Energy Beet Juice Can Be Stored for Ethanol Production
(North Dakota State University Extension/Farm & Ranch Guide) …At North Dakota State University, the feasibility of using new sugarbeet varieties, known as energy beets, for ethanol production is under study. Energy beets have characteristics very similar to sugarbeets used for table sugar production.
Sugarbeets for table sugar production are stored conventionally in open piles for up to six months under extremely low temperatures. However, storing sugarbeets in open piles increases the risk of hot spots forming, which could lead to microbial degradation of sugars.
Freezing also leads to the rupture of beet cell walls, making cell contents, including sugars, susceptible to leaching during thawing and washing. The thawing of sugarbeets before processing requires large quantities of energy, which contributes to a less favorable greenhouse gas life cycle assessment.
Because of these storage problems, new long-term storage techniques are needed to preserve fermentable sugars from energy beets to allow for ethanol production throughout the year.
…Results indicate that concentrating beet juice through evaporation to produce a raw, thick beet juice and subsequently adjusting the pH of the juice are effective. The technique helped retain more than 99 percent of the fermentable sugars in the juice stored for at least six months at 23 degrees Celsius (approximately 73 degrees Fahrenheit). READ MORE