Recent advances in ABE fermentation: Hyper-butanol producing Clostridium beijerinckii BA101

N. Qureshi, H. P. Blaschek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is an overview of the mutant strain Clostridium beijerinckii BA101 which produces solvents (acetone-butanol-ethanol, ABE) at elevated levels. This organism expresses high levels of amylases when grown on starch. C. beijerinckii BA101 hydrolyzes starch effectively and produces solvent in the concentration range of 27-29 g l-1. C. beijerinckii BA101 has been characterized for both substrate and butanol inhibition. Supplementing the fermentation medium (MP2) with sodium acetate enhances solvent production to 33 g l-1. The results of studies utilizing commercial fermentation medium and pilot plant-scale reactors are consistent with the results using small-scale reactors. Pervaporation, a technique to recover solvents, has been applied to fed-batch reactors containing C. beijerinckii BA101, and solvent production as high as 165 g l-1 has been achieved. Immobilization of C. beijerinckii BA101 by adsorption and use in a continuous reactor resulted in reactor productivity of 15.8 g l-1 h-1. Recent economic studies employing C. beijerinckii BA101 suggested that butanol can be produced at US$0.20-0.25 lb-1 by employing batch fermentation and distillative recovery. Application of new technologies such as pervaporation, fed-batch culture, and immobilized cell reactors is expected to further reduce these prices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-291
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • ABE
  • Amylases
  • Butanol
  • Clostridium beijerinckii BA101
  • Economics
  • Glucoamylases
  • Pervaporation
  • Pilot plant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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