Dehydration Of Ethanol Water Solution Using Activated Starch

Project and Seminar Material for Chemical Engineering

Dehydration Of Ethanol Water Solution Using Activated Starch


This project research work was based on dehydration of ethanol water solution using activated starch. The extracted starch obtained was of whistler method. The starch obtained from potato was weighed with the use of a weighing balance, 0.1gram of activated starch weighted for eight times. The 0.1 gram of activated starch was put in a different test tube. About 20mg of ethanol was measured and added to the 0.1gram of activated starch, with two different concentrations of 10% and 50% respectively which was put on test tube track and then placed on the water bath and was allowed to run for 30 minutes and 60 minutes respectively.

The result obtained from the experiment was seen to be more palatable with the use of potatoes starch as the major absorbent. It was observed that the lower concentration of ethanol-water mixture led to decrease in the refractive index of the water-ethanol mixture. The dehydration method employed was of a huge advantage due to its effectiveness and ability to remove water from the mixture of ethanol and water. Due to the fact that the intermediate product of the activated starch were useful in the dehydration process, a good quality of ethanol was obtained which gave rise to the relevance of potato being put into use in terms of starch generation for industrial purpose.

The research work as regards the materials used and the method of dehydration being employed, it was compared relatively to be more viable and feasible with other methods of dehydration. The amount put together to achieve the successful dehydration and anhydrous ethanol as quality product was estimated to be relatively cheaper compared to the other methods of dehydration

Table of Contents

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Objectives of the study
  • 1.3 Statement of Problems
  • 1.4 Justification
  • 1.5 Limitation of study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 History of Ethanol
  • 2.2 Gelatinization and Saccharification of Starch
  • 2.3 Enzymatic Hydrolytic Starch
  • 2.4 Ethanol Dehydration Through Stimulation
  • 2.5 Adsorption of Ethanol
  • 2.6 Activation of Starch
  • 2.7 Properties of Activation Starch
  • 2.8 Activated Starch
  • 2.9 Methods of Activated Starch

Chapter Three

3.0 Methodology

  • 3.1 Apparatus / Materials Used
  • 3.2 Method of Starch Extraction
  • 3.3 Flour Extraction
  • 3.4 Activation or Modification of Starch Sample
  • 3.5 Experimental Procedure

Chapter Four

4.0 Result Analysis

  • 4.1 The Results
  • 4.2 Calculation for the Refractive Index

Chapter Five

5.0 Discussion, Conclusion, and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Discussion
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Complication of a process for ethanol dehydration by fractional distillation arrives when the solution is in the vicinity of its azeotropic point (95.6wt% ethanol) where both compounds are not separable by fractional distillation. Azeotropic distillation is to bring ethanol concentration up to an anhydrous level is an energy intensive and required a use of toxic organic entraners such as benzene. As a result anhydrous ethanol is normally produced by distilling the solution until ethanol concentration of about 75 -90wt% is achieved and other techniques are employed after that remove water to a minusel level.

One of the energy efficient techniques widely used for dehydration of ethanol is adsorption and starchy and cellulose biomass are among several adsorbent that have been accepted that ethanol dehydration by adsorption requires less energy than the conventional azeotropic distillation it is also less energy consuming than adsorption using other adsorbent. For example the total energy consumed in dehydration of ethanol using cellulose was reported to be 2,873 kj/kg ethanol while the adsorption using calcium oxide (CaO) was 3,669kj/kg ethanol. Another attractive advantage of using biomass derived adsorbent is that when regeneration is not practical the spent adsorbent could be used as a feed stock for fermentation either for ethanol or biomass production. Deposition of starchy and cellulosic and environmental friendly due to their readily biodegradability.

Ability of starch and cellulose to adsorb water is a result of interaction in form of hydrogen bonding between free hydroxyl groups (-OH) on their glucose units and the water molecules as depicted. Water is by nature more polar than organic compounds such as alcohols. Therefore it interacts with hydroxyl groups of glucose containing adsorbent with higher strength and faster rate. Consequently, aqueous alcohol solution passing through bed of starchy or cellulose material would come out with lower concentration of water in the solution.s

1.2 Objectives of the Study

The aim or objectives of the research work on the dehydration of ethanol water solution using activated starch is determined as follows:

  1. To identify polysaccharide compounds of starch materials which have the ability of adoption due to the removal of water by contact of the adsorbent either with vapor or liquid of ethanol solutions.
  2. To determine the adsorption of water from liquid solution 85 95%v/v ethanol onto starchy material.
  3. To determine the complication of a process for ethanol dehydration by the activated starch.
  4. To determine investigated water and adsorption efficiency of adsorbent prepared by the activated starch.

1.3 Statement of Problems

The problems which arise as a result of high cost of importation and harsh economic situation in the country, it becomes imperative to search for local raw materials to replace the imported ethanol water solution by starch which yield high quality of activated starch which yield high quality of activated starch for the dehydration of ethanol solution.

1.4 Justification

At present, there is no commercial dehydration of ethanol water solution from activated starch in Nigeria. Huge amount of money are being spent to import ethanol for medical, pharmaceutical research and industries. It will be economically useful if government imitate a move towards the direction of dehydration ethanol from our local raw material such as starch.

