Sunday, July 11, 2010

No. 98: Simplified ethanol production equipment (July 11, 2010)

Shimane Bioethanol Research Institute, an NPO headquartered in Matsue of Shimane Prefecture, has developed simplified ethanol production equipment in collaboration with Shimane University and a local engineering company. Shimane Prefecture faces the Japan Sea. Besides being easily operable, the equipment makes it possible to produce bioethanol using rice unfit for human consumption and leftover foods. Unlike large-scale equipment, the newly-developed equipment is small and capable of executing five processes that require five tanks in one tank. Because it is small in size, it can be installed in restaurants where leftover foods are available easily. It takes the equipment about 100 hours to process rice and leftover foods to produce ethanol of 40% concentration. The produced ethanol is collected and processed by the distillation and dehydration equipment to produce bioethanol of higher than 99.5% concentration. The bioethanol can be used for cars and disinfectants. This kind of grass-roots effort shows that environment awareness is spreading among ordinary Japanese.

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