Researchers are going to be looking into the feasibility of fermenting food waste and sweet potato into ethanol. Greenbelt Resources Corp. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Diversified Ethanol Corp. will have California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo look into the fermentation testing at a commercial level.
The study seeks to optimize three factors in biomass-based ethanol production that are critical to the scalability and adoption of the technology solutions provided by Greenbelt and Diversified: process temperature, application of various enzymes, and variations in fermentation processing. Batch ethanol yield is a key factor in the effort to scale down ethanol production to reach localized volume demands. Research parameters will report on the effect on yield from variances in temperature, pH levels, enzyme volumes and concentration, particle size, and batch volumes. The study will also compare separate hydrolysis (SHF) versus simultaneous saccharification (SSF).
Greenbelt Resources officials say they are happy to have some of the brightest at Cal Poly working on the project. The school says the funding has helped it continue research around waste-to-fuel conversion formulas.