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Author: Subject: Ethanol production from anything other than yeast
Mastro
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[*] posted on 17-8-2004 at 19:43
Ethanol production from anything other than yeast


Can you turn sugar to ethanol with any thing other than yeast?
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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 18-8-2004 at 03:06


That is the oldest method of producing ethanol; fermentation of either sugars (e.g. in fruit juices), starch, cellulose, or whey from milk. It accounts for practically all the ethanol produced for human consumption.

However, now only 5% of the ethanol for industrial use comes from fermentation. Most is now obtained from the acid-catalysed hydration of ethylene, which is reversible depending on the conditions e.g. temperature, pressure, and acid concentration:

acid catalyst
H2C=CH2 + H2O -> CH3CH2OH
<-

John W.
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chemoleo
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[*] posted on 18-8-2004 at 03:37


Another silly method (silly because of the losses) is via the cannizzaro reaction, you'd start with acetaldehyde and (in the presence of NaOH) this will disproportionate to ethanol and acetic acid (sodium acetate).



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[*] posted on 18-8-2004 at 14:37


I alwas thought the Cannizzaro was only for carbonyl compounds with no alpha-hydrogens? Shouldnt acetaldehyde undergo an aldol condensation under basic conditions?
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chemoleo
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[*] posted on 18-8-2004 at 14:51


Yes you are right, I just checked. Exactly for that reason it doesnt work. Ah well - it wasn't a realistic method anyway :)

Edit: Misread question.
Sure there are different types of yeast (other than bakers yeast, S. cerevisiae) that produce ethanol, and also bacteria. I guess S. cerevisiae was chosen becuase it it ubiquitous and easily cultured.

[Edited on 19-8-2004 by chemoleo]




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Geomancer
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[*] posted on 18-8-2004 at 17:56


The original question seemed interested in going from sugar. Eschewing biomimetic routes (what's life ever done for me, anyway?), strategy will revolve around breaking up the carbohydrates, and reducing the bits. Supercritical water will break cellulose into HOCH<sub>2</sub>CHO fragments. Hydrazine might then give ethanol, or you could try something more subtle.

Interpreting the question narrowly, I don't think you need yeast. Sure, yeasties are cute, but some bacteria can ferment to alcohol too.
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[*] posted on 21-8-2004 at 05:34


Yes
http://www.ejpau.media.pl/series/volume3/issue2/food/art-04....
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MadHatter
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[*] posted on 22-8-2004 at 02:57
Ethanol


Mastro, I'll assume that you're looking for a direct synthesis of sugar
to ethanol. I don't know if that's possible. I suggest you go the yeast
route and distill. For more information on distillation, I suggest you
UTFSE ! Ramiel, chime in PLEASE !




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[*] posted on 22-8-2004 at 15:01


Is it just me or is madhatter's post less that totally unhelpful?
"Mastro, I'll assume that you're looking for a direct synthesis of sugar
to ethanol"
Seems a fair assumption, that's what he asked for.
"I don't know if that's possible"
That's OK, I did so I posted some stuff about it.
"I suggest you go the yeast
route and distill. "
Why, isn't that a bit dull? It hardly seems like mad science.
"For more information on distillation, I suggest you
UTFSE !"
I'm not aware of him having asked about distilling (unless he's been crossposting and I haven't seen it yet). Perhaps he knows enough about it. Maybe he used a (fantastic?) search engine.
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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 22-8-2004 at 15:27


Pyrolysis in the absence of air of wood, which is mainly cellulose, produces as its main products methanol (not ethanol) and wood tar (wood creosote, consisting mainly of phenols such as cresol, phenol, xylol, mesitylol, and polynuclear aromatic species which impart a dark color, probably with small amounts of pyran, furan, and furfural). I think the wood creosote sold commercially is probably a solution of the wood tar in methanol.

I wonder if there are any natural carbohydrate materials which would yield ethanol instead of methanol on pyrolysis in the absence of air?

John W.
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Marvin
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[*] posted on 23-8-2004 at 01:23


John, your post quality seems to have dropped significantly in the last 2 weeks. I suspect you are trying to bolster your post count of various forums for some reason. You are posting a great deal we allready know, aparently without reading much older posts, and everything else seems to be only extrapolations from your own understanding of chemistry. Please stop this.

"of wood, which is mainly cellulose" there is a great deal of celulose in wood, so I'll let you have that one. The pyrolysis of cellulose though produces charcoal and water. To all intents and purposes nothing else.

"produces as its main products methanol (not ethanol) and wood tar "
This starts off as more of a gotcha, and just gets worse. Main product obviously charcoal (and water but we can ignore this). The distillate produced is mostly a dilute solution of acetic acid called with good reason 'pyroligneous acid'. This contains small amounts of methanol, acetone, methyl acetate etc. The methanol content in the distillate only amounts to about 1%. Compaired to the mass of wood needed, this is a truly minor product.

"wood creosote, consisting mainly of phenols such as cresol, phenol, xylol, mesitylol, and polynuclear aromatic species which impart a dark color"
Wood cresote typically contains very little in the way of aromatic compounds, you are confusing this with coal tar.

