The efficiency of ethanol distillation process using bubble pump technique: a comparison of LPG and solar energy as energy source

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Jirapol Klinbun


Due to the increasing demand of ethanol production for renewable energy, the research was compared the efficiency of ethanol distillation process using bubble pump technique with two different energy sources. The two fuel sources of distillation involved liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and solar energy. In addition, the capital cost of a distillation was also calculated. First, pineapple juice was fermented with yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) for ethanol concentration between 8-10% by volume. Then, ethanol solution was distilled using bubble pump technique.
For the solar ethanol distillation with bubble pump technique, the solar collector area was 2.2 m2 with inclined angle of 14 degree. The process operated during November to December 2017 under Nakhon Pathom province, Thailand climate. The average solar radiation was 6.48 kWh/m2. The results of solar distillation shown that the ethanol concentration was 54.8% V/V and efficiency was 43%. When the LPG was used as energy source; the cold water entered the condenser tower at 27°C at a rate of 10 L/min. The efficiency of bubble pump with LPG was 53%. The results of LPG distillation shown that the ethanol concentration was 65.7% V/V and 39.1% V/V in the first and second state, respectively. Finally, the unit cost for solar energy system was 128.82 THB/L ethanol which was due to 43.68 THB/L ethanol of the LPG unit (LPG cost is 20.29 THB/L).

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How to Cite
J. Klinbun, “The efficiency of ethanol distillation process using bubble pump technique: a comparison of LPG and solar energy as energy source”, Crma. J., ปี 16, ฉบับที่ 1, น. 1–9, ธ.ค. 2018.


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