Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol,
is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid.
best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and in
thermometers. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as
Ethanol is also known as EtOH, using the common organic chemistry
notation of representing the ethyl group (C2H5) with Et.
be used as a fuel, mainly as a biofuel alternative to gasoline.
Ethanol can be mass-produced by fermentation of sugar or by hydration of
ethylene (ethene CH2=CH2) from petroleum and other sources.
basic steps for large scale production of ethanol are: microbial (yeast)
fermentation of sugars, distillation, dehydration, and denaturing.
Currently, the most widely used purification method is a physical
absorption process using a molecular sieve.
Another method, azeotropic distillation, is achieved by adding the
hydrocarbon benzene which also denatures the ethanol (to render it
undrinkable for duty purposes). A third method involves use of calcium
oxide as a desiccant.
the ethanol production process, two valuable co-products are created:
carbon dioxide and distillers grains.
ability to make ethanol from straw- rice straw, wheat straw, oat straw,
etc is the modern day equivalent of the Holy Grail or the Philosopher’s
involves a genetically modified organism: a genetically engineered yeast
to convert glucose AND xylose into ethanol.
biological processes have rendered possible routes for producing ethanol
and methane in large volumes.
worldwide interest in the utilization of bio-ethanol as an energy source
has stimulated studies on the cost and efficiency of industrial
processes for ethanol production.
Traditionally, ethanol has been produced in batch fermentation with
yeast strains that can- not tolerate high concentration of ethanol.
Zymomonas mobilis, a gram-negative bacterium, is considered as an
alternative organism in large-scale fuel ethanol production.
Cellulose ethanol has two unique advantages over conventional ethanol.
First, the greenhouse gas emission reductions from cellulose ethanol are
three times greater than those from grain based ethanol on a life cycle
Second, cellulose ethanol is made from a plentiful and renewable
resource, the non-food portion of agriculture crops (e.g. straw, corn
stalks and corn cobs).
growth in domestic ethanol production over recent years has been
well-documented. Increases in ethanol production reflected comparable
growth in U.S. ethanol production capacity.
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