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Bioethanol Production and It’s Prospect to be

Developed in Indonesia

Prayoga Suryadarma, Ph.D

Department of Agroindustrial Technology

• Why we need alternative fuels?
• What are the main candidates for biofuels?
• What is bioethanol?
• What are the production schemes for bioethanol?
• How does bioethanol become a good solution?
– economic issues

– environmental issues

• Problems and suggested solutions


Why we need alternative fuels?

• Continuous depletion of limited

fossil fuel stock (Global issue).

• Ensure protection and

betterment of the environment
(Global issue).

• National security- to be
dependent on foreign nations
for energy (National issue?)

Who are the main candidates for biofuels?

• Bioethanol

• Biodiesel


What is bioethanol?

• Ethanol derived from

agricultural sources, as
distinct from
petrochemical sources,
is referred to as

Production schemes for bioethanol

Bioethanol is mainly produced in three ways.

1. Sugar Ethanol
2. Starch Sugar Ethanol
3. Cellulose and hemicellulose Ethanol


Direct conversion of sugar to ethanol

• This is usually done using molasses.

• Molasses is a thick dark syrup
produced by boiling down juice from
sugarcane; specially during sugar
• As molasses is a by product, ethanol
production from molasses is not done
in a large scale around the world.
The main reaction involved is fermentation

C6H12O6 2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2
sugar (e.g.:-glucose) ethanol carbon dioxide

Bioethanol from Starch

• Wet milling

– The process of separating the corn kernel into starch, protein, germ and fiber in an
aqueous medium prior to fermentation
– The primary products
• starch and starch-derived products (e.g. high fructose corn syrup and ethanol)
• corn oil, corn gluten, and corn gluten .

• Dry milling

– The entire corn kernel is first ground into flour and the starch in the flour is
converted to ethanol via fermentation.
– Other than ethanol
• carbon dioxide - carbonated beverage industry
• distillers dried grain with solubles (DDGS) - animal feed

• Malting

– Steep the corn in water, start germination, stop germination at a particular by

drying to stop further growth.


Conversion of starch to sugar and then sugar

to ethanol
Eg:-1) wheat

Fermentation conditions
Temperature - 32˚C and 35˚C
pH - 5.2.
Ethanol is produced at 10-15% concentration and the solution is distilled to produce ethanol at
higher concentrations

Eg:- 2) sugar cane

• Simplest of all the processes

• Fermentation conditions are similar to the above process


• Eg:- 3) Corn

Economics of non-cellulosic ethanol

• Ethanol production using sugarcane, sugarbeet, corn
are well established.


Rise of the Food vs. Fuel crisis and the shift

towards cellulosic ethanol

• "...large increases in biofuels production in the

United States and Europe are the main reason
behind the steep rise in global food prices" -
World Bank policy research working paper July

Food vs. Fuel crisis

Using crops that can be used for food, to produce bio-fuels

Government support of biofuels with tax breaks, mandated use, and subsidies.

land that was also formerly used to grow crops for food is now used to grow crops
for biofuels

placing energy markets in competition with food markets

unintended consequence of diverting resources from food production and

leading to surging food prices and the potential destruction of natural habitats.


Challenge for the future…

• Improvement of the cellulosic ethanol

production process.

– Since it is produced from non-edible parts of

plants, cellulosic ethanol does not compete with
the production of food, resulting in no
contribution for the price surge of food.

Cellulosic ethanol


Overview of the cellulosic ethanol production technology

Conversion of cellulose and hemicellulose to


• 4 steps
1. Pretreatment
2. Hydrolysis
3. Fermentation
4. Distillation of the product mixture to
separate ethanol


Pretreatment and Hydrolysis

1 Pretreatment
The solubilization and separation of one or more of the four
major components of biomass – hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin,
and extractives – to make the remaining solid biomass more
accessible to further chemical or biological treatment.

2 Hydrolysis
The breaking down of the glycosidic bonds in cellulose and hemicellulose
acid hydrolysis
Sugars made after acid hydrolysis get converted into furfural in the
acidic medium which can act as fermentation inhibitors.
Reaction should be rapid
Sugars should be rapidly removed

enzymatic hydrolysis

Dilute acid hydrolysis

• Done using dilute acid (1% sulfuric acid)

• Two reaction chambers.
Chamber1- hydrolysis of hemicellulose (mild conditions)
Chamber2- hydrolysis of cellulose (harsh conditions)
• High temperatures and pressures
Costs are high
Yields are quite low

Therefore concentrated acid hydrolysis is used


Concentrated acid hydrolysis

Done using concentrated acid (70% sulfuric acid)

Done in one reaction chamber

Provides a complete and rapid conversion of cellulose and

hemicellulose to C6 and C5 sugars

Optimize sugar recovery
Cost effectively recover the acid for recycling

Acid hydrolysis of cellulose


Enzyme hydrolysis

Bacteria and fungi are used as sources of

cellulases, hemicellulases that could be used
for the hydrolysis of pretreated lignocelulosics.

