Sorghum: A Multipurpose Bioenergy Crop uri icon


  • Bioethanol and biodiesel produced from renewable energy sources are gainingimportance in light of volatile fossil fuel prices, depleting oil reserves, and increasinggreenhouse effects associated with the use of fossil fuels. Among several alternativerenewable energy sources, energy derived from plant biomass is found to be promisingand sustainable. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is a resilient dryland cerealcrop with wide adaptation having high water, nutrient, and radiation use efficiencies.This crop is expected to enhance food, feed, fodder, and fuel security. Sweet sorghumis similar to grain sorghum but has the ability to accumulate sugars in the stalks withoutmuch reduction in grain production. Hence, it is used as a first-generation biofuelfeedstock, where the grain and stalk sugars can be used for producing bioenergy, whileenergy sorghum or biomass sorghum is increasingly viewed as a potential feedstockfor lignocellulosic biofuel production. Although the commercial use of sweet sorghumfor bioethanol production has been demonstrated in China and India, the viabilityof large-scale lignocellulosic conversion of sorghum biomass to biofuels is yet to bedemonstrated. This chapter dwells on sorghum feedstock characteristics, biofuel productionmodels, sustainability indicators, and commercialization

publication date

  • 2016