Production of alcohol from sugar beet molasses without heat or filter sterilization
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Among three esters of p-hydroxybenzoate, n-butyl p-hydroxybenzoate was selected as the best antimicrobial substance. Molasses medium sterilized by this ester was used as a substrate for ethanol production. n-Butyl p-hydroxybenzoate (0.15% w/v) completely inhibited the growth of free yeast cell inoculum, Ca-alginate immobilized yeast inoculum and bacterial contaminants. Immobilization of the yeast cell inoculum in Ca-alginate with castor oil (6% v/v) offered a yeast cell protection against the inhibitory effect of n-butyl p-hydroxybenzoate. The presence of castor oil in this immobilization system did not affect the metabolic activity of the yeast in beads compared to the cells immobilized without castor oil. The yeast cell beads in this system completely utilized up to 25% molasses sugar with an ethanol yield of 10.58%, equal to 83% of its theoretical value. The beads were stable and could be used successfully for seven cycles of batch fermentation. The optimum fermentation temperature using this system was 35°C.
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