11 17 Ethanol

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11 17 Ethanol

  1. 1. Alternative Fuels Ethanol
  2. 2. Ethanol <ul><li>Ethyl Alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Grain alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Solution with water – 95% alcohol fuel </li></ul><ul><li>Fermentation produces a mash </li></ul><ul><li>Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water </li></ul><ul><li>Evaporates & condensed in a coil </li></ul>
  3. 3. Term: Ethanol <ul><li>Wheat or corn kernels are ground in a hammermill to expose the starch. </li></ul><ul><li>The ground grain is mixed with water, cooked briefly and enzymes are added to convert the starch to sugar using a chemical reaction called hydrolysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Yeast is added to ferment the sugars to ethanol. </li></ul><ul><li>The ethanol is separated from the mixture by distillation and the water is removed from the mixture using dehydration </li></ul>
  4. 4. Economic Problems with Ethanol <ul><li>Major bankruptcies in largest producers </li></ul><ul><li>Cost more to produce than it sells for even with subsidized corn </li></ul><ul><li>Corn-based ethanol is a transition to cellulosic ethanol </li></ul><ul><li>60% less energy dense than gasoline </li></ul>
  5. 5. Engine Problems with ethanol <ul><li>Ethanol alcohol is an excellent SOLVENT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dissolves rubber, certain types of fiberglass. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many engine hoses of older engines are not resistant to alcohol. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethanol will ABSORB WATER </li></ul><ul><li>Ethanol ignites at a higher temperature, compared to conventional non-alcohol gasoline, causing damage to pistons. </li></ul><ul><li>E10 can not be added to a tank or pump that contains oyxygenators MTBE or ETBE. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 10% ethanol will cause damage to most conventional engines. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Carbohydrate Review <ul><li>Sugar needed for ethanol </li></ul><ul><li>Cellulose or Lignin </li></ul><ul><li>Very difficult to break the bond between the glucose molecules – requires expensive pretreatments </li></ul>
  7. 7. Cellulysis <ul><li>Breaking the bonds that connect the individual glucose molecules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enzymes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concentrated Acids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Steam </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microbes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solving this step is where the research and the money is right now. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sources of Cellulose <ul><li>Switchgrass – grows on poor quality soil </li></ul><ul><li>Corn stover – leftover corn stalks from corn grain harvesting </li></ul><ul><li>Waste paper </li></ul><ul><li>Yard wastes </li></ul><ul><li>Timber waste </li></ul>
  9. 9. Crops grown for cellulose <ul><li>Switch grass, Poplar trees, etc </li></ul><ul><li>The US uses 142 billion gallons of gas/year = 200 billion gallons of ethanol </li></ul><ul><li>1 acre of poplar trees can produce 650 gal of ethanol </li></ul><ul><li>Would take 307 million acres to grow enough cellulose </li></ul><ul><li>3X larger than the entire corn crop </li></ul>
  10. 10. Solutions? <ul><li>Where will our motor fuel come from in 10 to 20 years? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Today <ul><li>Start biodiesel </li></ul><ul><li>Tomorrow - Clean the biodiesel </li></ul>
  12. 12. Homemade Biodiesel <ul><li>Uses very toxic chemicals </li></ul><ul><li>Must use goggles & gloves </li></ul><ul><li>Make methoxide: methanol (Heet) & lye (NaOH) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>extremely toxic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>& corrosive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>& exothermic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Add methoxide to warm vegetable oil. </li></ul><ul><li>Shake for 5 seconds every 10 minutes for 1 hour </li></ul><ul><li>Let settle overnight </li></ul><ul><li>Clean & separate it tomorrow </li></ul>

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