Bioethanol is currently being considered as a potential replacement for the conventional gasoline, especially as it possesses similar and some superior qualities enabling reduction in GHG and increases fuel reserve. Bioethanol used for commercial purposes is usually produced from edible feedstocks such as corn and sugar cane which increases the production cost. The high cost of these feedstocks is the driving force behind the search for the second, and third generations (3G) bioethanol produced from cheaper and available feedstocks. The fourth-generation bioethanol is being developed to further advance the 3G bioethanol to enhance the potential of algae to capture CO2 and to increase the production of specific compounds. Despite the efforts been made to reduce the cost of production through the use of diverse non-edible feedstocks, the cost of processing the feedstocks is still very high, thereby making bioethanol uncompetitive with the conventional gasoline. The life cycle assessment and techno-economic analyses are usually conducted to assess the economic feasibility and the environmental impact of the bioethanol production processes. This chapter thus, covers the State-of-the-art processes involved in bioethanol production including pretreatment, hydrolysis, fermentation processes, bioethanol recovery, integrated processes, Life cycle assessment, techno-economic analysis, exergy analysis and process simulation.
Part of the book: Bioethanol Technologies