What is Bio Ethanol? Bio Ethanol (bioethanol, ethanol, alcohol) are all used to describe the chemical ethyl alcohol with the formula C2H6O. Ethanol, as it is most commonly known, can be produced by fermentation of sugars (most commonly glucose with the formula C6H12O) by yeast yielding a ratio of approximately 51% ethanol and 49% carbon dioxide (CO2) by weight. However, ethanol can also be produced from petroleum through a series of chemical reactions to give the exact same chemical. Bio Ethanol, as it says, is produced only by fermentation.
Today, virtually all ethanol is produced by fermentation in a dilute slurry usually containing approximately 13-15% ethanol by weight. The dilute ethanol slurry is then distilled (ethanol boils at about 173ºF while water boils at about 212ºF) so ethanol separates from most of the water and is then re-condensed to about 95% ethanol by weight. Then the remaining 5% water is removed by the use of either molecular sieves or selective membranes to give the approximate 100% ethanol used for fuel prior to being denatured with gasoline to prevent it from being used as potable (drinking) alcohol. In fact, the alcohol that is burned as fuel and the alcohol that you may drink in distilled spirits such as vodka and gin can and is, in some locations, made in the exact same process. The two basic differences are: fuel alcohol is denatured with gasoline or other chemicals to prevent it from being used for drinking and drinking (potable) alcohol has a different set of quality standards that include odor and taste standards, for example.
At Lee Enterprises Consulting, we have many highly qualified bio-ethanol experts available to assist with any related matter. Feel free to call or email us for more information.