A process for the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass is provided. The process generally includes flowing water through a pretreatment reactor containing a bed of particulate lignocellulosic biomass to produce a pressurized, high-temperature hydrolyzate exit stream, separating solubilized compounds from the hydrolyzate exit stream using an inorganic nanoporous membrane element, fractionating the retentate enriched in solubilized organic components and recycling the permeate to the pretreatment reactor. The pretreatment process provides solubilized organics in concentrated form for the subsequent conversion into bio-fuels and other chemicals.
The present invention provides isolated nucleic acid molecules which encode a mutant acetaldehyde-CoA/alcohol dehydrogenase or mutant alcohol dehydrogenase and confer enhanced tolerance to ethanol. The invention also provides related expression vectors, genetically engineered microorganisms having enhanced tolerance to ethanol, as well as methods of making and using such genetically modified microorganisms for production of biofuels based on fermentation of biomass materials
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