The production of ethanol by a Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) strategy, which simultaneously combines cellulase production, lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysis and fermentation of released sugars to ethanol in one bioreactor, is a promising technology for cost reduction in the biological processing of biomass, specially using agroindustrial residues. Clostridium thermocellum
is an anaerobic, thermophilic, strictly fermentative gram positive bacterium that meets all the requirements for CBP.
Ethanol concentration obtained in the non-stirred fermentation process in flasks with raw bagasse was two times greater than that in the stirred system. The results observed using a pretreated sugarcane bagasse in non-stirred flasks regarding ethanol concentration, were slightly lower than with raw bagasse. The sparging of exogenous H2
into the medium at atmospheric pressure inside the bioreactor showed to be unfavourable to achieve higher ethanol yields.
The strain investigated is a promising candidate for thermophilic fermentative ethanol production from dried ground raw sugarcane bagasse in a CBP strategy, although the alcohol concentrations need to be further improved. In future studies, it is recommended to investigate different modes of operation of the fermentation process, including pressurized conditions, as well as to use wet raw sugarcane bagasse aiming to achieve additional improvement in ethanol production and to reduce the costs of the process.