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Bioethanol, the green fuel


The bioethanol is one of the biofuels derived from sugary fermentation. It is a basically volatile and extremely flammable chemical compound. The formula ofethanol is "C.H3CH2OH ", not allethanol existing can be defined bio, as, in addition to the sugary fermentation of plant parts, it can be obtained from petroleum derivatives.

The bioethanol can it be considered a passenger car fuel?
Sure! Although not marketed in Italy, FIAT produces cars with flex fuel engines, capable of "going" to bioethanol.

In many countries around the world, the bioethanol it is sold in 85% blends bioethanol and 15% petrol (the abbreviation of this fuel is E85) or low content of bioethanol which sees 10% ethanol by volume (E10), these are blends that can be used in all modern cars, or in all cars that have an electronic control unit. In any case, the bioethanol it must be accompanied by a fuel with lubricating power.

How is the bioethanol?
There are two ways to synthesize the bioethanol: the fermentation of sugary solutions of a vegetable nature or with other chemical processes by reaction between ethylene and water. If we exclude the derivation from non-renewable sources (petroleum derivatives, ethylene derives from gases obtained from petroleum refining), sugar fermentation remains and therefore the product "bio“.

The production process of the bioethanol can be divided into three phases:

  1. The preparation of molasses, or sugary solutions to be fermented.
  2. The fermentation section.
  3. Distillation phase ofethanol with waste water treatment.

In other words, molasses is treated with enzymes, fermented and distilled. But when we say "molasses" what are we talking about?

The production of bioethanol it can exploit starting vegetables such as sugar cane, beets, sugary sorghum or even by-products of wine processing or sugar production. You can start from vegetable substrates rich in cellulose such as straw and wood waste, but in this case the production process is economically disadvantageous: to extract the sugars contained in the wood residues, it is necessary to proceed with a much more aggressive hydrolysis mechanism as lignin and substances phenolics contained in wood and straw waste, tend to inhibit the action of enzymes and therefore the entire fermentation.

With sugar cane, the process becomes much simpler: to make the sucrose available, simply immerse the plant components in warm water. To obtain biofuels of the latest generation, large companies are trying to make the production of more affordable bioethanol starting from wood waste of various kinds.

The bioethanol it is not the only one biofuel which can be produced through fermentation processes, indeed, with this mechanism it is possible to synthesize a wide range of biofuels, among these we mention biobutanol.


Video: Biofuel from Water Hyacinth opens a world of possibilities for Kisumu residents (October 2020).