Sterilization of Fermentation Vessels by Ethanol/Water Mixtures

NREL (Inventor)

    Research output: Patent


    A method for sterilizing process fermentation vessels with a concentrated alcohol and water mixture integrated in a fuel alcohol or other alcohol production facility. Hot, concentrated alcohol is drawn from a distillation or other purification stage and sprayed into the empty fermentation vessels. This sterilizing alcohol/water mixture should be of a sufficient concentration, preferably higherthan 12% alcohol by volume, to be toxic to undesirable microorganisms. Following sterilization, this sterilizing alcohol/water mixture can be recovered back into the same distillation or other purification stage from which it was withdrawn. The process of this invention has its best application in, but is not limited to, batch fermentation processes, wherein the fermentation vessels must beemptied, cleaned, and sterilized following completion of each batch fermentation process.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Patent number5,868,997
    StatePublished - 1999

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/PT-26155


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