1.5 Limitation of Study

This study is limited to small scale dehydration because of limited raw materials compare to industrial scale. And due to small scale and non availability of chemicals some useful determination cannot be carried out.

Chapter Five

Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Discussion

The mixture containing ethanol and water form an azeotrope. The mixture contains a substantial amount of water which needs to be dehydrated in order to be put into diverse use. At atmospheric pressure, the azeotrope occurs at 351K (77 – 850C) where the purity of ethanol does not exceed to more than 90 mole%. Due to the formation of azeotrope the water mixture cannot be performed by using a single distillation column. The two most commonly applied processes for the dehydration of ethanol are azeotropic distillation and molecular sieve.

In azeotropic distillation a third component is usually employed, typically benzene or cyclohexane to break the azeotrope. When an azeotropic agent is added to a mixture of water and ethanol, it forms two liquids phases which are partially miscible. Benzene, ethanol and water form a ternary azeotrope with a ternary azeotrope with a boiling point of 64.90C. Since this azeotrope is more volatile than the ethanol – water azeotrope, it can be distilled out of the ethanol – water mixture, extracting all of the water in the process. The overhead product is then separated in a decanter into a water – rich layer and organic – rich layer.

The result obtained from the experiment was seen to be more palatable with the use of potato starch as the major absorbent. It was observed that the lower the concentration of ethanol –water mixture led to decrease in the refractive index of the water – ethanol mixture.

The dehydration of ethanol molecular sieve mostly uses modern ethanol plants. A molecular sieve column uses an adsorbent with a strong affinity for water and little affinity for ethanol and other impurity. When wet ethanol vapour passes through bed, the desiccant adsorbs the water molecules. synthetic zeolite [aluminosilicate minerals] are the most commonly used desiccant. Therefore, water – molecule are strongly attracted into the pore of the synthetic zeolite but ethanol molecules are excluded thereby leaving ethanol as the end product.

The dehydration process therefore entails that ethanol can be separable from a water- ethanol mixture using azeotropic distillation, extractive distillation, supercritical fluid extraction or molecular sieve.

The extraction method by fluid as observed in the small scale research experiment have proven to be more advantageous over prior art method, due to the fact that it can be conducted in liquid state below the vapourization temperature of the alcohols. The method is capable of removing water from mixture of alcohol and water by contacting such as mixture with a substantially dehydrated solid adsorbent which comprises particulate starch – containing vegetable such as potato. The substantially anhydrous adsorbent (activated starch) is then contacted with the aqueous alcohol mixture to remove water there from the dehydration procedure can be conducted in either a batch or continuous manner.

The small scale research experiment using activated starch from potato as the absorbent, when compared with other methods achieve the same aim of dehydration and the end product of quality ethanol. However the research experiment is cheaper viable and feasible unlike the other methods which imposed high cost of operation, energy and long time consumption in order to achieve result such as in the case of azeotropic distillation which is very costly and that of vapour dehydration procedure which involve high energy cost in order to accomplish and maintain the materials in vapour state and also present problem of efficient contact of the vapour with the absorption agent.

The end product of the ethanol obtained resulting from dehydration is also called ethyl alcohol purealchohol, grainalcohol or drunking alcohol which is a volatile, flammable, colourless liquid. It is a powerful psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. It is best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and thermometers. Ethanol can be used as an antiseptic to disinfect the skin before injections are given. Ethanol based soaps are becoming common in restaurants and are convenient because they do not require drying due to the volatility of the compound. Alcohol based gels have become as hand sanitizes.

5.2 Conclusion

Good quality of ethanol has been dehydrated from potato tuber. The intermediate products “activated starch” are equally useful products for textile, paper, dextrins, beverages industries. The use of potato as a source of starch for various industrial processes has long been of increasing interest. The starch content of cassava can be dehydration and turned into ethanol, a product that is of important use as a chemical feed stock. At present, there is no commercial dehydration of ethanol from potato in Nigeria. Huge sum of money is being spent to import ethanol for medical, pharmaceutical, research and industries.

Countries like Brazil, U.S.A are able to cope with their energy demand with ethanol as fuel and generally these countries produce their ethanol used as fuel from starchy materials. The final dehydration ethanol concentration of 50%(v/v) could be obtained using potato starch particles as packing materials. The effect of variables on the dehydrated ethanol concentration was optimized. The process conditions used were packing particles size, temperature, initial feed concentration feed rate and quantity of packing materials.

5.3 Recommendation

The research work although feasible and viable but tasting, in other to achieve high level of precision and accurate result, relevant equipment and facilities should be put in place. And it is recommended that non-functioning equipment and facilities should be refurblished so as to meet up with the standards and specifications accepted widely.

It is recommended that the research work should be carried out, using the school laboratories so as to reduce the cost of transportation outside the school premises and to increase or boost the participation of the student involved in the research work.

Finally, it is also recommended that more student should be involved due to the cost of the research work so as to relief or reduce much cost burden on the participating students.

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