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Mitsui Engineering Technology Increases Bioethanol Output Fourfold

Nikkei. Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. (MES) says that it has developed a technology that boosts output of bioethanol fourfold compared with conventional methods.

The unique process involves the use of a special yeast developed in-house for the fermentation of sugars extracted from cane and other raw materials. Efficiency is enhanced through new techniques that allow the yeast to remain active in fermentation tanks even under high temperatures and other extreme conditions.

As a result, bioethanol output per liter of raw material is increased to 20 grams from about 5 grams now. The firm has completed work on the design of the production system and is ready to begin shipping it after conducting tests.

Mitsui Engineering has received an order a system for equipment capable of producing 1,000 kiloliters of bioethanol annually using rice as a raw material. MES continues to test systems for the production of cellulosic ethanol. (Earlier post.)

MES has also developed a zeolite membrane for use in dehydration systems for bioethanol plants that helping to reduce process fuel consumption by around 10% compared to other methods. (Earlier post.)



If this pans out, Brazil will turn into a worldwide ethanol supplier without needing to expand its sugarcane fields.

Can it be applied to corn ethanol production?


Hopefully,this breakthrough,combined with a few more will finally put direct corn(or other foodstuff)to ethanol production into the history books.Why make ethanol from corn when you can make it from waste?Right now in VT farmers are having a hard time paying the high price for corn for winter feeding of cows.

Fourfold output gain is a giant step and almost unbelievable.

Can we asume that this huge produtivity gain would apply to various (all or most) feedstocks?

If so, alternative fuels could compete with fossil fuel from tar sands and regular oil at current high prices while getting rid of unwanted wastes.

What would be the comparative CO2 footprint?

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