Bio-oil based biorefinery strategy for the production of succinic acid

Caixia Wang, Anders Thygesen, Yilan Liu, Qiang Li, Maohua Yang, Dan Dang, Ze Wang, Yinhua Wan, Weigang Lin, Jianmin Xing

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Background: Succinic acid is one of the key platform chemicals which can be produced via biotechnology process instead of petrochemical process. Biomass derived bio-oil have been investigated intensively as an alternative of diesel and gasoline fuels. Bio-oil could be fractionized into organic phase and aqueous phase parts. The organic phase bio-oil can be easily upgraded to transport fuel. The aqueous phase bio-oil (AP-bio-oil) is of low value. There is no report for its usage or upgrading via biological methods. In this paper, the use of AP-bio-oil for the production of succinic acid was investigated. Results: The transgenic E. coli strain could grow in modified M9 medium containing 20 v/v% AP-bio-oil with an increase in OD from 0.25 to 1.09. And 0.38 g/L succinic acid was produced. With the presence of 4 g/L glucose in the medium, succinic acid concentration increased from 1.4 to 2.4 g/L by addition of 20 v/v% AP-bio-oil. When enzymatic hydrolysate of corn stover was used as carbon source, 10.3 g/L succinic acid was produced. The obtained succinic acid concentration increased to 11.5 g/L when 12.5 v/v% AP-bio-oil was added. However, it decreased to 8 g/L when 50 v/v% AP-bio-oil was added. GC-MS analysis revealed that some low molecular carbon compounds in the AP-bio-oil were utilized by E. coli. Conclusions: The results indicate that AP-bio-oil can be used by E. coli for cell growth and succinic acid production. © 2013 Wang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)74
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Carbon
  • Escherichia coli
  • Biofuels


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