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Fermentation is the oldest method of preparation of ethyl alcohol and this is still in use for the preparation of beer, brandy and wine. Starch or cane sugar is the usual starting material. Enzymes present in yeast hydrolyze starch, maltose or cane sugar, in two steps or glucose or fructose in a single step to produce ethyl alcohol.
C6H12O6 (glucose) + zymase (from yeast) ---> 2 C2H5OH (ethyl alcohol) + 2 CO2
This CO2 gas bubbles out of the fermentation chamber producing the characteristic froth. After fermenting the broth for nearly two days, ethyl alcohol is distilled out of the broth and further purified and graded as per the requirements.
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