There is great interest in producing bioethanol from biomass and there is much emphasis on exploiting lignocellulose sources, from crop wastes through to energy-rich crops. Some waste streams, however, contain both cellulosic and non-cellulosic sugars. These include wastes from pineapple processing. Pineapple wastes are produced in large amounts throughout the world by canning industries. These wastes are rich in intracellular sugars and plant cell walls which are composed mainly of cellulose, pectic substances and hemicelluloses. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential to transform such residues into ethanol after enzymatic saccharification of plant cell walls, and fermentation of the resulting simple sugars using the Saccharomyces cerevisiae NCYC 2826 strain. Three different fermentation modes, direct fermentation, separate hydrolysis and fermentation, and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of the biomass were tested and compared. The results show that the main sugars obtained from pineapple waste were: glucose, uronic acid, xylose, galactose, arabinose and mannose. The highest ethanol yield was achieved after 30 hours of simultaneous saccharification and fermentation, and reached up to 3.9% (v/v), corresponding to the 96% of the theoretical yield.
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