Chemistry Green Ethanol

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Activity AC7.21 Greener alcohol (Ethanol)

In this activity you will find out why ethanol is an important chemical. You will study three ways of making industrial ethanol. Then decide which of the methods is ‘greenest’, or most sustainable, in the UK. To doGo to the website http://www.greener-industry.org.uk

Click on ‘Contents’ from the menu on the left, and then ‘ethanol’. There are 8 pages of information to look at in order to gather information about ethanol production. To find out Why does ethanol need to be manufactured on a large scale? It needs to be manufactured on a large scale as it has lots of uses such as a solvent in manufacture of perfume and cosmetics. What percentage of the world production of ethanol is made in the UK? 1% of the 24.8 million tonnes produced every year.

Which is the main production method for industrial ethanol in the UK? Synthetic ethanol is the main production method in the UK. Compare the three processes for making industrial ethanol by filling in the table.

Decide what are the main issues surrounding the use of ethanol. The main issues surrounding the use of ethanol is if the fermentation method is used we would have to use up land that would be used for agricultural purposes. Another issue would be with the synthetic method as it would create a large amount of CO2 which harms the environment. Which of the methods if “greenest” or most sustainable in the UK? The method which would be the greenest is fermentation.

Bacterial fermentation | THE RAW MATERIALS | | | | | | | | Yeast fermentation | | | | | | | | ‘Synthetic’ ethanol | | | | | | | | | What materials can be used (the feedstock)? | What treatment does the feedstock need? | Is the feedstock a renewable resource? | Is making and using ethanol this way carbon neutral?...
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