The effect of sulfide and ammonia on cassava fermentation for ethanol production in an ethanol–methane coupled system

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An ethanol–methane coupled system was proposed to resolve wastewater pollution in cassava ethanol production. The wastewater originated from ethanol distillation is treated with two-stage anaerobic digestion and then recycled for medium preparation for the next batch ethanol fermentation, thus eliminating wastewater discharge and saving fresh water. The constituents of the two-stage anaerobic digestion effluent were complex which influenced the ethanol fermentation performance. This paper aimed to study the effect of two constituents in the effluent, i.e. sulfide and ammonia, on cassava-based ethanol fermentation performance. It was found that sulfide reduced the consumption rate of total sugar by significantly inhibiting the growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but the total consumption amount of total sugar at the end of fermentation was not influenced. S. cerevisiae produced more glycerol and less ethanol at the end of fermentation containing higher concentration of sodium sulfide. Ethanol fermentation performance could be hardly influenced by the sulfide in the two-stage effluent because of the very low concentration. More glycerol was produced while final ethanol concentration was reduced when the level of ammonia in the two-stage effluent was higher.

Keywords: ammonia, cassava-based ethanol fermentation, ethanol–methane fermentation coupled system, S. cerevisiae, sulfide

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