Bioethanol Production from Sugarcane Grown in Heavy Metal-Contaminated Soils

Jun Xie, Qiang Weng, Guangying Ye, Sishi Luo, Rui Zhu, Aiping Zhang, Xiaoyang Chen, Chuxia Lin


Field and laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate the feasibility of bioethanol production using the juice of sugarcane grown in heavy metal-contaminated soils. The results suggest that the sugar concentration was not adversely affected when the sugarcane was grown in the heavy metal-contaminated soil. Although the juice of sugarcane grown in contaminated soil contained elevated levels of heavy metals, sugar fermentation and ethanol production were not adversely affected when five selected yeast species were used to mediate the processes. The preliminary research findings obtained from this study have implications for developing cost-effective technologies for simultaneous bioethanol production and soil clean-up using heavy metal-contaminated soils for energy sugarcane farming.


Sugarcane; Ethanol; Fermentation; Yeast; Contamination; Heavy metals

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