Ethanol production from biomass: technology and commercialization status

  • Mielenz J
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Owing to technical improvements in the processes used to produce ethanol from biomass, construction of at least two waste-to-ethanol production plants in the United States is expected to start this year. Although there are a number of robust fermentation microorganisms available, initial pretreatment of the biomass and costly cellulase enzymes remain critical targets for process and cost improvements. A highly efficient, very low-acid pretreatment process is approaching pilot testing, while research on cellulases for ethanol production is expanding at both enzyme and organism level.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Biomass
  • *Biotechnology/economics
  • Cellulase/metabolism
  • Cellulose/metabolism
  • Environment
  • Ethanol/economics/*metabolism
  • Fermentation/cellulase/review

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  • J R Mielenz

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