremely different. The presence of different but functionally similar microbial communities in this study suggests that it is the operating parameters that determine the fermentation end-products.

published proceedings

  • Bioresour Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Forrest, A. K., Hollister, E. B., Gentry, T. J., Wilkinson, H. H., & Holtzapple, M. T.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Forrest, Andrea K||Hollister, Emily B||Gentry, Terry J||Wilkinson, Heather H||Holtzapple, Mark T

publication date

  • January 2012