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Fermentation of Biomass

December 12, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Fermentation of biomass is process of generation of producer gas then producer gas to ethanol.

Following the gasification of biomass to producer gas, the gas is converted into liquid products (e.g., ethanol) via fermentation.

Biological means fermentation can be used to produce fluid biomass fuels. For example, methane gas is produced in China for local energy needs by anaerobic microbial digestion of human and animal wastes. Ethanol for automotive fuels is currently produced from starch biomass in a two-step process: starch is enzymatically hydrolyzed into glucose; then yeast is used to convert the glucose into ethanol. About 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol are produced from starch each year in the United States.

Fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol and dimethyl ether is an attractive route to energy feedstock that supplements the depleting stores of fossil fuels.

Biomass is a carbon-neutral source of energy, since it comes from dead plants, which means that the combustion of ethanol produced from lignocelluloses will produce no net carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere.

Also, biomass is readily available, and the fermentation of lignocelluloses provides an attractive way to dispose of many industrial and agricultural waste products. Finally, lignocellulosic biomass is a renewable resource. Many of the dedicated energy crops can provide high energy biomass, which may be harvested multiple times each year.

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