Journal of Northeast Agriultural University(English Edition)

2010, v.17;No.41(04) 83-96

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Sorghum as Dry Land Feedstock for Fuel Ethanol Production
Sorghum as Dry Land Feedstock for Fuel Ethanol Production


Dry land crops such as sorghums (grain sorghum, sweet sorghum and forage sorghum) have been identified as promising feedstocks for fuel ethanol production. The major issue for using the sweet sorghum as feedstock is its stability at room temperature. At room temperature, the sweet sorghum juice could lose from 40% to 50% of its fermentable sugars from 7 to 14 days. No significant sugar content and profile changes were observed in juice stored at refrigerator temperature in two weeks. Ethanol fermentation efficiencies of fresh and frozen juice were high (~93%). Concentrated juice (≥25% sugar) had significantly lower efficiencies and large amounts of fructose left in finished beer; however, winery yeast strains and novel fermentation techniques may solve these problems. The ethanol yield from sorghum grain increased as starch content increased. No linear relationship between starch content and fermentation efficiency was found. Key factors affecting the ethanol fermentation efficiency of sorghum include starches and protein digestibility, amylose-lipid complexes, tannin content, and mash viscosity. Life cycle analysis showed a positive net energy value (NEV) = 25 500 Btu/gal ethanol. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to determine changes in the structure and chemical composition of sorghum biomasses. Dilute sulfuric acid pretreatment was effective in removing the hemicellulose from biomasses and exposing the cellulose for enzymatic hydrolysis. Forage sorghum lignin had a lower syringyl/guaiacyl ratio and its pretreated biomass was easier to hydrolyze. Up to 72% hexose yield and 94% pentose yield were obtained by using a modified steam explosion with 2% sulfuric acid at 140℃ for 30 min and enzymatic hydrolysis with cellulase.




基金项目(Foundation): Supported by National Research Initiative of the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (2004-35504-14808)