Algae biomass is a potential raw material for the production of biofuels and other chemicals. In this study, biomass of the marine algae, Ulva lactuca, Gelidium amansii, Laminaria japonica, and Sargassum fulvellum, was treated with acid and commercially available hydrolytic enzymes. The hydrolysates contained glucose, mannose, galactose, and mannitol, among other sugars, at different ratios. The Laminaria japonica hydrolysate contained up to 30.5% mannitol and 6.98% glucose in the hydrolysate solids. Ethanogenic recombinant Escherichia coli KO11 was able to utilize both mannitol and glucose and produced 0.4 g ethanol per g of carbohydrate when cultured in L japonica hydrolysate supplemented with Luria-Bertani medium and hydrolytic enzymes. The strategy of acid hydrolysis followed by simultaneous enzyme treatment and inoculation with E. coil KO11 could be a viable strategy to produce ethanol from marine alga biomass. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.