NUS Enterprise

Biobutanol production with high yield and productivity

Technology #13139n

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He Jianzhong
Managed By
Ms Yong Yoke Ping (
Manager (65)66011680
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending
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Tech Offer 13139N Biobutanol Production [PDF]


•  Production of biobutanol


·  Patent Pending


•  Licensing

•   Collaboration for further development of technology


•  NUS Ref: 13139N

•   Yong Yoke Ping (tel.: 65-66011680)

•   Email: or

•   Inventors: Assist. Prof He Jianzhong et. al.


•  Remarkably high butanol  production

•  High level of solvent and acid resistance

•  Applicable to various carbon sources as substrate

Technology Overview

Butanol can be used as a fuel as well as an important industrial chemical. Although ABE fermentation has been widely accepted as a biological means of butanol production, there exist various challenges.

Some challenges during the fermentation process include (a) low butanol concentration in fermentation broth (b) excess acid production during growth phase (c) degeneration of solvent producing capability due to repeated sub-culturing and (d) solvent intolerance.

The technology herein relates to a process which is able to produce high concentration of butanol (19.2 g/L) from 78 g/L glucose with a high level of solvent tolerance (~22 g/L butanol).

Additionally, the process can accept cassava flour and corn flour as substrates apart from monomeric sugars such as glucose and xylose, as shown in figures below.  

Fig. 1: Fermentive process using glucose (78 g/L) and xylose (45 g/L) as substrate.

Fig. 2: Fermentive process using un-pretreated cassava flour (110 g/L) and corn flour (110 g/L) as substrate.

The table below further illustrates the yield and productivity of butanol from this fermentive process on various substrates.


Butanol yield

Butanol productivity [g/(L.h)]

Glucose (78 g/L)

19.2 g/L; 24.6%


Xylose (45 g/L)

9.3 g/L; 20.7%


Cassava flour (110 g/L)

17.8 g/L; 23.1%


Corn flour (110 g/L)

18.0 g/L;



Technology Features

High butanol producing robust fermentive process

  • Process can be integrated with existing commercial upstream and midstream fermentive processes for butanol production
  • Promising technology with great commercial potential
  • Further process optimization and studies with lignocellulosic feedstock as substrate, in progress.