P. Senthilraja*, K. Kathiresan and K. Saravanakumar
Yeasts are well known for bioethanol production. However, marine yeasts are less known for the activity. In the present context of increasing demand for energy and biofuel, the microbial synthesis of ethanol using cellulosic waste materials has gained recent importance. The present study deals with the identification of potential marine yeasts for ethanol production. Ten species of marine yeasts were cultured for 24, 48, 72, and 96 h for bioethanol production. Of the ten species, CANDIDA ALBICANS exhibited the maximum production of ethanol (47.3±3.1 g/L) within 96 h, when glucose was used as carbon source. The ethanol production by this species was found higher when the yeast cells were immobilized in sodium alginate compared to suspension culture. This experiment was also conducted with both immobilized yeast cells and non-immobilized cells. The experiment revealed that the marine yeast C. ALBICANS is efficient in bioethanol production, when it is immobilized.
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