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Technology

The invention develops in-situ continuous separation systems which use stimuli-responsive polymers for low-molecular weight alcohol removal by using the polymers to bind alcohol in their reduced state the release the bound alcohol when the polymer is oxidized. The redox-responsive polymers contain redox-sensitive moieties (such as ferrocene) wherein the hydrophilicity of the polymer increases upon oxidation of the redox-responsive moieties. This novel method reduces the product inhibition effects that plague the production of low-molecular weight alcohol from bio-mass by fermentation process.