Sea Water as a Reaction Medium for Bioethanol Production

  • Dash Indira
  • Baskar Das
  • P. Balasubramanian
  • R. JayabalanEmail author


Lignocellulosic biorefineries are expected to combat the problems of depletion of fossil resources by large-scale production of chemicals and biofuels in future. Research studies in the past two decades have resulted in the systems for the production of bio-based novel products with improved ecological footprints. Among other challenges, the large scale operations would result in the huge consumption of fresh water (1.9–5.9 m3 water per m3 of biofuel) which will, in turn, question the sustainability of biorefineries. Fresh water shortage which already exists in many parts of our overpopulated planet has led to more uncertainties to biorefinery industries. Hence, some enzymatic and chemocatalytic applications using sea water as a reaction medium for large-scale biorefineries have been reported by several research groups, which emphasize the use of nonpotable water resources of coastal regions for locally available biomass. Many of those reports concluded that the use of such nonpotable water system is highly promising and hence the opportunities at the interface between biology and chemistry are predictable for holistic innovation and further research. The recent National Water Policy of India strongly advocated the implementation of new technology to minimize the fresh water consumption in industries. This critical situation warrants the design and development of economically, environmentally and socially sustainable practices for accomplishing sustainability in the global fine and speciality chemicals industry. The chapter has been planned to review the basics and research studies conducted to use the sea water as a reaction medium in bioethanol industries to reduce the usage of fresh water.


Bioethanol Sea water Saccharification Halotolerant Biorefinery 



Authors acknowledge the PhD fellowship given by NIT Rourkela, MHRD, Government of India.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest disclosed in this work.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dash Indira
    • 1
  • Baskar Das
    • 2
  • P. Balasubramanian
    • 2
  • R. Jayabalan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Life Science, Food Microbiology and Bioprocess LaboratoryNational Institute of TechnologyRourkelaIndia
  2. 2.Bioenergy and Environmental Lab, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedical EngineeringNational Institute of TechnologyRourkelaIndia

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