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Improvement over Traditional Brewing Techniques for Production of Bioethanol from Mahua Flowers

Author: Tandrima Banerjee? Abhijit Samanta??

Category: Engineering, Science and Mathematics


An initiative has been taken to develop bioenergy from some tribal forest biomass as the alternative energy resources. The present study is mainly focused on the development of traditional brewing techniques used by some tribes of West Bengal (India) for production of rice beer using wild herbals, rice grains and local Mahua flowers. Our current research is based on the production of first generation biofuels as bioethanol derived from Mahua flowers (Madhuca indica) enriched with high amount of fermentable sugars. The biochemical analysis of Mahua flowers revealed that it contained moisture (10-15%), sugar (64-68%), reducing sugars (50-55%), invert sugars (10-14%), ash (2-4%), crude protein (4-5%), crude fat (0.8-1%), Fe2+ and Ca2+. The present investigation was used for the development of bioethanol production from Mahua flower extract by two types of fermentation process (batch and fed-batch) using yeast strain S. cerevisiae-3078 culture. About twenty five treatment combinations were used for fermentation under same nutrients conditions maintaining pH= 4, 5 and 5.7 and two temperatures 30o and 33oC over a period of fermentation (5, 7, 14, 18 and 21 days). The concentration of produced alcohol increased with aging and prolonged fermentation until it reached a steady concentration. The maximum yields of ethanol at 33oC and pH=5.7 after 14 days was found 18% and 15% (using batch) while it is 22% and 16% (using fed-batch fermentation) from fresh and 6-month-stored Mahua flowers, respectively. Thus bioethanol production would be increased by developing the traditional methodology, as it is expected to benefit the people of tribal areas as well as the bioenergy demand in India in the long run.

Keywords: Bioenergy; Bioethanol; Mahua; Brewing Techniques; Fermentation.