18-26: Banana-waste bioconversion to biofuel: A sustainable approach for rural agricultural communities in the Pacific Rim

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Napoleon Ballroom C-D, 3rd fl (Sheraton New Orleans)
Angela A. Ruiz-Colorado, College of Energy and Processes, National University of Colombia, Medellin, Medellin, Colombia, Gaston E. Cruz-Alcedo, Chemical Engineering, Universidad de Piura, Piura, Peru, Tina Jeoh, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA and Monica C. Santa-Maria, Sciences / Biology, La Molina National Agrarian University, Lima, Peru
The banana plant produces fruit once during its life cycle leaving behind a significant amount of usable agricultural residue.  Current practice leaves the banana residue in the field to decompose spreading diseases and polluting water supplies. Furthermore, banana cultivation is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions in the Pacific Rim, in many cases, plantations being managed by rural agricultural communities. Here, we assess the technological feasibility and socioeconomic impact of converting banana agricultural waste to ethanol to be used as a locally-produced renewable energy source. Steam explosion and hot water pretreatment were tested and the bioconversion potential of three lignocellulosic residues (pseudostems, leaves and rachis) was evaluated. Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) was conducted and the effect of inhibitors generated during pretreatment on yeast growth and ethanol yields monitored. The results of this work will be presented.
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