Establishment and maintenance of decentralized sweet sorghum crushing-cumsyrup making unit uri icon


  • In the light of environmental concerns associated with fossil fuel use and the increaseddemand for energy in different counties, bio-fuels research and development has come tocenter stage. Sweet sorghum is a SMART crop with triple product benefit - food, feed andfuel. It is a good candidate for commercial ethanol production with potential opportunitiesfor benefiting the dryland farmers from the emerging bio-fuel markets. The commercialethanol production from sweet sorghum requires feedstock supplies for longer periodsin a year. ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Crops) andDSR (Directorate of Sorghum Research, Rajendranagar, AP, India) and other partners areworking on supply chain management and addressing other issues in the sweet sorghumethanol value chain. Principally, sweet sorghum supply chain involves centralized anddecentralized models. Under centralized model farmers supply the sweet sorghumstalks directly to the distillery where as in decentralized model farmers supply stalks toDecentralized Crushing-Syrup Making Unit (DCU) located in the village it self. Thesestalks are crushed at the DCU and the sweet juice is boiled to produce concentrated syrupthat can be stored for more than 9 months and used for ethanol production, particularly inthe off-season augmenting the feedstock supply to the distillery. Use of DCU for crushingand syrup production at village is a new idea and there is no publication available onthe requirements for establishment of a DCU and its maintenance. In this bulletin,attempts have been made to briefly describe the experiences of ICRISAT and partners inestablishment and maintenance of DCU covering all the aspects of DCU, from selectionof site for its establishment, logistical requirements, plant and machinery, operation andmaintenance of DCU and its role in sweet sorghum supply chain management

publication date

  • 2009