Bioethanol is an alcohol made through fermentation of sugars. With the aid of advanced technologies, cellulosic biomass can be potential feedstock for ethanol production. Ethanol can be used, in its pure form, as a fuel for cars or used as a gasoline additive to increase its octane number and improve vehicle emissions.


R&D Center and Bioethanol:

The research material is an agro-waste product available in massive amounts in Egypt Analyses of free sugars and total carbohydrates were carried out. The results indicated high content of simple free reducing sugars and, therefore, the suitability of this agro-waste product as feedstock for bioethanol. Samples were prepared for fermentation according the flow chart illustrated in Figure 1.


The initial concentration of free sugars in the water extract of the sample was determined and adjusted to be ideal for the fermentation bioprocess avoiding any osmotic stress on the fermenting fungus (yeast) Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The fermentation was carried out in a 12 liter capacity locally made fermentor (Figure 2). The fermentor was firstly sterilized by moist steam, fermentation basal medium (inorganic nutrients) and the sugary water extract of the agro-waste were added, then inoculated with fresh culture of the yeast fungus, and then the fermentation process was triggered. Samples were taken at constant intervals for analyses to assess the progress rate of the fermentation process. Some potential controlling factors including temperature, pH, and the broth density were regularly monitored (Figure 3). At the end of the fermentation process (approximately 8.00 hrs) the concentration of ethanol and unfermented sugars were determined according to standard spectrophotometeric methods. Chemical analysis indicated very high protein content of solid residues. It has been concluded that, the agro-waste product is a potential feedstock for bioethanol and the fermentation solid by-product is an outstanding resource for animal feed.