The inevitable decline in petroleum reserves impacting gasoline prices, combined with climate change concerns have contributed to current interest in renewable fuels. Bioethanol is the most successful renewable transport fuel. Corn and sugarcane ethanol are currently widely used as blend-in fuels in the US, Brazil, and a few other countries; however, there are a number of major drawbacks in these first generation biofuels, such as their effect on food prices, net energy balance, and poor greenhouse gas mitigation. Alternatively, cellulosic ethanol can be produced from abundant lignocellulosic biomass forms such as agricultural or municipal wastes, forest residues, fast growing trees or grasses grown in marginal lands, and should be producible in substantial amounts to meet growing global energy demand.
This handbook gives the background, scientific theory, and recent research progress in producing cellulosic ethanol via different routes, as well as future directions, covering all aspects of cellulosic ethanol in 17 chapters:
• Advantages of cellulosic ethanol over first generation ethanol as a transportation fuel
• Various biomass feedstocks that can be used to make cellulosic ethanol
• Details of aqueous phase or cellulolysis route, pretreatment, enzyme or acid saccharification, fermentation, simultaneous saccharification fermentation, consolidated bioprocessing, genetically modified microorganisms and yeasts
• Details of syngas fermentation or thermochemical route, gasifiers, syngas cleaning, microorganisms for syngas fermentation, and chemical catalysts for syngas to ethanol conversion
• Distillation and dehydration to fuel grade ethanol
• Techno-economical aspects and the future of cellulosic ethanol