The potential of elephant grass (Pennisetum Purpureum Schum), an African indigenous grass, in bioethanol production: A decarbonization alternative for the shipping industry

01/25/2017 - 15:00-01/25/2017 - 16:30


C. L Eze
(Institute of Geosciences and Space Technology, University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
M. E. Azeke
(Institute of Geosciences and Space Technology, University of Science and Technology. Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
L. A. Kuroshi
(World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden)


Lawrence Kuroshi

While it is true that fossil fuel based energy which is non-renewable has contributed immensely to global economic growth, it has brought with its usage the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), a principal greenhouse gas. Studies using business as usual (BAU) model has predicted that the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere will increase by 50 to 250% by the year 2050 with perhaps a commensurate increase in the global carbon footprint. The shipping industry has remained a major contributor to this global carbonization. Concern over this increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, has intensified interests in developing biomass crops as resources for alternative/renewable energy purposes. Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum schum), an African indigenous grass, is an abundant, fast growing plant. It was investigated in this study for its potential as a renewable energy source and conversion to bioethanol. This biofuel enhances environmental air quality in its different forms of usage with minimal carbon emissions. Result from the proximate composition analysis of the feedstock gave total carbohydrate content (soluble and insoluble carbohydrate) of 74.21%. From the foregoing, elephant grass has the potential to serve as a future biomass energy source for some auxiliary functions of ships if not the major ones