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At present, the zero-waste concept is a major concern and a challenging topic. Among several renewable materials that contain high cellulose content, napkin papers are potential sources of ethanol production and other value-added products. This work aimed to study the feasibility of an economic medium formulation from napkin hydrolysate for ethanol production and subsequent beta-glucan extraction from the spent yeasts. The medium costs per gram of ethanol produced from napkins and 3 different nitrogen sources, i.e., yeast malt extract (YM), urea, and ammonium sulfate, were compared. The results revealed that the new medium formulation from napkin-ammonium sulfate is economical at 18% ethanol production over commercial YM medium. Furthermore, the remaining yeast cells from the fermentation process were autolyzed, and beta-glucan was extracted prior to Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy for compositional and structural analyses. The FTIR integration peaks indicated that the S. cerevisiae TISTR 5339 cell wall contained beta-1,3-glucan as the main polysaccharide component. Overall, this study was successful in developing a practical, economical medium for the biotransformation of napkins to ethanol and producing value-added beta-glucan from the spent yeast from the ethanol production process; these products can potentially be used in the pharmaceutical or food industries in the future.
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