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SWOT analysis of sweet sorghum ethanol value chain

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
Publication Date
  • Sorghum


In recent years there is considerable debate on alternative feedstocks for bioethanol production to meet the mandated blending requirements with fossil fuels (petrol). Worldwide, a number of feedstocks ranging from cereal grains to sugarcane juice to molasses (obtained from conversion of cane juice to sugar) are commonly being used. However, these feedstocks are being critically examined for their role in increasing food costs and compromising on food security. Sweet sorghum has emerged as an alternative crop whose stalks are converted into juice for ethanol production. Two models for conversion of sweet sorghum into ethanol have been pilot tested, ie., a centralized model (stalks supplied directly to the distillery for ethanol production) and a decentralized model where the syrup produced at village level is supplied to distillery for ethanol production. A number issues and strengths in using sweet sorghum as an alternative feedstock have emerged.

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