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Utilization of Sweet Sorghum for Ethanol Production- A Review

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2011 Louisville, Kentucky, August 7-10, 2011  1111567.(doi:10.13031/2013.38984)
Authors:   Ajit K Mahapatra, Mark Latimore, Danielle D Bellmer, Bharat P Singh
Keywords:   Sweet sorghum, ethanol, biofuel, biomass, fermentation

Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) is an annual C4 plant of tropical origin and is a potential renewable energy crop for ethanol production. This high carbohydrate producer crop can be cultivated on marginal lands, has low input requirements and is adapted to nearly all temperate climates. Because of its readily available fermentable sugars, sweet sorghum has been identified as one of the most promising biomass crop for fermentation into fuel ethanol. This paper includes a comprehensive review of unique properties of sweet sorghum as a crop, different approaches to converting stem juice into ethanol, fermentation techniques, and technical challenges of using sweet sorghum for biofuels. The application of these techniques and the expected advancements in this field are discussed. Economics of sweet sorghum compared to other biofuel feedstocks is also covered. This review will bolster efforts aimed at using sweet sorghum as a renewable energy crop for the ethanol industry.

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