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Bioresource Technology
Vol. 203, 2016, Pages: 334–340

Monitoring of the cellulosic ethanol fermentation process by near-infrared spectroscopy

Ariane S.S. Pinto, Sandra C. Pereira, Marcelo P.A. Ribeiro, Cristiane S. Farinas

Graduate Program of Chemical Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos, 13565-905, PO Box 676, São Carlos, SP, Brazil.


Rapid, efficient, and low-cost technologies for monitoring the fermentation process during second generation (2G) or cellulosic ethanol production are essential for the successful implementation of this process at the commercial scale. Here, the use of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy associated with partial least squares (PLS) regression was investigated as a tool for monitoring the production of 2G ethanol from lignocellulosic sugarcane residues including bagasse, straw, and tops. The spectral data was based on a set of 103 alcoholic fermentation samples. Models based on different pre-processing techniques were evaluated. The best root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) values obtained in the external validation were around 3.02 g/L for ethanol and 6.60 g/L for glucose. The findings showed that the PLS-NIR methodology was efficient in accurately predicting the glucose and ethanol concentrations during the production of 2G ethanol, demonstrating potential for use in monitoring and control of large-scale industrial processes.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Second generation ethanol; Lignocellulosic biomass; Sugarcane; Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy; Bioprocess monitoring.

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