Cellulose-rich agricultural residues are promising renewable sources for producing various value-added products such as 2nd generation biofuels. However, the efficiency of the bioconversion process is not always satisfactory due to the slow and incomplete degradation of lignocellulosic biomass. An interesting approach would be using microbial communities with high lignocellulose-degrading ability for environmentally friendly pretreatment. This study focused on characterizing the degradation performance of bacteria, fungal, and yeast strains and designing and constructing different microbial consortia for solid-state treatment of wheat bran and wheat straw. The microbial consortia, namely BFY4 and BFY5, contained different bacteria, fungal, and yeast led to high ratios of sugar accumulation ranging from 3.21 to 3.5 with degradation rates over 33%, owing to more favorable hydrolytic enzyme activities and improved reducing sugar yield during the process. After 72 h, the highest FPase (0.213 IU/gds) and xylanase (7.588 IU/gds) activities were also detected in the wheat straw pretreated by BFY4 and BFY5, respectively, while CMCase activity peaked (0.928 IU/gds) when wheat bran was used as substrate. The amount of released glucose increased during the treatment process when the two substrates were used in the same ratio. Our results indicated that substrate composition also plays an important role in the degradation capacity of mixed cultures. These findings can be instrumental in advancing the primary knowledge required to apply such bioprocesses at the pilot scale.
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- Agricultural residue
- Artificial microbial consortium
- Biological pretreatment
- Biomass degradation
- Lignocellulosic biofuel
- Lignocellulosic recalcitrance