Evaluation of the Potentials of Some Cassava Varieties in Nigeria for Bio-Ethanol Production

Suitability of four cassava varieties (98/2101, 98/0505, TME 419, and TMS 4(2) 1425) for ethanol production was investigated. The total starch and amylose contents of variety 98/2101 were higher than those of the other three varieties. Variety 98/2101 also gave the highest ethanol productivity and yield. This was followed by variety 98/0505 while TMS 4(2) 1425 gave very low ethanol concentration and yield. The final ethanol concentration and yield were influenced by the age of variety 98/2101. The optimum age for harvesting this variety for ethanol production is 12 months. Above 12 months, some of the tubers started rotting and even ethanol yield per cassava flour decreased. On the whole, the starch contents of the varieties investigated were lower than the values reported for other varieties in other parts of the world. Efforts should therefore be made to develop cassava varieties with higher starch contents in Nigeria.

 CN Ogbonna, EC Okoli