Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose- How do you do it with off the shelf stuff ?

Appologies if this is the wrong forumn but hopefully someone can steer
me in the right direction.
I have been looking into ways of converting cellulose into Ethanol to
run the car as fuel prices are becoming annoying. The problem is I
don't know a anything about biochemistry. Having said this I have read
as much as I can and would like to give this "Enzymatic hydrolysis of
cellulose" a go.
From what I understand the following is the case :
Cellulose is a long chain of laminar pollysaccarides. Specifically
Because of the tightly packed nature and composition of cellulose you
need several enzymes to b reak it down ;
1=2E An endoglucanase - random chomps at the chain producing new ends
2=2E An exoglucanase - a progressive chomp
3=2E A =DF-glucosidase - a break down of the broken bits further to
Now not being a biochemist I am kind of hoping someone out there knows
what all this means and has a shopping list of stuff that will equate.
Anyone out there know where to get all this stuff or how to do this at
the laymans level ?
Any advice greatly appreciated ...
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Since your only motivating factor is cheap ethanol, stop while you are ahead. The enzymes and other needed chemicals, the processing equipment, the energy needed for processing, the cost of odor abatement equipment, the cost of waste disposal, the cost of obtaining the necessary EPA (and OSHA, NIOSH, ...?) permits, and other costs (your time) will make this a losing proposition before you even start.
Looking for a cheap alternative? There is a veterinarian in my area who had her diesel converted to running on vegie oil which she obtained for free from the local chinese restaurants (their waste oil). She did need to clean the oil (and dispose of that waste properly), but it was certainly low cost in term of outlay from the wallet.
John Aspen Research, -
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"Turning Questions into Answers"
Opinions expressed herein are my own and may not represent those of my employer.
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A chemistry approach will probably need a lot of technical infrastructure. Try biology instead. Termites are known to digest wood (with help of funguses and bacteria I suppose) and to produce lots of methane. So perhaps you could somehow extract the enzyme mixture from termites and use it or produce some sort of hydrolysed cellulose which then can be fed to yeast. Another possible biological source would be leaf-cutting ants and their "leaf-farms".
Of course, supercritical water with some acid in it could probably also hydrolyse cellulose. ;-)
Regards, Oliver
Reply to
Oliver 'Ojo' Bedford

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