Bio-Ethanol Production from Non-Food Parts of Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz)
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Global climate issues and a looming energy crisis put agriculture under pressure in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate adaptation measures must entail sustainable development benefits, and growing crops for food as well as energy may be a solution, removing people from hunger and poverty without compromising the environment. The present study investigated the feasibility of using non-food parts of cassava for energy production and the promising results revealed that at least 28% of peels and stems comprise dry matter, and 10 g feedstock yields >8.5 g sugar, which in turn produced >60% ethanol, with pH ≈ 2.85, 74–84% light transmittance and a conductivity of 368 mV, indicating a potential use of cassava feedstock for ethanol production. Thus, harnessing cassava for food as well as ethanol production is deemed feasible. Such a system would, however, require supportive policies to acquire a balance between food security and fuel.
KeywordsCassava feedstock Food security Energy production Bio-ethanol
The present study was financed by SIDA through the BIO-EARN program. We thank Dr Anton Bua of the Cassava Program, National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) for providing the test material and associated logistics. The assistance of members of the NaCRRI biosciences laboratory, especially the biochemistry section, is gratefully acknowledged.
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