Butanol production from lignocellulosic biomass: revisiting fermentation performance indicators with exploratory data analysis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBiotechnology for Biofuels volume 12, Article number: 167 (2019) 10.1186/s13068-019-1508-6
After just more than 100 years of history of industrial acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE) fermentation, patented by Weizmann in the UK in 1915, butanol is again today considered a promising biofuel alternative based on several advantages compared to the more established biofuels ethanol and methanol. Large-scale fermentative production of butanol, however, still suffers from high substrate cost and low product titers and selectivity. There have been great advances the last decades to tackle these problems. However, understanding the fermentation process variables and their interconnectedness with a holistic view of the current scientific state-of-the-art is lacking to a great extent. To illustrate the benefits of such a comprehensive approach, we have developed a dataset by collecting data from 175 fermentations of lignocellulosic biomass and mixed sugars to produce butanol that reported during the past three decades of scientific literature and performed an exploratory data analysis to map current trends and bottlenecks. This review presents the results of this exploratory data analysis as well as main features of fermentative butanol production from lignocellulosic biomass with a focus on performance indicators as a useful tool to guide further research and development in the field towards more profitable butanol manufacturing for biofuel applications in the future.