Fermentation (Nov 2021)

Screening of Gas Substrate and Medium Effects on 2,3-Butanediol Production with <i>C. ljungdahlii</i> and <i>C. autoethanogenum</i> Aided by Improved Autotrophic Cultivation Technique

  • Luca Ricci,
  • Valeria Agostino,
  • Debora Fino,
  • Angela Re

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 4
p. 264


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Gas fermentation by acetogens of the genus Clostridium is an attractive technology since it affords the production of biochemicals and biofuels from industrial waste gases while contributing to mitigate the carbon cycle alterations. The acetogenic model organisms C. ljungdahlii and C. autoethanogenum have already been used in large scale industrial fermentations. Among the natural products, ethanol production has already attained industrial scale. However, some acetogens are also natural producers of 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BDO), a platform chemical of relevant industrial interest. Here, we have developed a lab-scale screening campaign with the aim of enhancing 2,3-BDO production. Our study generated comparable data on growth and 2,3-BDO production of several batch gas fermentations using C. ljungdahlii and C. autoethanogenum grown on different gas substrates of primary applicative interest (CO2 · H2, CO · CO2, syngas) and on different media featuring different compositions as regards trace metals, mineral elements and vitamins. CO · CO2 fermentation was found to be preferable for the production of 2,3-BDO, and a fair comparison of the strains cultivated in comparable conditions revealed that C. ljungdahlii produced 3.43-fold higher titer of 2,3-BDO compared to C. autoethanogenum. Screening of different medium compositions revealed that mineral elements, Zinc and Iron exert a major positive influence on 2,3-BDO titer and productivity. Moreover, the CO2 influence on CO fermentation was explored by characterizing C. ljungdahlii response with respect to different gas ratios in the CO · CO2 gas mixtures. The screening strategies undertaken in this study led to the production of 2.03 ± 0.05 g/L of 2,3-BDO, which is unprecedented in serum bottle experiments.