Seawater Replaces Freshwater to Produce Bioethanol
The world population has been continuously showing no promise of slowing down. The need for energy to allow for the retention of the population is high as well now. The carbon-di-oxide emissions are estimated to rise to 43 billion metric tons in 20 years from now. The amount of fossil fuels that have been used to satisfy the population is at a rapidly depleting stage, and the need for biofuels has grown drastically. Bioethanol is one of the best fuels that can be considered as a close match to the fossil fuels that are used today. The fuel is in a liquid state and is closest in its property to petrol as well.
A study was conducted by the University of Nottingham to understand the sustainable ways in which, Bioethanol can be produced. Yeast that was marine-based was used in the study, and the research was a success. The strain of yeast was able to effectively produce bioethanol using seawater. He seawater was taken from the Lincolnshire coast. The yeast, however, was taken from different parts of the world like UK, USA and from Egypt.
The Current Process in Making Bioethanol
Currently, bioethanol is made by fermenting edible crops and a lot of freshwaters to produce bioethanol. With the number of people and processes in today’s world requiring bio-fuels, the need for bioethanol is massive. While this is an amazingly sustainable way to provide fuel, the depletion of fresh water to produce biofuels has been a concern. The limited nature of edible crops and fresh water being used for anything other than nutrition has been looked like a waste. The cost for producing bioethanol in countries that have an abundance of fr4eshwater is also very high.
To make bioethanol, water and sugarcane or maize have been used to produce bioethanol. For every liter of bioethanol, the amount of water that is used is roughly 10,000 liters. The alarming amount of water has made the process non-sustainable but the end-product a sustainability promoter. This was the driving factor of the researchers to find a marine fermentation alternative to the biofuel. The amount of water and land that is needed to produce the fuel has also been under scrutiny.
Producing Biofuel Through Marine Fermentation
By using marine fermentation into the process of producing biofuels, an alternative source for water has been established. The pressure of having to use only fresh water for the production is not a concern anymore. The marine life such as micro-organisms and biomass is used in the actual fermentation process. The availability of seawater is massive and one which ha snot been tapped into for sustainability as much as possible. The kind of minerals that are present in seawater is vast and is the perfect environment for several possibilities. The benefits of the process of fermenting using seawater are not just constrained to producing biofuels. The process produced freshwater and saltwater as a by-product from the process. This adds to the sustainability of the new-found process.