Reaction engineering analysis of autotrophic acetate production with Acetobacterium woodii

Martin Demler, doctoral thesis Technische Universität München, 2012

The microbial production of chemicals from  synthesis gas might represent an alternative to conventional petrochemical-based production processes. In this work, the anaerobic production of acetic acid by Acetobacterium woodii was studied under defined reaction conditions in stirred-tank bioreactors making use of a gas mixture of hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The acetate production rate of this bacterium was enhanced by more than an order of magnitude particularly at sufficiently high hydrogen gas-liquid mass transfer rates. For the first time, acetate concentrations of up to 50 g/L were achieved under autotrophic conditions within three days in a simple batch-process even at low dry cell mass concentrations of about 1 g/L. Finally, first genetically modified Acetobacterium woodii were analyzed to further increase the final acetate concentration.


  • Straub M, Demler M, Weuster-Botz D, Dürre P (2014): Selective enhancement of autotrophic actetate production with genetically modified Acetobacterium woodii. J Biotechnol 178: 67-72.
  • Demler M, Weuster-Botz D (2011): Reaction engineering analysis of hydrogenotrophic production of acetic acid by Acetobacterium woodii. Biotechnol Bioeng 108: 470-474.