Study of Sugarcane Pieces as Yeast Supports for Ethanol Production from Sugarcane Juice and Molasses Using Newly Isolated Yeast from Toddy Sap

  • Received : 2011.11.01
  • Accepted : 2012.01.18
  • Published : 2012.03.31


A repeated batch fermentation system was used to produce ethanol using $Saccharomyces$ $cerevisiae$ strain (NCIM 3640) immobilized on sugarcane ($Saccharum$ $officinarum$ L.) pieces. For comparison free cells were also used to produce ethanol by repeated batch fermentation. Scanning electron microscopy evidently showed that cell immobilization resulted in firm adsorption of the yeast cells within subsurface cavities, capillary flow through the vessels of the vascular bundle structure, and attachment of the yeast to the surface of the sugarcane pieces. Repeated batch fermentations using sugarcane supported biocatalyst were successfully carried out for at least ten times without any significant loss in ethanol production from sugarcane juice and molasses. The number of cells attached to the support increased during the fermentation process, and fewer yeast cells leaked into fermentation broth. Ethanol concentrations (about 72.65-76.28 g/L in an average value) and ethanol productivities (about 2.27-2.36 g/L/hr in an average value) were high and stable, and residual sugar concentrations were low in all fermentations (0.9-3.25 g/L) with conversions ranging from 98.03-99.43%, showing efficiency 91.57-95.43 and operational stability of biocatalyst for ethanol fermentation. The results of the work pertaining to the use of sugarcane as immobilized yeast support could be promising for industrial fermentations.


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