Bio-processing of Ligno-Cellulosic Biomass for Production of Bio-ethanol

  • Swati Kumari


Consumption of oil by India is 4 mbpd (million barrel per day) which mainly includes petrol, diesel, kerosene etc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) petroleum usage can elevate up to 18 million cubic meters per day by 2040. Conventional fuel reserves cannot last forever. Thus an alternative is must. The billion ton study of estimated that total amount of available biomass that can be sustainably removed from agricultural land is 194 million dry tons annually. In the future, through a combination of technology changes (e.g. higher crop yield and improved residue collection technology), adoption of no-till cultivation and changes in land use to accommodate large scale production of perennial crops, this amount can increase five fold in next 35-40 years to reach nearly 1 billion dry tons of biomass annually. This amount is sufficient to produce cellulosic ethanol production goals to 21 billion gallons annually by 2020. Biomass is favorable for fuel generation as there is reduced amount of green house gas released. The best probable solution is bio-fuels. A good alternative source for bio-fuel production is bio-ethanol obtained from lingo-cellulosic biomass feedstock. With advancements in the pretreatment processes and development of efficient genetically modified microbial strains with high volumetric productivity for bio-ethanol production from lingo-cellulosic, the commercialization of the process seems to be feasible in the near future.