Ethanol is a clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in Alcoholic Beverages.
Ethanol productions from cellulosic materials offer a solution to some of the recent environmental, economic, and energy problems facing worldwide. Nationally, energy costs are on the rise and forecasts of petroleum supply disruptions are once again making news. People are not immune to these events & feel the impact of rising energy prices every time they purchase gasoline, diesel or other petroleum products. Cereal straw, one of the most abundant renewable lignocellulose resources which possess valuable components, has gradually become the research hot spot as a promising substitute for both the fossil fuel resource & petroleum based industry with the increasing calling for bio-fuel and green chemistry. Fermenting sugars produces ethanol. Lignocelluloses materials such as agricultural, hardwood & softwood residues are potential sources of sugars for ethanol production. Ethanol from Rice Straw is manufactured by fermentation.
India has emerged as the largest user of ethyl alcohol for chemicals over the past three decades. Ethyl alcohol derived from sulphite pulpine plants served as a base for limited quantities of select chemicals in Norway and Sweden in the immediate post-war years and ethyl alcohol derived from molasses was also used for chemicals in the U.K. at that time. In fact, the early production of polyethylene was based on ethyl alcohol in the U.K. France too was exploiting the ethyl alcohol route to chemicals. The U.S. installed a big plant for making synthetic rubber from the two intermediates, styrene and butadiene, derived from ethyl alcohol produced from corn (starch). But the end of the war led to it being closed down. The era of petroleum-derived chemicals, mostly using ethylene and propylene, began in the late Fifties and early Sixties displacing ethyl alcohol as feedstock. Ethyl alcohol ended its tenure as a chemical feedstock in Europe but emerged as a fuel for automobiles in Brazil and in the U. S. Brazil also took up alcohol-based chemicals in a limited way and is now lagging behind India in this area. The U.S. and Europe have little of ethyl alcohol as base for chemicals.
Few Indian Major Players are as under:
· Amar Alcoholi Ltd. Andhra Sugars Ltd.
· Dharani Sugars & Chemicals Ltd.
· Empee Sugars & Chemicals Ltd.
· Globus Spirits Ltd.
· Jeypore Sugar Co. Ltd.
· K C P Sugar & Inds. Corpn. Ltd.
· K M Sugar Mills Ltd.
· Kanoria Chemicals & Inds. Ltd.
· Kirlampudi Sugar Mills Ltd.
· Kothari Sugars & Chemicals Ltd.
· M A C Agro Inds. Ltd.