Handbook of Cellulosic Ethanol

Alcohol Fuels

Alcohol fuels are oxygenated fuels containing one or more oxygen atoms per molecule. Monohydric acyclic saturated alcohols make a homologous series with general formula CnH2n+1OH. The lower members like methanol, ethanol are completely miscible with water, and as you go down the series, miscibility decreases as the larger alkyl group can make the molecule more hydrophobic. The boiling point and volatility of the alcohols increases as molecular weights increase in the series. Practically any of the small organic molecules in the alcohol family can be used as a fuel. However, alcohols that have been considered as motor fuels are methanol (CH3OH), ethanol (C2H5OH), propanol (C3H7OH), and butanol (C4H9OH). Propanol has two isomers, и-propanol, and iso-propa­nol, whereas butanol has four isomers, и-butanol, sec-butanol, iso­butanol and ferf-butanol. Nevertheless, ethanol is the most popular alcohol fuel due to lower toxicity and easy accessibility via fermen­tation methods.

Biobutanol is another renewable alcohol fuel under develop­ment, and can be prepared by fermentation as well as catalytic routes. Unfortunately, the rise in alcohol concentration causes buta­nol to be toxic to the fermentation microorganisms, killing them off after a period of time. This makes the butanol fermentation process expensive. Therefore, new modifications are constantly being researched, including the modification of enzymes and genes involved in biobutanol formation via fermentation. However, with the current state of technology, methanol and bioethanol fuels are technically and economically more suitable for internal combustion engines [6].

Handbook of Cellulosic Ethanol

Disadvantages of Ethanol

There are a few disadvantages to ethanol when compared to gaso­line, including: 1. Lower energy density in ethanol is the most signifi­cant disadvantage. A kilogram of ethanol has about 66% …

Handbook of Cellulosic Ethanol

The inevitable decline in petroleum reserves and the rise in demand for oil from rapidly growing economies have caused soaring oil prices, and coupled with climate change concerns have contributed …

Biodiesel Education Grants

Competitive grants are available through the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program (Section 9006) to educate governmental and private enti­ties that operate vehicle fleets, the public, and other interested enti­ties about the …

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