Production of solvents of Clostridium acetobutylicum cultures maintained at neutral pH

R. A. Holt, G. M. Stephens, J. G. Morris

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    The formation of acetone and n-butanol by Clostridium acetobutylicum NCIB 8052 (ATCC 824) was monitored in batch culture at 35°C in a glucose (2% [wt/vol]) minimal medium maintained throughout at either pH 5.0 or 7.0. At pH 5, good solvent production was obtained in the unsupplemented medium, although addition of acetate plus butyrate (10 mM each) caused solvent production to be initiated at a lower biomass concentration. At pH 7, although a purely acidogenic fermentation was maintained in the unsupplemented medium, low concentrations of acetone and n-butanol were produced when the glucose content of the medium was increased (to 4% [wt/vol]). Substantial solvent concentrations were, however, obtained at pH 7 in the 2% glucose medium supplemented with high concentrations of acetate plus butyrate (100 mM each, supplied as their potassium salts). Thus, C. acetobutylicum NCIB 8052, like C. beijerinckii VPI 13436, is able to produce solvents at neutral pH, although good yields are obtained only when adequately high concentrations of acetate and butyrate are supplied. Supplementation of the glucose minimal medium with propionate (20 mM) at pH 5 led to the production of some n-propanol as well as acetone and n-butanol; the final culture medium was virtually acid free. At pH 7, supplementation with propionate (150 mM) again led to the formation of n-propanol but also provoked production of some acetone and n-butanol, although in considerably smaller amounts than were obtained when the same basal medium had been fortified with acetate and butyrate at pH 7.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1166-1170
    Number of pages4
    JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1984


    • Fatty acids Role: BIOL (Biological study) (acetone and butanol formation by Clostridium acetobutylicum response to, pH effect on)
    • Clostridium acetobutylicum (acetone and butanol formation by, pH effect on)
    • Fermentation (acetone and butanol, by Clostridium acetobutylicum, pH effect on)
    • Solvents (formation of, by Clostridium acetobutylicum, pH in relation to)
    • solvent prodn Clostridium pH acetate butyrate
    • butanol acetate prodn Clostridium pH


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