Cellulosic ethanol production is the process of creating cellulose ethanol from feedstocks, and this process requires a few different steps. Cellulosic ethanol is the next generation of this biofuel, because it does not require food crops that are also used by the global population or fertile land that is used to grow the global food supply. Cellulosic ethanol production requires more work than traditional ethanol processing does, because the cellulose must be broken down so that the sugar monomers are released. The sugar is what causes the fermentation process, and the cellulose must be broken down so the trapped sugars can be used in the process. The process starts with pretreatment, which is used to increase the ability of the enzymes to access the sugars the material contains.
The next step in the cellulosic ethanol production process is hydrolysis. During this step the feedstocks for cellulose ethanol are exposed to enzymes which break down the cellulose even further. This step releases all of the sugars trapped in the organic material. The last step in the cellulosic ethanol production process is fermentation. During this step the sugars turn into cellulose ethanol, which is one type of grain alcohol and is a biofuel which is much more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels. The production of cellulose ethanol only involves biomass and agricultural waste, there are no food crops used in the process. This next generation of biofuels takes waste and discarded materials that are not wanted and turns them into an effective and efficient biofuel.
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