Friday, 22 May 2015

Cassava: Raw Material for Ethanol Production

Cassava has once again proven it efficiency and potentials in Ethanol Production. In a bid to know more about the advantages and usefulness of Cassava, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has produced a Cassava Adding Value Documentary. The team led by Mrs. Toyin Adetunji the Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with the CAVA Team visited Atlantic Agro Allied Industry, Igbesa  where Ethanol is been produced from cassava.

In an interview, Mr. Rajah Sika, the Production Manager of the company said, Cassava is a great Crop for Ethanol Production because it produces high yields and boasts tremendous starch content, therefore producing high amount of Ethanol.

He said, we make use of 250 tons of Cassava per day, and have difficulty in getting cassava since we mainly get Cassava from Oyo and Ogun States. “Once the cassava is selected and weighted, if weighted 20-23, we pay N14,000 and if it is weighted extra, it attract the sum of #750.”
However, the Cassava needs to be washed and chopped to facilitate further processing. The Cassava is reduced into cassava chips and mixed with water, converted to cassava starch molecules and sugar,.
 According to Mr. Rajah, Ethanol is produced by fermenting and distilling bio mass. In the fermentation process, sugar and starch molecules are broken down by yeast to produce Ethanol. Water evaporates in the distillation process, thereby increasing the purity of Ethanol.

Furthermore, Ethanol is the base of most alcoholic beverages and is used in many pharmaceutical and beauty products. An enormous advantage of cassava processing is that we are able to collect spillage and organic waste to produce bio gas and fertilizer.

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