Ammonium carboxylate production from sugarcane trash using long-term air-lime pretreatment followed by mixed-culture fermentation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sugarcane trash (ST) was converted to ammonium carboxylates using a novel bioprocessing strategy known as long-term air-lime pretreatment/mixed-culture fermentation. At mild conditions (50C, 5 weeks, 1-atm air, and excess lime loading of 0.4 g Ca(OH)(2)/(g dry biomass)), air-lime pretreatment of ST had moderate delignification (64.4%) with little loss in polysaccharides. Without employing detoxification, sterility, expensive nutrients, or costly enzymes, the feedstock (80% treated ST/20% chicken manure) was fermented to primarily ammonium acetate (>75%) and butyrate by a mixed culture of marine microorganisms at 55C. In the best four-stage countercurrent fermentation, the product yield was 0.36 g total acids/(g VS fed) and the substrate conversion was 64%. Model predictions indicate both high acid concentrations (>47.5 g/L) and high substrate conversions (>70%) are possible at industrial scale.

published proceedings

  • Bioresour Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Nachiappan, B., Fu, Z., & Holtzapple, M. T.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Nachiappan, Balasubramaniyan||Fu, Zhihong||Holtzapple, Mark T

publication date

  • March 2011