Ethanol: what is and how production works

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, is a biofuel widely used in cars and obtained through the fermentation of Sugars. In addition, ethanol is a renewable substance, as its raw material is obtained through man-grown plants.

There are several vegetables that can be used for ethanol production – corn, beetroot, cassava, potatoes, etc. However, in the Brazil, the most used of them is sugarcane, which can also generate electricity when it is bagasse-shaped.

Currently, Brazil is one of the largest producers of fuel in the world and with the highest technology to do so, hitting about 15 billion liters. In addition to being an efficient and clean energy alternative, the ethanol is also an industry bet to reduce oil use.

Ethanol production follows the following procedures
1. Sugarcane grinding: The cane passes through a processor where you get the cane broth (or garapa) that contains a high sucrose content.
2. Molasses Production: The broth is heated to obtain molasses, which consists of a solution of about 40% sucrose en masse. Brown sugar is produced when part of this sucrose crystallizes. 3. Molasses fermentation: From there, organic yeasts, such as Saccharomyces, which is a type of yeast that causes sucrose to turn into ethanol. After this process, the fermented must is obtained, which already contains up to 12% of its total volume in ethanol.
4. Distillation of fermented must: Here, the must goes through the fractional distillation process that will give rise to a solution whose composition will be: 96% ethanol and 4% water. There is a denomination that is given in degrees, is the so-called alcohol content of a drink. In the case of ethanol is 96° GL (Gay-Lussac).


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