Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (MSBiosyAgE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture; Engineering


Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Sue E. Nokes


The study presented herein investigated a potential low-energy method to separate and concentrate glucose from a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The motivation for this method was twofold: 1) to provide the fermentation microorganism an optimal glucose concentration and 2) to supply a fermentation media free of inhibitory compounds. Two sizes of porous silica particles (with 7 nm and 2.3 nm pores) were synthesized and their ability to adsorb glucose from solution confirmed. Next, the ability of two different microorganisms, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Streptococcus bovis, to utilize sugars adsorbed to the porous silica particles was investigated.

Both the 7 nm and 2.3 nm pore-size particles were capable of adsorbing glucose from solution. Fermentations with glucose provided adsorbed to nanoparticles were compared to fermentations with glucose dissolved in media. The success of the fermentation was assessed by using high performance liquid chromatography to compare the concentration of fermentation products at harvest time. Results indicated that although the fermentation with soluble glucose produced significantly more end-products, S. bovis demonstrated some ability to metabolize the glucose adsorbed to the 7 nm pore silica particles. No evidence was detected that S. cerevisiae could metabolize glucose adsorbed to silica particles of either pore size.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)