Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Yu, Fei

Committee Member

Steele, Philip

Committee Member

French, Todd

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Biological Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


As production of ethanol climbs, nonood feedstocks need to be utilized such as lignocellulosic biomass. The sugars present in bio-oil produced by fast pyrolysis can potentially be fermented by microbial organisms to produce cellulosic ethanol. This study shows the potential for microbial digestion of the aqueous fraction of bio-oil in an enrichment medium to consume glucose and produce ethanol. In addition to glucose, inhibitors such as furans and phenols are present in the bio-oil. A pure glucose enrichment medium of 20 g/L was used as a standard to compare with glucose and aqueous fraction mixtures for digestion. 30% by volume of aqueous fraction in media was the most that could be consumed and yielded 0.4 g of ethanol per g of glucose. Inhibitor removal tests by extraction, activated carbon, air stripping, and microbial means were also mildly successful. Ethanol could potentially be produced for $14 per gallon using these methods.