Avaliação de coeficientes de rendimento e modelagem do processo fermentativo de produção de etanol
The yield ethanol (hP) is one of the most important parameters to be evaluated in the industrial process of alcohol fermentation. Because most plants neither present a reasonable level of automation, nor perform frequent analytical measures during the batch, the hP is currently calculated by methodology based on by-products formed in the process. Such calculation is questioned as to its accuracy because it almost always presents high values of hP. Still, with regard to the process of alcohol fermentation, the kinetic modeling of the fermentation process has been studied extensively. However, the proposed models have not properly represented the industrial process in which the fermenter initially containing the inoculum ( preculture ) is fed with a flow of wort (feeding culture medium) until its filling, following the fermentation, in batch, until the substrate exhaustion. The aim of the present study is propose a new methodology for calculating the yield ethanol (hP) based on material balances. The hP results obtained in the pilot plant (80.5 to 87.9%) and industrial plant (84.2 and 92.1%) presented by the new method tracks near values. However, values of hP obtained by the present methodology were lower than those obtained by the traditional by-products method, currently used by almost all sugar and alcohol mills. Still, a kinetic model was proposed to describe the conventional process of fermentation considering the existence of two cellular performances during the process, with regard to the consumption of substrate and to the production of ethanol. The model properly described the performance of the concentration of cells (CX), substrate (CS) and ethanol (CP) over all cultures, showing that the assumptions considered when preparing the model were concerned about the reality of the phenomenon observed. Finally, estimated values of kinetic parameters of the proposed model showed little variation in different cultures as well as values within a range of literature.