Electrochemical detoxification of phenolic compounds in lignocellulosic hydrolysate for Clostridium fermentation

Kyung Min Lee, Kyoungseon Min, Okkyoung Choi, Ki Yeon Kim, Han Min Woo, Yunje Kim, Sung Ok Han, Youngsoon Um

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Lignocellulosic biomass is being preferred as a feedstock in the biorefinery, but lignocellulosic hydrolysate usually contains inhibitors against microbial fermentation. Among these inhibitors, phenolics are highly toxic to butyric acid-producing and butanol-producing Clostridium even at a low concentration. Herein, we developed an electrochemical polymerization method to detoxify phenolic compounds in lignocellulosic hydrolysate for efficient Clostridium fermentation. After the electrochemical detoxification for 10. h, 78%, 77%, 82%, and 94% of p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, vanillin, and syringaldehyde were removed, respectively. Furthermore, 71% of total phenolics in rice straw hydrolysate were removed without any sugar-loss. Whereas the cell growth and metabolite production of Clostridium tyrobutyricum and Clostridium beijerinckii were completely inhibited in un-detoxified hydrolysate, those in detoxifying rice straw hydrolysate were recovered to 70-100% of the control cultures. The electrochemical detoxification method described herein provides an efficient strategy for producing butanol and butyric acid through Clostridium fermentation with lignocellulosic hydrolysate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-234
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 1


  • Clostridium fermentation
  • Electrochemical detoxification
  • Lignocellulosic hydrolysate
  • Phenolic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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