Chapter 3

Ethanol from Cellulose

Waste cellulose avoids the competition between food and fuel for cornstarch. It is ubiquitous and constitutes 50% of the woody structure of most plants. The compact structure of cellulose caused by its tight bonding and crystallinity inhibits access by enzymes and therefore makes it difficult to use directly by enzymes. To overcome this, process developers have attempted to introduce pretreatment processes or the development of modified enzyme systems or have resorted to cellulose conversion to synthesis gas. These techniques are superior to acid hydrolysis of cellulose and the processing problems that result from it. Notable active developers are Raizen, DuPont/Betamax, Beta Renewables, Dong Energy, and Iogen ...

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