Merida, Mexico, Feb. 19 (Notimex).- Researchers from the Natural Resources and Renewable Energy Unit of the Yucatan Scientific Research Center (CICY, for its acronym in Spanish), develop a new technique to produce bioethanol from the fermentation of the ramón tree seed (Brosimum alicastrum).
In an interview, the doctoral student at the CICY Renewable Energy Postgraduate Course, Edgar Olguín Maciel, explained that this project seeks to optimize the production of bioethanol from a renewable source of biomass, the ramón.
He also indicated that this work was carried out under the advice of Dr. Alfonso Larqué Saavedra and Raúl Tapia Tussell, researchers from the Natural Resources and Renewable Energy units of the CICY, respectively.
He also explained that two alternatives for obtaining bioethanol have been developed in the laboratory: the first technique is conventional production, which uses commercial enzymes and a native yeast, isolated from the ramón seed.
The second methodology is a consolidated bioprocess (CBP), where an organism is capable of producing enzymes and, at the same time, has the ability to ferment the sugars released in hydrolysis to produce bioethanol.
Olguín Maciel explained that in the conventional process commercial enzymes are used for the hydrolysis of starch, followed by the fermentation process with a native yeast strain.
While in the consolidated bioprocess, the ramón flour is inoculated with a fungus capable of producing an enzymatic battery that unfolds the starch into free sugars and, simultaneously, this organism ferments the sugars producing bioethanol.
It also generates co-products of added value during this process, which is why the researchers have already patented both processes for the protection of this scientific work.
He stressed that the ramón is a large area of opportunity, since its seeds have great nutritional value for humans and can be used for the production of fuel, its leaves in tea and its forage has high protein content for livestock.
Ramón does not have problems to develop under conditions of stress, such as drought or high temperatures typical of Yucatan, and mentioned that after five or six years of life of the tree, the fruit can be harvested annually up to 100 years.