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Control strategies for ethanol-based chain elongation processes
Group: Wageningen University, Environmental Technology
Promotors: Prof.dr.ir. C.J.N. Buisman
Copromotors: Dr.ir. D.P.B.T.B. Strik and dr. R.A. Weusthuis
Chain elongation is an open-culture fermentation process that facilitates conversion of organic residues with an additional electron donor, such as ethanol, into valuable n-caproate. Open-culture processes are catalyzed by a consortium of microorganisms which typically also bring undesired (competing) processes. Inhibition of competing processes, such as excessive ethanol oxidation (EEO), will lead to a more efficient chain elongation process. In this thesis, we show that EEO is dependent on hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis and that the overall reaction can be referred to as syntrophic ethanol oxidation. The rate of syntrophic ethanol oxidation was found to be limited (i.e. controlled) by the CO2 availability in the reactor and also at high n-caproate concentrations. Although chain elongation can effectively produce n-caproate from organic residues, ethanol and base use need to be further reduced to lower the operational costs and environmental impact.
By September we will present an overview of SENSE dissertations on this page, with links to the full texts of the dissertations.