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The History And

Development Of
Bioethanol As An
Alternative Fuel

Christopher McAtominey
Overview

• What is bioethanol?
• Why bioethanol as an alternative fuel?
• The future of bioethanol
Ethanol

• Produced by hydrating ethylene or by


fermenting sugars

CH3CH2OH + 3O2 2CO2 + 3H2O

• First ever engine ran on ethanol


• Used as a rocket fuel in WW2
Bioethanol

• Produced by fermenting sugars


• Sugars are from natural sources (biomass)
eg sugarcane, maize

• Burnt as fuel
• Widely used in Brazil
Alternative Fuels

• Climate change

• Depletion of crude oil

• Legislation
Alternative Fuels

• Carbon neutral

• Independence

• Efficiency
Alternative Fuels
Future of Bioethanol

• Currently only processed from sugars


• Aim is to convert all biomass to ethanol
• Engineering micro-organisms
GM

• Alcohol resistant yeast


• 1.5 x 1012 tonnes of biomass is cellulose
• Cellulases convert cellulose into sugars
Problems

• Currently not carbon neutral


• Cellulases do not work well in vitro
• Predicted that hydrogen will be major
fuel of future
Fin

Any Questions?