Laboratory experience in a bench-scale fermentor to produce bioethanol, a renewable source of energy

Ana B Henriques1, Khursheed Karim2, Fan Mei1, and Muthanna H. Al-Dahhan3. (1) Department of Chemical Engineering, Washington University, One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1198, Saint Louis, MO 63130, (2) Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas, 3202 Bell Engineering Center, Fayetteville, AR 72701, (3) Chemical Reaction Engineering Laboratory (CREL), Washington University, One Brookings Drive, Box. 1198, St. Louis, MO 63130

Power Point Presentation (PDF)

ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: Ethanol derived from cellulosic biomass has become an attractive source of clean biofuel, which reduces air pollution and dependence on fossil fuels. Improvements over the conventional ethanol production processes, such as using new yeast strains, enzymes and modifying operating conditions, have been proposed to increase sugar conversion, ethanol yield, and productivity of the process. In the last decade a number of studies have analyzed the effect of some important parameters on the fermentation process including temperature, pH, degree of agitation, culture type, and product inhibition. However, most of these studies have been performed using small scale laboratory fermentors, which do not accurately depict the prevalent conditions at larger scales. Therefore, the present research is designed to study the effect of substrate concentration on the ethanol fermentation in a bench-scale fermentor using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the product inhibition therein. The students will use the acquired data to validate ethanol-inhibited kinetic models that are readily available in the literature.