Why It Is A Good Idea To Make Ethyl Alcohol By Fermentation of Molasses

Posted by yashi ganguly on May 30th, 2018

Ethanol is getting a lot of attention from researchers and industrialists the world over. The reason is that it has been found to be a very good substitute for petroleum products. This green fuel will have endless supply as it can be grown in the field and processed thereafter to get that liquid which would run your car. This has made ethanol or ethyl alcohol so important today.

 Natural energy resources such as petroleum and coal are in limited supply and would eventually run out as their consumption in the last one hundred years has gone up phenomenally and is still rising. The heavy reliance on these fuels is bound to end, due to their environmental impact also because they are polluting the environment. Therefore, alternative resources such as ethanol are becoming more important. Bio-ethanol is one of the most important renewable fuels contributing to the reduction of negative environmental impacts of the fossil fuels.

Ethanol is a flammable, colorless, mildly toxic chemical compound with a distinctive odor. It is indeed present in alcoholic beverages. In common usage, it is often called alcohol. Basically, it is a fermentation production which is produced by the fermentation of molasses in the sugar industry. Molasses a sticky black viscous fluid is a byproduct of the sugar industry.  Fermenting molasses is one of the cheapest and most environmentally friendly ways to produce ethyl alcohol.

The properties of ethanol stem primarily from the presence of its hydroxyl group and the shortness of its carbon chain. Ethanol’s hydroxyl group is able to participate in hydrogen bonding, rendering it more viscous and less volatile than less polar organic compounds of similar molecular weight. Yeasts are the most commonly used microorganisms for ethanol fermentation. Anaerobic fermentation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae generates, besides ethanol, carbon dioxide, glycerol and cell biomass as the most significant byproducts. Carbon dioxide is an inevitable fermentation product, but the off-gas can be sold as a high-quality raw material.

Production of ethyl alcohol is very essential for the country like India which is looking for alternatives to reduce its oil bill. Production of ethyl alcohol is indeed possible in India in large scale by fermenting Molasses. Molasses is produced in the large amount in India. Sucrose is lost in sugarcane molasses which affect factory profit; therefore the transformation of molasses to ethanol is the possible alternative to maximize the use of molasses.

Among them, sugar-cane blackstrap molasses is a very useful raw material for that purpose, because it is cheap and plentiful in the sugar industry.  Ethanol for use in alcoholic beverages and the vast majority of ethanol for use as fuel is produced by fermentation. When certain species of yeast, most importantly, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, metabolize sugar in the absence of oxygen, they produce ethanol and carbon dioxide.    Ethanol is being used as a motor fuel additive in the USA. The United States became the world’s largest producer of ethanol way back in 2010 and it produces more than 50 billion liters of ethanol fuel today.

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yashi ganguly

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yashi ganguly
Joined: June 17th, 2017
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