Bioethanol Production in Thailand: A Teaching Case Study Comparing Cassava and Sugar Cane Molasses

By Travis Hamilton Russell and Paul Frymier

: Thailand is facing a serious problem with their reliance on foreign oil imports. With nearly 90% of their crude oil, gasoline, and diesel being imported, the country is searching for ways to improve their national energy security by lowering their demand for foreign oil. Bioethanol from cassava and molasses are two promising technologies that could help Thailand work toward their goal of energy security. However, debate is still on going to determine which feedstock should be chosen to power the country’s bioethanol industry. This teaching case study presents the background and sustainability analysis for both cassava and molasses based bioethanol as well as teaching notes and discussion questions. It is intended for high school seniors or college undergraduates in courses that address sustainability-related issues and technologies.

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