Tamarind wastes such as tamarind husk, pulp, seeds, fruit and the effluent generated during tartaric acid extraction were used as supplements to evaluate their effects on alcohol production from cane molasses using yeast cultures. Small amounts of these additives enhanced the rate of ethanol production in batch fermentations. Tamarind fruit increased ethanol production (9.7%, w/v) from 22.5% reducing sugars of molasses as compared to 6.5% (w/v) in control experiments lacking supplements after 72 h of fermentation. In general, the addition of tamarind supplements to the fermentation medium showed more than 40% improvement in ethanol production using higher cane molasses sugar concentrations. The direct fermentation of aqueous tamarind effluent also yielded 3.25% (w/v) ethanol, suggesting its possible use as a diluent in molasses fermentations. This is the first report, to our knowledge, in which tamarind-based waste products were used in ethanol production.
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