Event Title

Ethanol Production From Fall Leaves

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

9-4-2012 10:00 AM

End Date

9-4-2012 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Chemistry and Geology

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

James Rife

Mentor's Department

Chemistry and Geology

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

The rate at which the world population has been consuming energy has been an alarming issue. Conventional sources of energy such as coal, oil, and gas are non-renewable and eventually will be depleted. Furthermore, these sources of energy have been major contributors of greenhouse gases. Therefore, alternatives to these energy sources must be developed. Cellulose, the major component of plant cells, is the most abundant organic compound in the world making it a serious alternative to non-renewable resources.

Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel that can be produced from plant feedstock such as leaves, wood, and grass. While cellulosic ethanol can be produced from an array of biomass, this project has focused on using fall leaves to produce cellulosic ethanol. The objective of this project was to test conditions for improving the yield of glucose and ethanol from leaf biomass. The cellulosic content of leaves from the fall 2011 harvest was found to equal 14.8± 2.2%. The enzyme load needed to convert that cellulose to the fermentable sugar glucose was tested. It was found that the cellulase previously used was contaminated with significant amounts of glucose and lost activity after 24 hours of hydrolysis. A beta-glucanase from Trichoderma longibrachiatum introduced much less contaminating glucose and was stable for 144 hours of digestion. 250 mg of this enzyme per gram of leaf biomass efficiently converted the leaf cellulose to glucose. Preliminary fermentation studies produced approximately 66% of the theoretically expected yield of ethanol from leaf biomass.

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Apr 9th, 10:00 AM Apr 9th, 11:30 AM

Ethanol Production From Fall Leaves

CSU Ballroom

The rate at which the world population has been consuming energy has been an alarming issue. Conventional sources of energy such as coal, oil, and gas are non-renewable and eventually will be depleted. Furthermore, these sources of energy have been major contributors of greenhouse gases. Therefore, alternatives to these energy sources must be developed. Cellulose, the major component of plant cells, is the most abundant organic compound in the world making it a serious alternative to non-renewable resources.

Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel that can be produced from plant feedstock such as leaves, wood, and grass. While cellulosic ethanol can be produced from an array of biomass, this project has focused on using fall leaves to produce cellulosic ethanol. The objective of this project was to test conditions for improving the yield of glucose and ethanol from leaf biomass. The cellulosic content of leaves from the fall 2011 harvest was found to equal 14.8± 2.2%. The enzyme load needed to convert that cellulose to the fermentable sugar glucose was tested. It was found that the cellulase previously used was contaminated with significant amounts of glucose and lost activity after 24 hours of hydrolysis. A beta-glucanase from Trichoderma longibrachiatum introduced much less contaminating glucose and was stable for 144 hours of digestion. 250 mg of this enzyme per gram of leaf biomass efficiently converted the leaf cellulose to glucose. Preliminary fermentation studies produced approximately 66% of the theoretically expected yield of ethanol from leaf biomass.

Recommended Citation

Amusan, Korede. "Ethanol Production From Fall Leaves." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/poster-session-A/47