Faculty Advisor

Clark, William M.

Faculty Advisor

DiBiasio, David

Faculty Advisor

Prusty Rao, Reeta


Ethanol fermented from biomass is a significant alternative fuel source, but the current process of fermenting corn is not sustainable. Lignocellulose has been considered an alternative biomass, yet difficulties remain in breaking down the material and fully fermenting it. One major obstacle is the presence of xylose and other pentose sugars which are not fermented by the standard microorganism used, S. cerevisiae. This project studied a modified strain of yeast and its ability to ferment xylose. It was determined that the modified yeast is capable of using xylose as long as some glucose is also present. The yeast performed optimally when greater than 50% of the substrate used was glucose. Additionally, it was found that the modified yeast grew at half the rate that the wild yeast did.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2010


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology