FOT researchers produce Bioethanol from Banana fruit waste

Researchers at the Faculty of Technology, USJ successfully produced Bio Ethanol using waste Banana collected from the vegetable market. “Total amount of 8% of ethanol was generated by waste banana after the fermentation process. After completing the multiple distillations to remove the moisture, we were able  to produce 98% pure bioethanol.” said Dr. Udara Arachchige, Department of Civil and Environmental Technology, Faculty of Technology, USJ

The research was carried out by Dr. Udara Arachchige; Department of Civil and Environmental Technology, Faculty of Technology, USJ, Prof. Nilmini Liyanage; Department of Materials and Mechanical Technology, Faculty of Technology, USJ, Mr. Sadeep Jayasankha (M.Phil. Student); Department of Civil and Environmental Technology, Faculty of Technology, USJ.

Blended bioethanol was produced by mixing Bioethanol with Petrol to produce E5 which is 5% Bioethanol, E10 which is 10% ethanol and E20 which is 20% ethanol. Engine performance and the flue gas emissions are tested and analyzed for the blended bioethanol. Total Sulphur emissions are less compared to the emissions with gasoline. The use of waste fruits as the feedstock reduces the production cost of the process and raises the demand for bioethanol. This study shows that the banana waste can serve as raw materials for ethanol production.

It has been estimated around 270000 tons of harvested fruits (about 30% of banana, 46% of papaya, 18% of pineapple, 40% of lime, 41% of avocado and 90% of jackfruits) are wasted in Sri Lanka annually due to improper management of packaging, handling transportation and storage. Therefore, there is a big chance to study producing bioethanol using fruit wastes as a possible fuel substitute.

They performed this research with a university research grant (Grant Number: ASP/01/RE/TEC/2021/65) to identify the possibility of using fruit waste as a raw material for bioethanol production to replace gasoline.


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