Fermentative production of acetate via ethyl acetate

Current biobased acetic acid production processes are not able to compete with processes based on fossil resources.

The biobased process (vinegar production) has several drawbacks that have to be addressed to develop a highly efficient process. It has a high oxygen requirement, which results in a low productivity and high costs for oxygen transfer and cooling capacity. Another reason for the low productivity is the fact that the product acetic acid is inhibitory to the producing microorganisms. The maximum titre of the process is approximately 200 g/l, indicating that costs of water removal are also significant.

In this project we want to design a process in which acetate is produced under anaerobic conditions. In this process the product is removed during the fermentation (in situ product removal) in such a way that the removal of water from the fermentation broth is diminished.

The project starts with conceptual process design, research aiming at proof-of-principle and a financial analysis of the process. Afterwards, research focuses at proof-of-concept and actual process development.


Project partners

Akzo Nobel
Wageningen UR


January 2010