Evaluation of Generic Fertiliser as an Alternative Inorganic Nitrogen Source for Ethanolic Glucose Fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Glucose ethanolic fermentation using generic fertiliser

  • THRACESY MUNAH ASSAN Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • EFFA SHAHRINA SAHARI Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • NURASHIKIN SUHAILI Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • DAYANG SALWANI AWANG ADENI Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • DEVAGI KANAKARAJU Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • MICKY VINCENT Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
Keywords: Bioethanol, ethanolic fermentation, Fertiliser Nitrogen Equivalents (FNE), generic fertiliser, Saccharomyces cerevisiae


In the studies and production of bioethanol, the preferred fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is usually cultured in liquid broth that contains yeast extract and peptone. However, the use of these laboratory and scientific grade chemicals is costly, making them impractical for mass bioethanol production. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of glucose ethanolic fermentation by S. cerevisiae using generic fertiliser formulations to provide inorganic nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and trace elements (NPK-TE). Fermentation media of different generic fertiliser strength at 0.5X, 1.0X and 2.0X Fertiliser Nitrogen Equivalents (FNE), as compared to the conventional Yeast Extract-Peptone (YEP) medium as control, was used as fermentation broth during the ethanolic fermentation of glucose. Based on the results, S. cerevisiae cultured in YEP broth produced the highest cell concentration for both wet (21.93 g/L) and dry cells (3.87 g/L), with rapid increment observed in the first 72 h of fermentation. By the end of the fermentation period, lactic acid (3.14 g/L) and acetic acid (0.96 g/L) levels were recorded to be the lowest in YEP medium while their concentration (lactic acid, 8.08 g/L) and (acetic acid, 2.67 g/L) were highest in 2.0X FNE fertiliser medium. Results indicated that the best theoretical ethanol yield (TEY) among the fertiliser media was achieved when fermentation was performed in the 0.5X FNE fertiliser medium, with a TEY of 86.18%. TEY yields were 78.68% and 51.54% in broth with 1.0X and 2.0X FNE, respectively. In general, all three fertiliser media supported ethanolic fermentation of glucose, with the 0.5X FNE fertiliser broth showing a yield that is significantly close to the conventional YEP medium, as seen in the statistical analysis. Similarities in other fermentation profiles such as acetic acid, lactic acid, and biomass production, as well as glucose utilisation, between the results from the YEP samples and samples from the fertiliser broths (at 0.5X and 1.0X FNE) have also shown that generic fertiliser has the potential to be used as an alternative medium to replace the conventional YEP to produce ethanol at a lower cost.


Azhar, S.H.M., Abdulla, R., Jambo, S.A., Marbawi, H., Gansau, J.A., Faik, A.A.M. & Rodrigues, K.F. (2017). Yeasts in sustainable bioethanol production: A review. Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports, 10: 52-61.

Bai, F.W., Anderson, W.A. & Moo-Young, M. (2008). Ethanol fermentation technologies from sugar and starch feedstocks. Biotechnology Advances, 26(1): 89-105.

Bhatt, M.K., Labanya, R. & Joshi, H.C. (2019). Influence of long-term chemical fertilizers and organic manures on soil fertility-A review. Universal Journal of Agricultural Research, 7(5): 177-188.

Crawford, D.L. & Pometto III, A.L. (1988). Acid-precipitate polymeric lignin: Production and analaysis. In Wood, W.A. and Kellog, S.T. (eds.) Methods in Enzymology. Volume 161. San Diego, CA, Academic Press. pp 35-47.

Djekrif, D.S., Gillmann, L., Bennamoun, L., Ait-Kaki, A., Labbani, K., Nouadri, T. & Meraihi, Z. (2016). Amylolytic yeasts: Producers of α-amylase and pullulanase. International Journal of Life-Sciences Scientific Research, 2(4): 339-354.

Duhan, J.S., Kumar, A. & Tanwar, S.K. (2013). Bioethanol production from starchy part of tuberous plant (potato) using Saccharomyces cerevisiae MTCC-170. African Journal of Microbiology Research, 7(46): 5253-5260.

Eardley, J. & Timson, D.J. (2020). Yeast cellular stress: Impacts on bioethanol production. Fermentation, 6(4): 109.

Englezos, V., Cocolin, L., Rantsiou, K., Ortiz-Julien, A., Bloem, A., Dequin, S. & Camarasa, C. (2018). Specific phenotypic traits of Starmerella bacillaris related to nitrogen source consumption and central carbon metabolite production during wine fermentation. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 84(16): 1-16.

Hu, G., Heitmann, J.A. & Rojas, O.J. (2008). Feedstock pretreatment strategies for producing ethanol from wood, bark, and forest residues. BioResources, 3(1): 270-294.

Hung, H.C., Adeni, D.S.A., Johnny, Q. & Vincent, M. (2018). Production of bioethanol from sago hampas via simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF). Nusantara Bioscience, 10(4): 240-245.

Ishmayana, S., Learmonth, R.P. & Kennedy, U.J. (2011). Fermentation performance of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in media with high sugar concentration. Proceedings of the 2nd International Seminar on Chemistry, 24-25 November 2011, Jatinangor. Pp. 379-385.

