Alcohol Production with the Bacterium Zymomonas,
CLYDE ENGINEERING SERVICE SANFORD NC
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At present there is plenty of petroleum, but conditions in the mid-East could change this overnight, so it would seem advisable to be prepared. Zymomonas mobilis ATCC 10988 has been found to attach readily to fibers such as cotton, Orlon and polyester. The bacteria are smaller than yeast, get in between the small fibers to present a large area to the sugar being pumped through, and react several times faster than yeast. Vigorous evolution of CO2 in a vertical fermenter prevents plug flow, so horizontal fermenters are used. In a once through operation, pumping sugar slowly through stationary fibers, it took 25 hours to get an 80 yield, but when rotating the fibers, it took only 18 minutes residence time. Operation of an inclined, rotating fermenter is described, as well as several reactor configurations for commercial operations.