(95d) Use Parageobacillus Thermoglucosidasius: Save the Planet

David, A., South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Johnson, G., Hexpoint Technologies
Sani, R. K., South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Water, food, and energy are the key requirements for maintaining the growing population and sustainable growth. To fulfil the growing energy demands corn and sugarcane, which are also food sources, are being used for producing alternative fuel resources example bioethanol. The increase in use of corn or sugarcane for bioethanol production, and hence the cultivable land for their production, has brought an imbalance to the food, and water resources, surfacing food vs fuel, and drought like situations. Hence, the current study was done with an objective to utilize municipal solid waste (food waste, and paper and cardboard waste) as a substitute of corn and sugarcane for ethanol production, and reduce the overall water consumed in the bioprocess. Parageobacillus thermoglucosidasius was used as the fermentative microbe in the work. P. thermoglucosidasius is a thermophilic facultative anaerobe, which can produce ethanol from a wide variety of carbon sources. Different food (bread, tortillas, rice, potato etc.), and paper wastes (newspaper, packaging cardboard, and paper towel etc.) were used as carbon sources for ethanol production. In the initial studies, the maximum ethanol concentration yield was 4.0g/L, using paper towels as the waste feedstock. A mixture of organic acids (lactate, acetate, and formate) was also obtained from the paper towel waste. Similar product mixtures were obtained from the other waste materials during fermentation. To direct the metabolic flux towards ethanol production, future studies will involve increasing the ethanol production by removing the genes for lactate and formate production. Other objectives will include using higher waste concentrations in a continuous mode. The developed bioprocess can reduce the pressure on the cultivable land to grow corn or sugarcane, decrease the overall water requirement for biofuel production, and provide a sustainable solution for managing solid waste processing and energy resources.