Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2008
Publication Date: 8/1/2008
Citation: Nghiem, N.P. 2008. Ethanol Production. Book Chapter in Biofuels Engineering Process Technology, by C. M. Drapcho, N. P. Nghiem, and T. H. Walker, Chapter 5, p.l05-196.
Technical Abstract: This book chapter reviews the current process technologies for fuel ethanol production. In the US, almost all commercial fuel ethanol is produced from corn whereas cane sugar is used almost exclusively in Brazil. In Europe, two major types of feedstock considered for fuel ethanol production are beet sugar and grains, which include corn, barley and wheat. The fermentation processes for production of fuel ethanol from corn, cane sugar and beet sugar are reviewed in detail. The review also includes process economics. Since production of fuel ethanol from corn alone will not be able to meet the rising demand in the US, lignocellulosic biomass has been considered as a potential feedstock for fuel ethanol production. Lignocellulosic biomass requires pretreatment to open up the structure to allow higher yields and rates of enzymatic hydrolysis to produce fermentable sugars. Fermentation of these sugars to ethanol requires new organisms that can metabolize both C5 and C6 sugars to produce ethanol at high rates and yields. The chapter reviews the pretreatment processes and development of new organisms for ethanol production using biomass feedstock.