What is Bioethanol? New Technique to Produce Bioethanol from Cotton-Stalks from CSIR-NIIST (Download PDF)


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CSIR’s National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram developed new technique for producing bioethanol from discarded cotton-stalks using chemical and biological methods.

Image of Bioethanol And Co-products

Image of Bioethanol And Co-products

Image of Bioethanol And Co-products

  • Bioethanol is a clean fuel the innovation allows production from cotton stalk wastes

  • Reduces food vs fuel competition by converting agro-residues such as cotton stalks and wheat and rice husks to ethanol

Details of New Technique

  • Cotton stalks are treated with acid, alkali, and enzymes to breakdown complex organic polymers

  • Acid treatment removes hemicellulose polymer of cell wall

  • Alkali helps extract lignin, a binding matrix in cell wall, made of complex phenolic.

  • Cellulose of cotton stalks made of glucose are then subject action of enzymes converting glucose to bioethanol through fermentation using a Saccharomycescerevisiae-RRP-03N- new yeast strain.

  • Saccharomycescerevisiae-RRP-03N is the new yeast strain, obtained from a rotting wild fruit in the Silent Valley National Park, Kerala.

Potential and Significance

  • India has 9.4 million hectares under cotton cultivation with every hectare production generating 2 million tonnes of cotton stalk wastes

  • Saccharomycescerevisiae-RRP-03N yeast performs better in fermenting the cotton stalk hydrolysate with high glucose conversion efficiency of 76 % converting entire glucose to alcohol in just 24 hours.

  • Alcohol obtained after distillation can be made to fuel grade bioethanol with more than 99 % purity.

What is Bioethanol?

  • Principle fuel substitute for road transport vehicles produced by the sugar fermentation process.

  • Main sources of sugar to produce ethanol come from fuel or energy crops

  • Crops grown specifically for energy use include corn, maize and wheat crops, waste straw, willow and popular trees, sawdust, reed canary grass, cord grasses, jerusalem artichoke, myscanthus and sorghum plants.

Benefits of Bioethanol?

  • Comes from a renewable resource

  • With transport contributing 22 % of all greenhouse gas emissions, bioethanol can reduce CO2 emission. Blending bioethanol with petrol extends diminishing oil supplies and ensure greater fuel security.

  • Gives boost to rural economy

  • Bioethanol is biodegradable and less toxic than fossil fuels

  • Bioethanol in older engines reduces amount of carbon monoxide produced.

  • Bioethanol can be easily integrated into the existing road transport fuel system- up to 5 % bioethanol can be blended with conventional fuel without the need of engine modifications.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 21, 2017


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