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Microbial fuel cell treatment of ethanol fermentation process water

United States Patent

June 5, 2012
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
The present invention relates to a method for removing inhibitor compounds from a cellulosic biomass-to-ethanol process which includes a pretreatment step of raw cellulosic biomass material and the production of fermentation process water after production and removal of ethanol from a fermentation step, the method comprising contacting said fermentation process water with an anode of a microbial fuel cell, said anode containing microbes thereon which oxidatively degrade one or more of said inhibitor compounds while producing electrical energy or hydrogen from said oxidative degradation, and wherein said anode is in electrical communication with a cathode, and a porous material (such as a porous or cation-permeable membrane) separates said anode and cathode.
Borole; Abhijeet P. (Knoxville, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
12/ 366,713
February 6, 2009
This invention was made with government support under Contract Number DE-AC05-00OR22725 between the United States Department of Energy and UT-Battelle, LLC. The U.S. Goverment has certain rights in this invention.