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Ethanol Production

Geena Brown
JGEN 200 Project No. 5
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What is ethanol?
Ethyl-alcohol
Picture courtesy of UCLA Chemistry Department

Fuel made from grains or biomass

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Sources of Ethanol
Corn Sugar-Cane

Cellulose

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Types of Production
1. Dry-Milling
-More prominent -Less expensive

2. Wet-Milling
-Higher yield

The BIG Picture


Enzyme: build or break molecules Amylase: breaks down sugar chains

Yeast: turns sugar into alcohol

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Delivery
Grain is delivered to the plant and stored.

Image courtesy of the New York Times.

Hammer-Mill
Kernels are ground to a powder by a rotating hammer.

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Slurry
Water and alpha-amylase added. Starch is broken into sugars.

Image courtesy of www.chooseethanol.com

Fermentation
Yeast and glucoamylase are added and the mash sits for over 50 hours.
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C6H12O6 2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2 Glucose 2 Ethanol + 2 Carbon Dioxide

Distillation

Diagram from www.gcsescience.com

Dehydration
Water is removed with a molecular sieve. The mixture passes through a filter that catches ethanol molecules.

Denaturing
Small amounts of are gasoline added to prevent human consumption.

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Fuel
Ethanol is shipped to refineries to be mixed with oil.

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Co-Products
Solids and water separated Water added to new slurry Solids dried and sold for livestock feed
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Cellulosic Ethanol
Similar to starch New enzyme needed

Image courtesy of bioweb.wku.edu

Summary
Enzymes break starches into sugars. Yeast ferments sugars into ethyl-alcohol. Ethanol is purified and denatured.

Questions?

References
American coalition for ethanol. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.ethanol.org Biofuels- poet. (2012). Retrieved from www.poet.com Ethanol molecule. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.worldofmolecules.org/solvents/ethanol Ethanol production process. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.icminc.com/innovation/ethanol/ethanol-production-process.html Gustafson, C., & Fewell, J. (n.d.). Ethanol production - dry versus wet grind processing. (North Dakota State University)Retrieved from http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/energy/biofuels/energy-briefs/ethanol-production-dryversus-wet-grind-processing

Helmenstine, A. M. (n.d.). What is fermentation?. Retrieved from http://chemistry.about.com/od/lecturenoteslab1/f/What-Is-Fermentation.htm