Open Access Research

Bioconversion of paper sludge to biofuel by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation using a cellulase of paper sludge origin and thermotolerant Saccharomyces cerevisiae TJ14

Joni Prasetyo1, Kazuya Naruse2, Tatsuya Kato2, Chuenchit Boonchird3, Satoshi Harashima4 and Enoch Y Park12*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Biotechnology, Integrated Bioscience Section, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8017, Japan

2 Laboratory of Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8017, Japan

3 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

4 Department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan

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Biotechnology for Biofuels 2011, 4:35  doi:10.1186/1754-6834-4-35

Published: 29 September 2011



Ethanol production from paper sludge (PS) by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) is considered to be the most appropriate way to process PS, as it contains negligible lignin. In this study, SSF was conducted using a cellulase produced from PS by the hypercellulase producer, Acremonium cellulolyticus C-1 for PS saccharification, and a thermotolerant ethanol producer Saccharomyces cerevisiae TJ14 for ethanol production. Using cellulase of PS origin minimizes biofuel production costs, because the culture broth containing cellulase can be used directly.


When 50 g PS organic material (PSOM)/l was used in SSF, the ethanol yield based on PSOM was 23% (g ethanol/g PSOM) and was two times higher than that obtained by a separate hydrolysis and fermentation process. Cellulase activity throughout SSF remained at around 60% of the initial activity. When 50 to 150 g PSOM/l was used in SSF, the ethanol yield was 21% to 23% (g ethanol/g PSOM) at the 500 ml Erlenmeyer flask scale. Ethanol production and theoretical ethanol yield based on initial hexose was 40 g/l and 66.3% (g ethanol/g hexose) at 80 h, respectively, when 161 g/l of PSOM, 15 filter paper units (FPU)/g PSOM, and 20% inoculum were used for SSF, which was confirmed in the 2 l scale experiment. This indicates that PS is a good raw material for bioethanol production.


Ethanol concentration increased with increasing PSOM concentration. The ethanol yield was stable at PSOM concentrations of up to 150 g/l, but decreased at concentrations higher than 150 g/l because of mass transfer limitations. Based on a 2 l scale experiment, when 1,000 kg PS was used, 3,182 kFPU cellulase was produced from 134.7 kg PS. Produced cellulase was used for SSF with 865.3 kg PS and ethanol production was estimated to be 51.1 kg. Increasing the yeast inoculum or cellulase concentration did not significantly improve the ethanol yield or concentration.