ABSTRACT: The rice straw, an agricultural waste from Asians' main provision, was collected as feedstock to convert cellulose into ethanol through the enzymatic hydrolysis and followed by the fermentation process. When the two process steps are performed sequentially, it is referred to as separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF). The steps can also be performed simultaneously, i.e., simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF). In this research, the kinetic model parameters of the cellulose saccharification process step using the rice straw as feedstock is obtained from real experimental data of cellulase hydrolysis. Furthermore, this model can be combined with a fermentation model at high glucose and ethanol concentrations to form a SSF model. The fermentation model is based on cybernetic approach from a paper in the literature with an extension of including both the glucose and ethanol inhibition terms to approach more to the actual plants. Dynamic effects of the operating variables in the enzymatic hydrolysis and the fermentation models will be analyzed. The operation of the SSF process will be compared to the SHF process. It is shown that the SSF process is better in reducing the processing time when the product (ethanol) concentration is high. The means to improve the productivity of the overall SSF process, by properly using aeration during the batch operation will also be discussed.
Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering 04/2009; 33(2):195-205. · 1.81 Impact Factor