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Crop Factors Influencing Ethanol Production from Sorghum Juice and Bagasse

Lorenzo Capecchi (), Lorenzo Nissen (), Monica Modesto (), Giuseppe Di Girolamo (), Luciano Cavani () and Lorenzo Barbanti ()
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Lorenzo Capecchi: Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanìn 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Lorenzo Nissen: Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanìn 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Monica Modesto: Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanìn 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Giuseppe Di Girolamo: Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanìn 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Luciano Cavani: Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanìn 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Lorenzo Barbanti: Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanìn 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy

Energies, 2017, vol. 10, issue 7, 1-15

Abstract: This study investigated the effects of two soil moisture levels (SM) (30% and 70% soil available water) and three harvests (90 days, 118 days, and 151 days after seeding) on sweet (S506) and fiber (B133) sorghum genotypes under rain-sheltered conditions. Juice and bagasse-derived ethanol and their sum (EtOH BJ , EtOH B , and EtOH J+B , respectively) were assessed. Water use efficiency (WUE) was determined for sorghum dry weight (DW) and EtOH J+B . S506 had similar DW, but higher sugar content than B133, resulting in higher EtOH J (+32%) and EtOH J+B (+9%). High SM-enhanced DW, juice and sugars content, determining a strong EtOH J+B increase (+99% vs. low SM). Late harvest enhanced DW and EtOH J+B (+107% vs. early harvest), despite decreasing extractives and increasing structural fiber components. Water use efficiency of EtOH J+B improved with high vs. low SM, although differences faded in late harvest. Upscale of EtOH J+B and WUE data indicated a range of 21,000–82,000 ha of sorghum cultivation and 60–117 Mm 3 of irrigation water, as amounts of resources needed to supply an 85,000 m 3 ·yr −1 bio-ethanol plant. This large variation in land and water needs depended on specific combinations between crop factors SM and harvests.

Keywords: biomass sorghum; first generation ethanol; second generation ethanol; simultaneous saccharification and fermentation; bagasse; water use efficiency; land and water resources (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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