Date by-products constitute the principal food for the oasis populations in Middle East and North Africa. Dates contents consist of 70 to 80% of reducing sugars, and do not require an intensive energy and labour for thermophysical pre-treatment. They can serve as a good feedstock for bioethanol generation through fermentation and distillation. Algeria is among the top sixth producers of dates in the world with more than 250,000 tons/year; from these, more than 30% can be lost for different reasons and may be of low quality. In the laboratory, after an alcoholic fermentation of the substrate of the date varieties, Teggaza and Lebghel (T & L) using bakery yeast at 30°C for 72 h, the distilled and rectified date juice generated the highest ethanol ( 88° and 90°) with acceptable productions of 2.5 and 2.78 mL/kg/h, and assessed scale efficiencies of 23.57 and 26.2%. This is unlike the one (ethanol; 50%) directly generated by chemical reaction using the same quantity of sugar. The efficiencies that were obtained seem satisfactory and encourage the great scaling development of bioethanol generation using date waste biomass abundant in Algerian Sahara.
Key words: Algerian Sahara, alcoholic fermentation, bioethanol, bakery yeast, dates by-product, distillation
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