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Biological Production of Xylitol from Corn Husk and Switchgrass by Pichia stiptis

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, INDIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 3, Issue (3), Pages 58-64, March,18 (2013)


Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar substitute and widely used sweetener. In the present study, xylitol was produced through biological reduction pathway using yeast strain Pichia stiptis CBS 5773 by extracting xylose from agricultural residue like corn husk and switchgrass hemicelluloses as substrate. Acid treatment with sulphuric acid followed by detoxification with 2% Ca(OH) was done to reduce the inhibiting factors like acetic, furfuryl and tannic acids and phenolic compounds. A comparative study of xylitol production using corn husk, switchgrass, their mixture (corn husk and switchgrass) and pure xylose was done. Yield of xylitol after 72 h of fermentation at 32°C and pH 5.7 using corn husk, switchgrass, their mixture and pure xylose was found to be 0.62 g, 0.48 g, 0.59 g and 0.73 g respectively per g of xylose initially present. Xylose consumption efficiency was 63.4%, 52%, 60% and 73% in corn husk, switchgrass, their mixture and pure xylose hydrolysates respectively under optimal condition. Therefore production was efficient using pure xylose and corn husk in comparison to switchgrass and mixture of corn husk and switchgrass under optimal condition.


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