Chaotropicity: A key factor in product tolerance of biofuel-producing microorganisms

Jonathan A. Cray, Andrew Stevenson, Philip Ball, Sandip B. Bankar, Elis C A Eleutherio, Thaddeus C. Ezeji, Rekha S. Singhal, Johan M. Thevelein, David J. Timson, John E. Hallsworth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Fermentation products can chaotropically disorder macromolecular systems and induce oxidative stress, thus inhibiting biofuel production. Recently, the chaotropic activities of ethanol, butanol and vanillin have been quantified (5.93, 37.4, 174kJkg-1m-1 respectively). Use of low temperatures and/or stabilizing (kosmotropic) substances, and other approaches, can reduce, neutralize or circumvent product-chaotropicity. However, there may be limits to the alcohol concentrations that cells can tolerate; e.g. for ethanol tolerance in the most robust Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, these are close to both the solubility limit (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-259
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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