Fuel from newspaper

In this lab we'll explore the possibility of converting newspaper - mostly cellulose - into ethanol, which can be used as fuel.

Right now, the US EPA requires that gasoline in some parts of the country contain 10% ethanol. Can we get some of this ethanol from newspaper and other waste paper?

Please read this article on the degradation of newspaper - pay special attention to the section on the "Saccharification of newspaper" - this is the procedure we'll use.

We'll also try to degrade newspaper with an enzyme - cellulase. Using the enzyme allows us to avoid using concentrated acid, but the enzymatic digestion takes longer.

Note also further information by Nam Sun Wang at the following page: http://www.eng.umd.edu/~nsw/ench485/lab4.htm - This page has protocols for both acid and enzyme degradation of cellulose, and you can use it to help you write your procedure in your notebook. Our cellulase is from _Aspergillus niger_ and works best at 35C.

We'll assess the production of glucose by two methods - thin-layer chromatography, and fermentation by yeast.
Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM