Bioethanol: A New Synergy between Marine Chitinases from Bacillus haynesii and Ethanol Production by Mucor circinelloides

Vishnupriya Govindaraj, Arun Kumar Subramani, Ramya Gopalakrishnan, Se Kwon Kim, Ritu Raval, Keyur Raval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fourth generation of bioethanol production is on a lookout for non-lignocellulosic biomass waste. One such candidate is chitin, the second most abundant biopolymer on earth. However, the crystalline nature of chitin hinders its application potential for bioethanol production. This limitation can be circumvented by hydrolysing this polymer into oligomers using chitinases. We used this hypothesis and isolated a Bacillus haynesii, a marine bacterium that utilizes colloidal chitin as a substrate and produces chitin oligosaccharides. Further, we utilized Mucor circinelloides to produce bioethanol using the chitin oligosaccharides in the shake flask. We investigated the effect of inoculum age, filling volume, different substrates, and substrate concentration on bioethanol production using Mucor circinelloides from Bacillus haynesii-produced chitin oligosaccharides. Bacillus haynesii demonstrated a maximum chitinase activity of 3.08 U/mL with specific activity of 96 U/mg at the 90th h. Chitin oligosaccharides produced by Bacillus haynesii were confirmed using mass spectrometry. Bioethanol concentration was determined using dichromate oxidation assay as well as gas chromatography. The research resulted in 7.4 g/L of ethanol from 30 g/L of chitin oligosaccharides, with a maximum ethanol yield of 0.25 g of ethanol/g substrate at the 55th h with 48 h inoculum in 80 mL of fermentation medium. Results suggest that chitin oligosaccharides from Bacillus haynesii are an effective and renewable substrate for bioethanol production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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