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

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