Ethanol yield calculations in biorefineries
Review article, 2021

The ethanol yield on sugar during alcoholic fermentation allows for diverse interpretation in academia and industry. There are several different ways to calculate this parameter, which is the most important one in this industrial bioprocess and the one that should be maximized, as reported by Pereira and colleagues (Pereira et al. 2018). On the one hand, the various methods currently employed in industry provide dissimilar results, and recent evidence shows that yield has been consistently overestimated in Brazilian sugarcane biorefineries. On the other hand, in academia, researchers often lack information on all the intricate aspects involved in calculating the ethanol yield in industry. Here, we comment on these two aspects, using fuel ethanol production from sugarcane in Brazilian biorefineries as an example, and taking the work of Pereira et al. (2018) as a starting point. Our work is an attempt to demystify some common beliefs and to foster closer interaction between academic and industrial professionals from the fermentation sector.

industrial biotechnology

fuel ethanol production

ethanol yield

alcoholic fermentation

sugarcane biorefinery


Pamela Magalí Bermejo

State University of Campinas

Alberto Badino

Federal University of São Carlos

Luciano Zamberlan

Raizen SA

Vijayendran Raghavendran

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology

Thiago Olitta Basso

University of Sao Paulo (USP)

A. K. Gombert

State University of Campinas

FEMS Yeast Research

1567-1356 (ISSN) 1567-1364 (eISSN)

Vol. 21 8 foab065

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Areas of Advance



Basic sciences





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