Mixed acid fermentation of pulp mill-derived hemicellulose extract

Who’s Involved?

Research Introduction

Acetic acid is a commonly used industrial chemical and is also a food product–known as vinegar! Acetic acid can be produced by allowing organic wastes to biologically decompose without air at high temperatures. If waste streams from a pulp mill can be converted into acetic acid and then the acid separated from the  rest of the waste, this will be a valuable way of reducing pulp mill wastes and generating revenue.

Research Details

Acidogenic digestion has been demonstrated to work well on other sources of mixed hemicellulose sugars. The key issues for this project are to determine the level of inhibition suffered by the anaerobic mixed culture in the presence of elevated levels of sodium and the capability of the culture to consume oligomers of the hemicellulose sugars. It is anticipated that halophillic cultures may be capable of decomposing the hemicellulose extract.

What’s New on this Project?

This is a new project. Experiments are being designed to evaluate the conversion of pulp mill-derived hemicellulose extract to mixed carboxylic acids through acidogenic digestion. The goal of the project is to assess the capability of a low cost digestion system to produce carboxylic acids of commercial value.