Promoting the co-utilisation of glucose and xylose in lignocellulosic ethanol fermentations using a data-driven feed-back controller

Pau Cabañeros Lopez, Isuru Abeykoon Udugama, Sune Tjalfe Thomsen, Christoph Bayer, Helena Junicke, Krist V. Gernaey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

25 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The diauxic growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on glucose and xylose during cellulose-to-ethanol processes extends the duration of the fermentation and reduces productivity. Despite the remarkable advances in strain engineering, the co-consumption of glucose and xylose is still limited due to catabolite repression. This work addresses this challenge by developing a closed-loop controller that is capable of maintaining the glucose concentration at a steady set-point during fed-batch fermentation. The suggested controller uses a data-driven model to measure the concentration of glucose from ‘real-time’ spectroscopic data. The concentration of glucose is then automatically controlled using a control scheme that consists of a proportional, integral, differential (PID) algorithm and a supervisory layer that manipulates the feed-rates to the reactor accounting for the changing dynamics of fermentation. The PID parameters and the supervisory layer were progressively improved throughout four fed-batch lignocellulosic-to-ethanol fermentations to attain a robust controller able of maintaining the glucose concentration at the pre-defined set-points. The results showed an increased co-consumption of glucose and xylose that resulted in volumetric productivities that are 20–33% higher than the reference batch processes. It was also observed that fermentations operated at a glucose concentration of 10 g/L were faster than those operated at 4 g/L, indicating that there is an optimal glucose concentration that maximises the overall productivity. Promoting the simultaneous consumption of glucose and xylose in S. cerevisiae is critical to increase the productivity of lignocellulosic ethanol processes, but also challenging due to the strong catabolite repression of glucose on the uptake of xylose. Operating the fermentation at low concentrations of glucose allows reducing the effects of the catabolite repression to promote the co-consumption of the two carbon sources. However, S. cerevisiae is very sensitive to changes in the glucose concentration and deviations from a set-point result in notable productivity losses. The controller structure developed and implemented in this work illustrates how combining data-driven measurements of the glucose concentration and a robust yet effective PID-based supervisory control allowed tight control of the concentration of glucose to adjust it to the metabolic requirements of the cell culture that can unlock tangible gains in productivities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number190
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Volume13
Issue number1
ISSN1754-6834
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creat iveco mmons .org/licen ses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creat iveco mmons .org/publi cdoma in/
zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Promoting the co-utilisation of glucose and xylose in lignocellulosic ethanol fermentations using a data-driven feed-back controller'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this