Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Engineering Science

Program

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Supervisor

Dr. Argyrios Margaritis, Dr. Dimitre Karamanev

Abstract

For the first time, juice extracted from sugarcorn, a new Canadian energy crop, was used for bioethanol production. Physical and chemical characteristics of sugarcorn juice (SCJ) were determined. SCJ contained a maximum of 145 g/L of carbohydrates, with sucrose, glucose and fructose together contributing 80%. Effect of autoclaving and carbon filtration on juice sugars were investigated.

Shake flask fermentations using Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown in yeast extract supplemented SCJ produced a maximum of 45.6 g/L ethanol in 72 h. Bioreactor studies using un-supplemented SCJ achieved 40 g/L ethanol in 26 h, yielding a maximum of 0.46 g ethanol/g fermentable sugars, representing 90.4% of theoretical yield.

Sugarcorn’s crop features and juice characteristics were compared with those of sugarcane, sweet sorghum and energy cane. A proposed sugarcorn based bioethanol process was compared with corn and corn stover based processes. A Canadian sugarcorn (CANSUG) biorefinery was proposed for production of renewable fuels and chemicals.


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