Sweet Sorghum – A Potential Raw Material for Biofuel

Chandran, P. (2012) Sweet Sorghum – A Potential Raw Material for Biofuel. International Journal of Applied Science and Technology , 1 (spl.). pp. 1-11.

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Globally, biofuels are most commonly used to power vehicles, heat homes, and for cooking. Biofuel industries are expanding in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Biofuels can be produced from high sugar crops (sugar cane, sugar beet, and sweet sorghum or starch (corn/maize), and crops plants that contain high amounts of vegetable oil, such as oil palm, soybean, algae, jatropha, or pongamia pinnata. China and India are well positioned to become world leaders in biofuel production within a decade. The vehicle population continues to increase exponentially and by the year 2020 about 1.5 billion are expected to be in use in the world. Unregulated carbon dioxide emissions, a prominent green house gas, will increase by 65% over the current levels due to large scale use of fossil fuels. Sweet sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is special purpose sorghum with a sugarrich stalk, almost like sugarcane. Besides having rapid growth, high sugar accumulation, and biomass production potential, sweet sorghum has wider adaptability. ). Currently, alcohol is produced from sugar crops (60% of total alcohol production), grain plus other feedstock (33% of total alcohol production) (Table-1), and remaining7% is from synthetic products. Sweet sorghum stalk with 65% juice recovery is a competitive raw material for the production of ethanol. The Supreme Court of India informed the Government of India (GOI) to use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative to petrol and diesel for fuelling automobiles to reduce environmental pollution. According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), India could save nearly 80 million L of petrol annually if petrol is blended with alcohol by 10%. Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd, located at Manoli village in Belgaum district, Karnataka, India commissioned an ethanol plant recently in 2003 and initiated a pilot project with the need for finding new substrates for producing ethanol for the National Fuel Ethanol program in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and DSR (ICAR, New Delhi), Hyderabad. Three varieties viz.,SSV 74, Madhura, and SSV 84 were supplied to farmers for evaluation. These varieties gave an average sweet-stalk yield of 10–12 t acre-1 and grain yield of 0.8–1.0 t acre-1 under normal conditions in farmers’ fields. Alcohol industry collaborative project) comprising of DSR, private seed companies, alcohol distilleries and sugar industries for comprehensive research and development of sweet sorghum hybrid parents and hybrids, integrated sweet sorghum production packages, and ethanol production technology would help enhance the demand for sorghum.

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: Professor & Head, Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology, Meerut-250 110 (Uttar Pradesh), India.
Subjects: Postharvest Management
Crop Improvement
Divisions: Sorghum
Depositing User: Mr. SanatKumar Behera
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2012 04:51
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2012 04:52
Official URL: http://www.ijast.co.in/vol-1_s_edition.aspx
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/4460

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