Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits

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Bits of the Batch: Researchers use new molecular biology tools to identify inhabitants of ethanol plant bacterial communities.

Apr 13, 2020

Lactic acid bacteria cells grow and reproduce much more quickly than yeast cells do, consuming the nutrients meant for the yeast in fermentation and producing organic acids instead of ethanol at a molecule ratio of 1:1. That lost production can cost a plant more than $1 million per year, says Jim Steele, lactic solutions general manager at Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits. Steele is a co-author of a research paper that used modern methods to identify the bacteria species present in four U.S. ethanol plants over six months. Researchers found that microbiota in ethanol plants are not significantly diversified, with just 13 types of bacterial contaminants making up 90% of the total population, predominantly lactobacilli…

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