Production of ethanol from cellulose (sawdust)

Bachelor thesis English OPEN
Otulugbu, Kingsley (2012)
  • Publisher: Arcada - Nylands svenska yrkeshögskola
  • Subject: jäsning | etanol | Cellulose | Fermentation | cellulosa | Ethanol
    mesheuropmc: food and beverages

The production of ethanol from food such as corn, cassava etc. is the most predominate way of producing ethanol. This has led to a shortage in food, inbalance in food chain, increased food price and indirect land use. This thesis thus explores using another feed for the production of ethanol- hence ethanol from cellulose. Sawdust was used to carry out the experiment from the production of ethanol and two methods were considered: SHF (Separate Hydrolysis and Fermentation) and SSF (Simultaneous Saccharication and Fermentation). The SHF proved more hazardous than SSF and also had waste products that are hazardous to the environment. However, it is less costly. On the other hand SSF produced more yield and the process took a longer duration compared to the SHF. The overall process was compared to previous work done on ethanol from an equal mass of corn and it was noted that more yield was experienced with corn (starch) and it was less costly. In conclusion, cellulose ethanol will only thrive well if strict bans are implemented on starch ethanol because evidently there is more yields from starch ethanol, safer and it is less expensive. However, a breakthrough in genetically engineering a microbe to directly convert cellulose to ethanol will be profitable.
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