|Bioconversion of Organic Residues for Rural Communities (UNU, 1979)|
|Possible applications of enzyme technology in rural areas|
It was pointed out that the objective of using mixed cultures to degrade cellulose is to accelerate the production of other products such as lactic acid or butanol, not to increase sugar yields.
The question was raised as to whether modifications could be introduced that would make more robust strains of cellulolytic organisms better suited to fermentation processes in rural communities. Although this may be possible, much more research needs to be done.
Professor Cooney was asked whether he had used a mixed culture, taking advantage of sugar-accumulating properties of Clostridium thermocellum combined with a methane-producing bacterium. This kind of methane production has been pursued successfully in Wisconsin, but the MIT work with mixed cultures has concentrated on production of more valuable products. It was noted that there are many ways in which advanced research in industrialized countries can produce results adaptable for use in rural communities.