Jacob, F.F., Striegel, L., Rychlik, M., Hutzler, M. & Methner, F.J. (2019). Spent yeast from brewing processes: A biodiverse starting material for yeast extract production. Fermentation, 5(2): 51.

Joshi, V.K. & Kumar, V. (2017). Influence of different sugar sources, nitrogen sources and inocula on the quality characteristics of apple tea wine. Journal of the Institute of Brewing, 123(2): 268-276.

Khan, Z. & Dwivedi, A.K. (2013). Fermentation of biomass for production of ethanol: A review. Universal Journal of Environmental Research and Technology, 3(1): 1-13.

Lin, Y., Zhang, W., Li, C., Sakakibara, K., Tanaka, S. & Kong, H. (2012). Factors affecting ethanol fermentation using Saccharomyces cerevisiae BY4742. Biomass and Bioenergy, 47: 395-401.

Masarirambi, M.T., Nkomo, M., Oseni, T.O. & Wahome, P.K. (2013). Effects of cattle manure application on growth and marketable yield of traditional okra (Corchorus olitorius L.) in Swaziland. Acta Horticulturae, 1007, 339-346.

Naghshbandi, M.P., Tabatabaei, M., Aghbashlo, M., Gupta, V.K., Sulaiman, A., Karimi, K., Moghimi, H. & Maleki, M. (2019). Progress toward improving ethanol production through decreased glycerol generation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by metabolic and genetic engineering approaches. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 115: 109353.

Barahona, P.P., Martín-Gil, J., Martín-Ramos, P., Perez, A.B. & Barriga, E.J.C. (2019). Assessment of the effect of nitrogen concentration on fermentation and selection of a highly competitive Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain for efficient ethanol production. Energies, 12(13): 2614.

Reddy, L.V.A. & Reddy, O.V.S. (2006). Rapid and enhanced production of ethanol in very high gravity (VHG) sugar fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Role of finger millet (Eleusine coracana L.) flour. Process Biochemistry, 41(3): 726-729.

Saini, J.K., Saini, R. & Tewari, L. (2015). Lignocellulosic agriculture wastes as biomass feedstocks for second-generation bioethanol production: concepts and recent developments. 3 Biotech, 5(4): 337-353.

Sanchez, O.J. & Cardona, C.A. (2008). Trends in biotechnological production of fuel ethanol from different feedstocks. Bioresource Technology, 99(13): 5270-5295.

Sankh, S.N., Deshpande, P.S. & Arvindekar, A.U. (2011). Improvement of ethanol production using Saccharomyces cerevisiae by enhancement of biomass and nutrient supplementation. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 164(8): 1237–1245.

Sharma, S., Varghese, E., Arora, A., Singh, K.N., Singh, S., Nain, L. & Paul, D. (2018). Augmenting pentose utilization and ethanol production of native Saccharomyces cerevisiae LN using medium engineering and response surface methodology. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 6: 132.

Susmozas, A., Martín-Sampedro, R., Ibarra, D., Eugenio, M.E., Iglesias, R., Manzanares, P. & Moreno, A.D. (2020). Process strategies for the transition of 1G to advanced bioethanol production. Processes, 8(10): 1-45.

Tesniere, C., Delobel, P., Pradal, M. & Blondin, B. (2013). Impact of nutrient imbalance on wine alcoholic fermentations: Nitrogen excess enhances yeast cell death in lipid-limited must. The Public Library of Science One, 8(4): e61645.

Vincent, M., Hung, H.C., Baran, P.R.N., Azahari, A.S. & Adeni, D.S.A. (2018). Isolation, identification and diversity of oleaginous yeasts from Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Biodiversitas, 19(4): 1266-1272.

Vincent, M., Senawi, B.R.A., Esut, E., Nor, N.M. & Adeni, D.S.A. (2015). Sequential saccharification and simultaneous fermentation (SSSF) of sago hampas for the production of bioethanol. Sains Malaysiana, 44(6): 899-904.

Walker, G.M. & Stewart, G.G. (2016). Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the production of fermented beverages. Beverages, 2(4): 30.

Walker, G.M. & White, N.A. (2017). Introduction to fungal physiology. In Kavanagh, K. (ed.) Fungi: Biology and Applications, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 1-35.

Wong, S.H. & Vincent, M. (2019). Development of Rhodotorula mucilaginosa strain via random mutagenesis for improved lipid production. Malaysian Journal of Microbiology, 15(7): 566-576.

Zabed, H., Sahu, J.N., Suely, A., Boyce, A.N. & Faruq, G. (2017). Bioethanol production from renewable sources: Current perspectives and technological progress. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 71: 475-501.

Zhang, J., Reddy, J., Buckland, B. & Greasham, R. (2003). Toward consistent and productive complex media for industrial fermentations: Studies on yeast extract for a recombinant yeast fermentation process. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 82(6): 640-652.

How to Cite
ASSAN, T. M., SAHARI, E. S., SUHAILI, N., AWANG ADENI, D. S., DEVAGI KANAKARAJU, & VINCENT, M. (2023). Evaluation of Generic Fertiliser as an Alternative Inorganic Nitrogen Source for Ethanolic Glucose Fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Borneo Journal of Resource Science and Technology, 13(1), 32-41. https://doi.org/10.33736/bjrst.4978.2023