Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 341–347 | Cite as

Cost-Effective Production of Surfactin from Xylose-Rich Corncob Hydrolysate Using Bacillus subtilis BS-37

  • Chen Chen
  • Junzhang Lin
  • Weidong Wang
  • He Huang
  • Shuang LiEmail author
Original Paper



Corncob hydrolysate, feather hydrolysate waste (FHW) and glutamate mill waste (GMW) are inexpensive raw materials derived from agricultural waste biomass. The aim of the study was to optimize the production of surfactin from the xylose-rich corncob hydrolysate and low-cost residues rich in organic nitrogen using Bacillus subtilis BS-37.


Hydrolysis of corncob was carried out with 1.5% H2SO4, FHW or GMW was used as nitrogen source to produce surfactin. Sugar compositions of corncob hydrolysate and surfactin titer were determined by HPLC. The dry weight method was used to measure biomass in fermentation broth.


We discovered that the efficient surfactin producer B. subtilis BS-37 can use xylose as sole carbon source, but the addition of organic nitrogen sources was essential for surfactin production. Consequently, the xylose-rich corncob hydrolysate and low-cost residues rich in organic nitrogen were used to produce surfactin. Strain BS-37 was able to tolerate significant concentrations of several inhibitory compounds found in corncob hydrolysate, whereby acetic acid even enhanced surfactin production. Furthermore, NaOH-neutralized corncob hydrolysate was more suitable for surfactin production than the traditional Ca(OH)2-neutralized feedstock.


We achieved a maximal surfactin yield of 523 mg/L from NaOH-neutralized corncob hydrolysate and feather hydrolysate waste. Furthermore, the product contained 55.3% of the most desirable surfactin isoform C15. To our best knowledge, this is the first report of surfactin production with xylose as the main fermentable carbon source.


Surfactin Xylose Corncob hydrolysate Feather hydrolysate waste Glutamate mill waste 



This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (No. 21576133) and the Program for Innovative Research Team in University of Jiangsu Province. The authors wish to express their sincere gratitude to Prof. Jia Ouyang (Nanjing Forestry University) for providing the corncob hydrolysate analysis platform.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chen Chen
    • 1
  • Junzhang Lin
    • 2
  • Weidong Wang
    • 2
  • He Huang
    • 3
    • 4
  • Shuang Li
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical EngineeringNanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Oil Production Research InstituteShengli Oil Field Ltd. Co. SinoPECDongyingChina
  3. 3.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesNanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Jiangsu National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM)Nanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina

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