Nyong Bassey Edem, Ita Obo Okokon, Ita Precious Okokon, Idim Veronica D
This study was aimed at producing ethanol from Sponge gourd (Luffa acutangula) which is an agricultural waste. Ethanol was obtained from the sample by simple laboratory distillation. The physicochemical properties of the bio-ethanol obtained were determined using standard analytical methods and the results were compared to commercial ethanol. Sponge gourd gave 24.6% ethanol yield after 15 days of wild fermentation. Results also showed that sponge gourd high sugar contents but these sugars could not be fermented by yeast to produce high amount of ethanol because of the presence of high lignin content in the plant which acts as a barrier to microbial attack. However, higher yields of ethanol can be obtained from sponge gourd by pre-treating the sample first to remove the lignin before fermentation. The results of chemical test and FTIR spectra of ethanol obtained from the analysis were similar to commercial standards. These results suggest that agricultural wastes may serve as an alternative source of raw material for the production of industrial chemical such as ethanol.
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