Bio-fuels

ALCOHOL FUELS

FERMENTATION OF BAKERY WASTE FOR FUEL ETHANOL PRODUCTION

Researchers: Thomas Adams, tadams@engr.uga.edu
Joy Peterson, jpeterso@uga.edu

Fuel ethanol is produced in large quantities in the US from corn grown in the Midwest. Georgia food processors produce over 300,000 tons of carbohydrate rich food waste each year with the potential to generate millions of gallons of ethanol.

Georgia food processors produce over 300,000 tons of carbohydrate rich food waste each year in the form of edible grain dust, off specification product, and trimmings. The bakery products industry in Georgia currently produces approximately 28,000 tons of food waste including off-specification products and intermediates each year. Currently, by-products from bakeries are sold to the animal feed industry at low prices, but much of the waste is simply sent to landfills due to the high cost of shipping the waste to animal feed manufacturers. Many of these products may be suitable for fermentation to produce fuel ethanol. Since much of this starchy material may be hydrolyzed into glucose at rates approaching 80%, they may serve as an important feedstock for a growing fuel ethanol industry in Georgia. This study could ultimately result in increasing the revenue stream for the bakery products industry and provide a much needed local feedstock for production of ethanol in Georgia.

Fuel ethanol is produced in large quantities in the US from corn grown in the Midwest. Over 3.4 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in 2004 with an estimated 1 billion gallons of capacity coming on line in 2005-2006; including 11 new ethanol plants in the planning phase in Georgia. This study proposes to take waste products from the baking industry and determine the feasibility of their use as ethanol feedstock. This will be accomplished by determining the amount of ethanol that may be produced from a series of bakery waste products as well as the best method to collect off specification products for sale to the ethanol industry.