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Title: N 2 gas is an effective fertilizer for bioethanol production by Zymomonas mobilis

Abstract

A nascent cellulosic ethanol industry is struggling to become cost-competitive against corn ethanol and gasoline. Millions of dollars are spent on nitrogen supplements to make up for the low nitrogen content of the cellulosic feedstock. In this paper, we show for the first time to our knowledge that the ethanol-producing bacterium, Zymomonas mobilis, can use N 2 gas in lieu of traditional nitrogen supplements. Despite being an electron-intensive process, N 2 fixation by Z. mobilis did not divert electrons away from ethanol production, as the ethanol yield was greater than 97% of the theoretical maximum. In a defined medium, Z. mobilis produced ethanol 50% faster per cell and generated half the unwanted biomass when supplied N 2 instead of ammonium. In a cellulosic feedstock-derived medium, Z. mobilis achieved a similar cell density and a slightly higher ethanol yield when supplied N 2 instead of the industrial nitrogen supplement, corn steep liquor. Finally, we estimate that N 2-utilizing Z. mobilis could save a cellulosic ethanol production facility more than $1 million/y.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States). Dept. of Biology
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Contributing Org.:
Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1235509
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1348418; OSTI ID: 1454419
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0008131
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 112; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 09 BIOMASS FUELS; Zymomonas mobilis; nitrogenase; ethanol; cellulosic; biofuel

Citation Formats

Kremer, Timothy A., LaSarre, Breah, Posto, Amanda L., and McKinlay, James B. N2 gas is an effective fertilizer for bioethanol production by Zymomonas mobilis. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1420663112.
Kremer, Timothy A., LaSarre, Breah, Posto, Amanda L., & McKinlay, James B. N2 gas is an effective fertilizer for bioethanol production by Zymomonas mobilis. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1420663112.
Kremer, Timothy A., LaSarre, Breah, Posto, Amanda L., and McKinlay, James B. Mon . "N2 gas is an effective fertilizer for bioethanol production by Zymomonas mobilis". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1420663112.
@article{osti_1235509,
title = {N2 gas is an effective fertilizer for bioethanol production by Zymomonas mobilis},
author = {Kremer, Timothy A. and LaSarre, Breah and Posto, Amanda L. and McKinlay, James B.},
abstractNote = {A nascent cellulosic ethanol industry is struggling to become cost-competitive against corn ethanol and gasoline. Millions of dollars are spent on nitrogen supplements to make up for the low nitrogen content of the cellulosic feedstock. In this paper, we show for the first time to our knowledge that the ethanol-producing bacterium, Zymomonas mobilis, can use N2 gas in lieu of traditional nitrogen supplements. Despite being an electron-intensive process, N2 fixation by Z. mobilis did not divert electrons away from ethanol production, as the ethanol yield was greater than 97% of the theoretical maximum. In a defined medium, Z. mobilis produced ethanol 50% faster per cell and generated half the unwanted biomass when supplied N2 instead of ammonium. In a cellulosic feedstock-derived medium, Z. mobilis achieved a similar cell density and a slightly higher ethanol yield when supplied N2 instead of the industrial nitrogen supplement, corn steep liquor. Finally, we estimate that N2-utilizing Z. mobilis could save a cellulosic ethanol production facility more than $1 million/y.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1420663112},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 7,
volume = 112,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420663112

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 16 works
Citation information provided by
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