Lecturer, Central Department of Biotechnology, Tribhuvan University
Ph.D. work on enhancement in bioethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass.
Bioethanol can be used as an octane enhancer and alternative replacement to blend with petroleum fuels. Using an electrolytic cell for the production of bioethanol facilitates the improvement in ethanol production exploiting the electrochemical redox reactions occuring inside the cell. The externally supplied voltage is used to drive the chemical reactions to generate the metabolite, i.e; ethanol. A microbial electrochemical cell was designed with porous carbon fiber coated with neutral red as cathode and platinum wire coated with fine platinum as anode. Saccharum spontanum biomass pretreated with hot water at 100oC for 2 hours followed by acid hydrolysis was neutralized and used for production of ethanol by Saccharomyces cereviseae in electrochemical cell. A supply of 4V was found to be best for ethanol production with yield of 80 mg ethanol/gm biomass in 600 ml fermentation volume and only 60 mg/gm biomass in 1600 ml fermentation volume.