Ever-increasing petroleum prices, green house gas emissions and diminishing fossil fuels are strong motives to search for sustainable fuel alternatives. Production of biofuels, especially bio-ethanol holds remarkable potential to meet the current energy demand. Present technologies to produce bioethanol largely depend on sugarcane and starch based food materials as biomass which poses a significant stress on food security. In this regard the non-edible biomass resources such as mahua flowers may be considered suitable for ethanol production. Mahua flowers have fleshy corolla with high reducing sugar content. In the present study, production of ethanol from mahua flowers by commercial yeast strain, Saccharomyces cerevisiae MTCC 4780 & bacterial strain, Zymomonas mobilis MTCC 92 was investigated. Sterilized mahua flower and water was used as fermentation medium and ethanol concentration was determined by specific gravity method. Ethanol yield of 9.11% (v/v) and 9.96% (v/v) was obtained after 72 hours and 120 hours of incubation at 30+1"C by S. cerevisiae and Z mobilis respectively. The abundant availability and low cost of Non- Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) such as mahua flowers may serve as a potential substrate for sustainable production of bioethanol for bio-industries without impacting the nation's food supply. Mahua flowers may be explored as a checap and abundant biomass for bioethanol production in economically feasible manner.
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