Submitted to: Subtropical Technology Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2005
Publication Date: 10/20/2005
Citation: Widmer, W.W., Wilkins, M.R., Grohmann, K. 2005. Citrus waste to ethanol and other byproducts: an update. Subtropical Technology Conference Proceedings. 56:15.
Technical Abstract: Currently more than 19 states in the United States have banned the use of MTBE as an additive to gasoline because of problems with groundwater pollution. These bans combined with the desire for domestic renewable sources of energy have substantially increased the demand for fuel ethanol to over 3 billion gallons per year in 2004. Most fuel ethanol in the US is produced from corn in the Midwest and must be transported by rail, truck or barge to outside markets because ethanol cannot be transported by pipeline because of it’s ability to absorb water and cause pipeline corrosion. Using locally available materials to produce fuel ethanol would significantly lower transportation costs for use as a fuel additive. A potential feedstock for ethanol production that is abundant in Florida is citrus peel with approximately 5 million tons of citrus waste produced annually by Florida processors. This waste stream has the potential to produce approximately 200 million gallons of ethanol annually in Florida. During the past year a laboratory scale method developed by Dr. Grohmann has been modified and scaled to process citrus waste at the 100 and 1000 gallon batch levels, and work is progressing to demonstrate the process at the 10,000 gallon scale level at a local citrus processing facility. A summarization of current efforts in scaling the process for ethanol production form citrus waste will be discussed.