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how is ethanol made


Ethanol Production - How is Ethanol Made?

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** How is Ethanol Made? **

From Larry West, former About.com Guide

*Question: *How is Ethanol Made?
*Answer: *Ethanol can be made from any crop or plant that contains a large
amount of sugar or components that can be converted into sugar, such as
starch or cellulose.

As their names imply, sugar beets and sugar cane contain natural sugar.
Crops such as corn, wheat and barley contain starch that can be easily
converted to sugar. Most trees and grasses are made of cellulose, which can
also be converted into sugar, although not as easily as starch.

Most ethanol is produced using a four-step process:

1. The ethanol feedstock (crops or plants) are ground up for easier
processing;
2. Sugar is dissolved from the ground material, or the starch or cellulose
is converted into sugar;
3. Microbes feed on the sugar, producing ethanol and carbon dioxide as
byproducts; and
4. The ethanol is purified to achieve the correct concentration.

It is also possible to produce ethanol through a wet-milling process, which
is used by many large ethanol producers. This process also yields
byproducts such as high-fructose corn syrup, which is used as a sweetener
in many prepared foods.

*Ethanol: Frequently Asked Questions*

· What is Ethanol?
· How is Ethanol Made?
· How Much Does it Cost to Use Ethanol?
· How Does Ethanol Performance Compare to Gasoline?
· Where Can You Buy Ethanol?
· What are the Benefits of Using Ethanol?
· What are the Drawbacks of Using Ethanol?

Related Articles

· Definition of Cellulosic Ethanol - What is Cellulosic


Source: environment.about.com/od/ethanolfaq/f/ethanol_process.htm

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