Production of fuel ethanol from Vitellaria paradoxa fruit pulp by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation

Biofuels have become the world’s greatest, safest, cleanest and cheapest alternative to fossil fuels. Transport sector continues to receive influx of cars and general machinery every year worldwide leading to an overwhelming use of fossil fuel. The fossil fuel sources are gradually becoming depleted. Sustainable bioethanol recovered from inexhaustible sources are constantly been used to replace fossil fuels in the transport sector. The shea nut pulp (SNP) is a cheap source of carbon, nitrogen and calcium for the production of bioethanol. This study has employed the shea nut pulp as substrate, Saccharomyces cerevisiae-the Baker’s Yeast strain-as the fermentation microbe, Alpha Amylase enzyme for hydrolysis of the substrate and supported the simultaneous fermentation process with nutrient supplements. The data were subjected to statistical analysis. Approximately 37.8 and 40.0 g/L of ethanol after 16 and 20 h, were produced from without-α-amylase and with-α-amylase treatments, respectively. Fermentation efficiencies of 58.6 and 65.0 % were observed ethanol yields for without-α-amylase and with-α-amylase, respectively when compared to the theoretical yield. This research is useful in harnessing the potentials of the shea nut pulp as industrially relevant substrate for use independently or in combination with other substrates in microbial fermentation processes for ethanol production. An assessment of the fermentation process has revealed that the SNP is a good source of bioethanol going into the future. The research therefore recommends further work on scale-up of the bioethanol production process from the shea nut pulp.

 Abdul-Mumeen Idrissu, Zakpaa Hilary Domakyaraa, Mills-Robertson Felix Charles, Samuel Tetteh Lowor