Inhibitory Effect of High Concentrations of Furfural on Industrial Strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae



Bioethanol made from lignocelluloses biomass resources, provides unique environmental, economic and strategic benefits, when compared to gasoline as automobile fuel. To be able to substitute gasoline by bioethanol, one should over come many obstacles, including the production of furfural and hydroxyl-methyl furfural, which are produced when cellulosic materials are treated in the presence of acids in high temperature and pressure to produce simple sugars. These inhibitory compounds have a profound negative effect on the growth of ethanol producing yeasts and their ethanol production. Saccharomyces cerevisiae Lalvin EC1118â„¢, an industrial ethanologenic strain, was used in media with high concentrations of furfural (i.e. 4, 5 and 6 g/L) to study the tolerance it shows against this compound. Results showed that both the amount of growth and ethanol production were decreased when furfural was present in the media. The amount of decrease was higher in the concentration of 6 g/L of furfural than 4 and 5 g/L.