Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 23–24, pp 9359–9371 | Cite as

Smart fermentation engineering for butanol production: designed biomass and consolidated bioprocessing systems

  • Tao Zhao
  • Yukihiro Tashiro
  • Kenji SonomotoEmail author


There is a renewed interest in acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation from renewable substrates for the sustainable and environment-friendly production of biofuel and platform chemicals. However, the ABE fermentation is associated with several challenges due to the presence of heterogeneous components in the renewable substrates and the intrinsic characteristics of ABE fermentation process. Hence, there is a need to select optimal substrates and modify their characteristics suitable for the ABE fermentation process or microbial strain. This “designed biomass” can be used to establish the consolidated bioprocessing systems. As there are very few reports on designed biomass, the main objectives of this review are to summarize the main challenges associated with ABE fermentation from renewable substrates and to introduce feasible strategies for designing the substrates through pretreatment and hydrolysis technologies as well as through the establishment of consolidated bioprocessing systems. This review offers new insights on improving the efficiency of ABE fermentation from designed renewable substrates.


Designed biomass ABE Renewable substances Process design Consolidated bioprocessing system 


Funding information

This work was partially supported by JST SICORP Grant Number JPMJSC16E5, Japan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Division of Systems Bioengineering, Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Graduate SchoolKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Energy-rich Compounds Production by Photosynthetic Carbon Fixation Research Center, College of Life ScienceQingdao Agricultural UniversityQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Laboratory of Soil and Environmental Microbiology, Division of Systems Bioengineering, Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Graduate SchoolKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  4. 4.Laboratory of Microbial Environmental Protection, Tropical Microbiology Unit, Center for International Education and Research of Agriculture, Faculty of AgricultureKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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