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Ethanol from Sugarcane

By Chemical Engineering |

Ethanol is a widely used commodity chemical with several applications, including use as a solvent and as a gasoline blendstock in the fuel market. Globally, the major portion of ethanol production is based on the fermentation of sugars from crop feedstocks, such as sugarcane, corn, cellulosic material and others. World fuel ethanol production is about 85 billion liters annually, with 60% resulting from corn ethanol production in the U.S., and another 25% from sugarcane ethanol production in Brazil. In view of current environmental issues, including greenhouse gas emissions, fermentation-based ethanol is considered an alternative to fossil fuels since it originates from renewable resources. The process Ethanol from sugarcane is traditionally produced by yeast fermentation of sugarcane molasses. Commonly, raw sugar is obtained as a co-product, through crystallization of sugarcane raw juice. The major process steps in sugarcane ethanol production (Figure 1) are as follows: FIGURE 1. Traditional ethanol production process from sugarcane Milling. Sugarcane is delivered from the field to the factory, where it is weighed, cut and shredded before being conducted to the mills, where the raw cane juice is extracted. Sugarcane bagasse is obtained…
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