Design and construction of a reflux column distillation unit for bio-ethanol production from sugarcane substrate

  • JO Olaoye
Keywords: Biomass, Biofuel, Ethanol, Distillation, Energy Crop, Alternative Energy


A bio-ethanol distilling tank was designed and constructed to distil ethanol
from sugarcane substrate. The machine has a capacity to process 200 litres of substrate at full load of the boiler. The distiller has an Internal Reflux Still Condenser (IRSC) that controls the intemal re-distillation process and the separation of the final output The column diameter-was 40 mm. An anaerobic fermentation of substrate was adopted before distillation could be carried out The fermented substrate was adjusted to an optimum pH level value of 4-5 by addition of 0.1 M2S04 and the optimum temperature was within the temperature range of 29-38°C. A charcoal pot
was used as heat source. The results of the machine evaluation showea that optimum yield occurred at 0.0325 ratio of substrate to ethanol yield. An average distilled product of 2.1 litres was obtained at highest ratio of substrate to ethanol yield of 0.033 when the distillation time was 45 minutes. The total distilled products after 1½ hours of distillation was estimated at 4.25 litres. It was observed that the fermentation and distillation processes were done in situ, and could definitely affect clear separation of the fermentable portion of the fermented sugar solution.

Key words: Biomass, Biofuel, Ethanol, Distillation, Energy Crop, Alternative


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2437-2110
print ISSN: 0189-9546