Company Promotes Sorghum for Ethanol Production
by Dan Modlin (WKYUFM) A firm based in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky is hoping more farmers raise sorghum to use in ethanol fuels production in the future. Southeast Biofuels has completed the first phase of a project that resulted in a million gallons of ethanol being produced from two thousand acres of sweet sorghum.
… The company’s President, who is a retired IBM chemical engineer, spoke recently to the Kentucky General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Small Business. Southeast Biofuels wants to develop a processing unit that can fit on a tractor trailer, so farmers could someday produce their own fuel on the farm. READ MORE and MORE (Ethanol Producer Magazine)
Excerpt from Ethanol Producer Magazine: The noted advantages of sweet sorghum were, and continue to be, the drivers for touting its benefits: 1) yield potential and composition, 2) water-use efficiency and drought tolerance, 3) established production systems and, 4) the potential for genetic improvement using both traditional and genomic approaches. Public and private entities continue to perform research to maximize sugar content, increase or diminish its grain production capacity and increase production yields. A typical composition of sweet sorghum is shown in the accompanying table.
Even with these positive attributes, the use of sweet sorghum in the U.S. has been slow to develop. Some of the impediments to its commercialization are the same ones facing all new technologies. Even though sweet sorghum harvesting and processing is similar to sugarcane, it is considered a “new” technology by many. That’s because it’s never been produced in large commercial scale in the U.S. To produce the crop in large scale, several issues need to be addressed which are important but not insurmountable. READ MORE