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Biofuels: Ethanol extraction from oil palm

An efficient method of producing the biofuel ethanol from oil palm waste is published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science.

Researchers first separated glucose from cellulose in the plant matter, and then used it as a substrate for ethanol production.

Oil palm empty fruit bunch is an abundant biomass waste, with 15 million tonnes generated annually by palm oil mills in Malaysia alone. Usually it is burnt in incinerators to obtain bunch ash or dumped for mulching in oil palm plantations.

Biofuels are an alternative energy source, and ethanol is the most commonly used around the world.

In this research, Suraini Abd-Aziz and colleagues in Malaysia and Japan set out to see if it is possible to use glucose recovered during phase separation process of acid-hydrolysed oil palm empty fruit for ethanol production. Once separated, they tested different nitrogen sources to find the most efficient for the fermentation of the glucose to ethanol, finding both yeast and palm oil mill effluent work well. The work presents a new approach to producing high yield ethanol using an abundant source of biomass.
For more information on the research, please contact:

Suraini Abd-Aziz
Department of Bioprocess Technology,
Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences,
Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor,Malaysia

About Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS)

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS) is published by Universiti Putra Malaysia in English and is open to authors around the world regardless of nationality. Beginning 2012, it would be published four times a year in February, May, August and November. Other Pertanika series include Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology (JST), and Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH).

JTAS aims to provide a forum for high quality research related to tropical agricultural research. Areas relevant to the scope of the journal include: agricultural biotechnology, biochemistry, biology, ecology, fisheries, forestry, food sciences, entomology, genetics, microbiology, pathology and management, physiology, plant and animal sciences, production of plants and animals of economic importance, and veterinary medicine. The journal publishes original academic articles dealing with research on issues of worldwide relevance.

For more information about the journal, contact

The Executive Editor (Pertanika Journals)
Head, Journal Division, UPM Press
Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (R&I)
Tower 2, UPM-MDTC Technology Centre
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 Serdang, Selangor

Phone: +(603) 8947 1622 | +(6) 016 217 4050

Dr Nayan KANWAL, FRSA, ABIM | Research asia research news
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