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Steam explosion and fermentation of sugar beets from Southern Florida and the Midwestern United States

Dorado, Christina, Cameron, Randall G., Cooper, Kevin
Biocatalysis and agricultural biotechnology 2017 v.11 pp. 26-33
cattle feeds, enzymes, ethanol, ethanol production, feedstocks, fermentation, pectins, soil nutrients, steam, sugar beet, sugar content, sugars, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska
Sugar beets have recently gained interest for cultivation in southern Florida for their economic potential as cattle feed, a feedstock for ethanol production and their use to improve the quality of water via soil nutrient accumulation. Sugar beets grown in southern Florida, Minnesota and Nebraska were subjected to steam explosion. Analysis of soluble and insoluble sugars as well as pectin from raw and steam exploded sugar beet were completed. Fermentations of raw and steam exploded sugar beets, with and without enzymes, were conducted. There was no significant difference for ethanol production in the fermentation of steam exploded sugar beets with and without enzymes indicating that addition of enzymes are not necessary for fermentation. Pilot scale fermentations of the steam exploded sugar beet gave 6.7–9.7% ethanol by volume. Raw, milled sugar beet were limed and pressed. The press cake and press liquor were analyzed for dry weight and sugar content.