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Fuel
Vol. 278, 2020, 118403

Biobutanol as a potential alternative to petroleum fuel: Sustainable bioprocess and cost analysis

Mayurketan Mukherjeea,1, GargiGoswamia,1, Pranab KumarMondalc, Debasish Dasa,b

Department of Biosciences & Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam 781039, India.

Abstract

Present study demonstrates a two-stage sequential bioprocess for production of biobutanol using low-cost substrates, corn steep liquor and industrial grade maize starch. Improved butanol titer using low-cost substrates was achieved via combinatorial approach of: (i) optimization of initial concentration of corn steep liquor and starch; (ii) hydrolysis of starch into fermentable sugar using industrial grade amylase and (iii) coupling attributes of butanol upregulation via magnesium starvation and zinc supplementation. The strategy resulted in a butanol titer of 16.54 g L-1 with a yield of 0.28 g g-1. Physicochemical properties of butanol-diesel blends e.g. kinematic viscosity, absolute viscosity, density, flash point, fire point, cloud point and pour point corroborate well with pure diesel. Engine performance analysis revealed enhanced brake thermal efficiency with negligible change in key engine performance parameters under butanol-diesel blends as compared to diesel, depicting suitability of butanol as potent liquid transportation fuel. The present bioprocess strategy using low-cost substrates resulted in a price of 0.8 USD for every litre of butanol, offering economic feasibility for possible commercial realization.

Keywords: Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824, BiobutanolCorn steep liquor, Industrial grade starch, Internal Combustion engine, Cost analysis.

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