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Effective production of ethanol-from-cellulose (EFC) from cheap sources sawdust and seaweed Gracilaria edulis

Thoufik Rahuman Amanullah, Deepu Krishnan, Senthil Balaji D., Karthikeyan Ganesan, Bibin. G. Anand, Infant Santhose Barthelomai, Balaji Ravichandran and Sathish Kumar Chinnasamy

Ethanol-from-cellulose (EFC) holds great potential due to the widespread availability, abundance, and relatively low cost of cellulosic materials. Ethanol can be made synthetically from petroleum or by microbial conversion of biomass materials through fermentation. In early years the ethanol was produced from fermentation of starch materials. Due to the demand of bio-fuels, there is an increase in search for an alternative source for ethanol production. Now days sources such as corn steep, rice husk, saw dust, sewage waste, sea weeds etc., were under research for bio fuels. There is higher demand for alternative source for bio-fuels, in our investigation we opted saw dust and seaweed namely Glacilaria edulis as source for ethanol since it is cheaply available. Saw dust is rich in cellulose, a polymer of glucose which is fermented to ethanol. Sea weeds are rich in agar, a polymer of galactose which is fermented to ethanol using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. For the effective conversion, pre-treatment process and time played a major role and analyzed. Production yield was enhanced with the enzymatic hydrolysis with Aspergillus niger and the obtained ethanol was analyzed with GC-MS.

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