For a typical analysis of the wood tar from a softwood kiln distillation, look here.
http://www.natmus.dk/cons/lab/tjaere/tjaere.pdf

The actual composition is an unsurprising terpine mixture. Some aromatic compounds are to be expected as a result of the decomposition of lignin but the majority tar products occur from pyrolysis/distillation of the tree resin.

Carbohydrates are essentially polymers of CH2O, getting CH3CH2OH from them by pyrolysis is not going happen in any useful shape or form.
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[*] posted on 23-8-2004 at 01:34


Marvin, you are "the pot calling the kettle black"! In view of your number of posts, I suppose the cynics would call you a hypocrite.

John W.
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[*] posted on 23-8-2004 at 03:34


Stop this please, you three. Marvin - your response <html><i>is</i></html> actually usefull, so don't take this too hard.

U2U is the proper forum for personal attacks, assaults or miscelaneous vilification.

Don't go at each others throats when someone interprets an admittedly broad and poorly framed question differently to you.

I do hope we understand each other.
- D




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Mastro
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[*] posted on 23-8-2004 at 04:45


First off I never mentioned methanol or cellulose so if you want to talk about it, do it in another thread. Second I have already used a search engine. And last but not least quit fucking arguing.
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[*] posted on 23-8-2004 at 17:09


Cellulose is where to look, the assumption being that what works with it will work with monosaccharides. Sugar (which one, BTW?) is simply not a very attractive feedstack for bulk chemical manufacture. Moreover, there already exists a relatively good route from glucose to ethanol.
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[*] posted on 24-8-2004 at 07:57
Sugar to ethanol


Admittedly, I could've been less hostile in my last post but I can't
find anything on the net or in the local library about a synthetic
route for sugar to ethanol. The ethanol production industry would
go hog wild if such a process were available and it could be done
cheaply. Of greater importance would be the speed of such a process
if it was significantly faster than yeast. For right now, it looks like we're
stuck with Nature's little chemists ! I asked Ramiel to chime in
because of his experience in producing ethanol which I have found
to be far greater than mine. As for getting flamed, I don't mind if I've
been a wanker and deserve it. There's no shame in admitting
you're wrong.




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bobo451
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[*] posted on 24-8-2004 at 09:57


Another route, albeit very inefficient, would be to gasify the sugar. If injected into a partial combustion chamber with water, it should form a fair amount of syngas (CO, H2). The syngas could then be passed over a catalyst (MoS2, etc.) to form the ethanol. It would provide an impure product, but could be done. At the efficiencies that could be achieved, it would be a mad science sort of venture.
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[*] posted on 25-8-2004 at 01:24


I was under the impression synthesis gas, with extra hydrogen produced methanol. I havnt heard of any ethanol method this way, or are you expecting trace amounts of ethanol in the methanol?
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[*] posted on 25-8-2004 at 07:04


Depends on the catalyst, MoS2 has the tendency to produce higher alcohols, and favors ethanol. There will be methanol in the product, but the percentage of ethanol will be much higher depending on the residence time and reactor conditions. It is, of course, an addition reaction very similar to the Fischer-Tropsch reactions. The reaction will produce methanol before ethanol, but there is a much lower energy barrier to go to ethanol from methanol than to go from syngas to methanol. The reaction to ethanol occurs very quickly after the methanol is produced.
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[*] posted on 25-8-2004 at 17:26


US5000000

[Edited on 8-27-2004 by Polverone]
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[*] posted on 26-8-2004 at 15:10


Quote:
Originally posted by Mastro
First off I never mentioned methanol or cellulose so if you want to talk about it, do it in another thread. Second I have already used a search engine. And last but not least quit fucking arguing.
First, sugar is a general term. Not all sugars are fermentable by usual methods (eg lactose). Second, cellulose is made up of sugar. A lot of the research in ethanol production methods focuses on converting ploysaccharides to fermentable products.

For an overview of the bacteria route, look here: http://www.uyseg.org/greener_industry/pages/ethanol/ethanol8...
Also check out us patent no. 6,130,076

For a list of patents associated with ethanol production, http://motorheaven.bizland.com/Technology_Reviews_2/Ethanol_...
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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 26-8-2004 at 15:19


Unlike humans, ruminating animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, etc., have bacteria in their extra stomachs which can hydrolyse long-chain polysaccharides like cellulose, comprising the fibrous material of plants, to monosaccharides like glucose and fructose. The stomach acid in humans can hydrolyse starches (low-molecular-weight polysaccharides). however. I would think that the bacterial approaches are likely to involve these or related species for the initial hydrolysis (followed by fermentation).

John W.
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[*] posted on 26-8-2004 at 15:26


Just slip a non-threating something in here-----

I have distilled the cheap-o mouth washes when a little anhydrous was not available otherwise. they are easily available and contain around 24% alcohol

they cost around a dollar or so US.
also they are copies of Listerine. but they are not Listerine.

after the initial distillation dry with any number of methods on-line.
just an idea and hope I didn't offend anyone.
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