There are two technological developments.

Enzymatic conversion
Direct microbial conversion (DMC)

Enzymatic conversion

The enzymes are extracted from microorganisms and are

modified genetically to increase efficiencies.

For enzymes to work efficiently, they must obtain access to

the molecules to be hydrolyzed.

This further asserts the necessity of pretreatment process

to remove crystalline structure of cellulose to expose the
molecules to the microorganisms.


Applications of enzymatic hydrolysis

(a) Simultaneous sacchrification and fermentation (SSF)

Cellulase enzymes and fermenting microbes are added to one

vessel - hydrolysis and fermentation happen in one reaction

Reduces cost

Cellulase enzymes and the fermentation enzymes have to operate
under the same conditions - decreases the sugar and ethanol yields.

Applications of enzymatic hydrolysis

(b) Sequential hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF)

Hydrolysis and fermentation are done in separate

reaction chambers.

Enables optimization of conditions for the enzymes.

Operational and maintenance costs are high.


Direct microbial conversion (DMC)

A single microorganism does both hydrolysis and


Cellulose enzyme production or purchase is a significant cost
in enzymatic hydrolysis under development. With DMC, a
dedicated step for production of cellulase enzyme is not

Currently available microbes cannot do both processes at the
required efficiencies

Fermentation and Distillation

3) Fermentation
Fermentation of both C5 and C6 sugars

The ability to ferment pentoses along with hexoses is not widespread
among microorganisms.

Develop genetically modified microorganisms using recombinant DNA
technology which can ferment both forms of sugars.
Zymomonas mobilis - The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

4) Distillation
This is done to separate ethanol from other products.


Ethanol & economy

Creating new high-paying jobs

Increasing market opportunities for farmers

Generating additional household income tax and revenues

Stimulating capital investment

• In 2007, the ethanol industry provided employment for 238,000 workers in
all sectors of the U.S. economy, added $47.6 billion to the nation’s GDP, and
put an additional $12.3 billion into the pockets of American consumers.
(Source: Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United

• The increase in good paying jobs as a result of the facility boosted local
household incomes by more than $100 million.
(Source: "Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United
States," LECG, LLC, Feb 2008.)

Environmental impact of bioethanol technologies

• Uses energy from renewable energy sources; no net CO2 is
added to the atmosphere, making ethanol an environmentally
beneficial energy source

• Toxicity of exhaust emissions is lower than that of petroleum


• Energy crops grown for the production of ethanol absorbs

huge amounts of green house gases (GHG) released by the
burning of fossil fuels.

• Ethanol contains 35% oxygen that helps complete combustion

of fuel and thus reduces particulate emission that pose health
hazard to living beings.


Environmental impact of bioethanol technologies


• Deriving ethanol from crops (eg:- corn) consumes copious amounts

of nitrogen fertilizer and extensive top-soil erosion associated with
cultivation of this particular crop.
contamination of the Mississippi River -‘dead zone’

Recent researches
• Manipulate nitrogen metabolism and fixation pathways to
reduce the dependence on environmentally damaging

• To enhance performance of enzymes, encapsulate enzymes in

silicon or carbon nanostructures, providing enzymes with
protection from pH and thermal denaturation.

• Genetically manipulate Escherichia coli (Bacteria) so that it

can directly convert Lignocellulose into Bioethanol


Using of E. coli as Chemical Factories

• Self-replicating multistage catalysts

• Environmentally benign
• Use renewable starting materials (feedstocks)


Using of E. coli as host organism

Overexpression of synthetic pathway into E. coli

Biomass or ADH Bioethanol


ADH : Alcohol
The advantages of the using of E. coli:

• The availability of genetic tools

• Large information about genomic, metabolic, and physiological

• The ability to utilize a wide variety of substrates, including
mineral salts medium with inexpensive component.



Alcoholic fermentation

Inhibition by furfural


Thank you for your attention