THE PROSPECTS, IMPACTS, AND RESEARCH CHALLENGES OF ENHANCED CELLULOSIC ETHANOL PRODUCTION: A REVIEW
The benefits and impacts of enhanced cellulosic ethanol (CE) production, the major features of existing production processes, and some current research challenges of major pretreatment processes are presented. The prospects of enhanced CE production, especially in developing economies like Nigeria are highlighted. We conclude that in order to reap the promising prospects and conquer the challenges and negative impacts of enhanced CE production, current researches for production of cellulosic ethanol must be focused on the development of processes that are capable of liberating and fermenting lignocellulose into bioethanol at faster rates, higher yields, and overall technical and economic efficiency. These researches should concentrate on the development of cheaper enzymes, genetically engineered microorganisms, and cost-effective thermochemical processes in order to accomplish the much-needed breakthrough in cellulosic biofuel production. Properly targeted innovative researches on cellulosic ethanol production processes are the sure route to effective reduction of global dependence on nonrenewable fossil fuels. The needed research breakthroughs will obviously be based on innovative integration of processes rather than on the improvement of the well-known individual processes of bioethanol production.