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  • Ethanol (Alcohol), especially one that is produced from cassava, is a good bio fuel. Besides, the cultivation of cassava (also known as tapioca) and its conversion to ethanol can be done in rural areas.
  • Tapioca is a starch extracted from the root of plant species Manihot esculenta. Tapioca is now cultivated worldwide and has many names, including cassava, bitter-cassava, manioc, "mandioca", "aipim", "macaxeira", "manioca", "boba", "tapioca plant" "yuca".
  • Cassava starch is produced primarily by the wet milling of fresh cassava roots but in some countries such as Thailand it is produced from dry cassava chips. Starch is the main constituent of cassava. About 25% starch may be obtained from mature, good quality tubers.
  • Ethanol (Alcohol) is usually made by the fermentation of sugar, cellulose, or converted starch. Ethanol can be produced from maize, cassava etc,. It has uses as food and in the pharmaceutical industry. It is also used as a bio fuel.


  • Two cassava tubers were peeled and grated. The starch content was extracted with water and was sieved through a cheese filter. The solution was allowed to stand for about 30 minutes after which a 35% starch slurry was obtained by decanting calculated amount of water.
  • The resultant slurry was made 0.15 with termamyl enzyme;  an alpha-amylase. Added to the reaction mixture is CaCl2, a co factor  for the enzyme.  The reaction mixture was maintained at 950C-970C for four hours. The resultant hydroxylate was made 0.15% with fungamyl and the temperature was maintained at 55-65 o c for 20hours. After this time, the whole maltose and limit dextrin contents had been successfully hydrolysed to glucose as evident from the single band of glucose in the TLC analysis
  • The saccharified solution was diluted down, from the knowledge of its reducing sugar content by benedicts test to about 11% reducing sugar concentration. 1 gram of Bakers yeast was now added and the wort was fermented for 4 days.
  • The TLC analysis  show a gradual reduction in the concentration of glucose as the fermentation progresses 35% (v/v) ethanol was obtained after the initial distillation, a higher concentration was obtained after the second distillation.


  • The largest export volumes of starch after those exported by the EU and the US consist of sales of cassava starch (also known as tapioca), predominantly from Thailand. In 2000, total exports of native and modified cassava starch from Thailand were close to one million tons. Most of this is destined for other Asian countries, and large quantities are consumed in the Japanese paper industry. The EU and the US each import in the region of 30,000 tons per annum of tapioca starch from Thailand.
  • The starch manufacturers have initial plans for three ethanol manufacturing plants to be set up by the end of this year, each producing 50,000 litres per day. They will use as a raw material cellulosic biomass, a by-product from the tapioca starch manufacturing process.
  • Every 1,000 tonnes of tapioca production creates 350 tonnes of by-product which in turn can produce 15,000 litres of ethanol.
  • Cassava is one of the world’s most important food crops. Throughout the tropics, the plant’s root and leaves serve as an essential source of calories and income. About 600 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America depend on the cassava crop for their food and incomes.

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