Sweet Sorghum

Sweet sorghum is a very powerful feedstock for a bio-refinery because it is not an annual crop like sugar cane but is planted like corn and can yield up to four cuttings per year. It is a sugar bearing plant which also produces a grain and thus can produce bio-fuels from the sugar and bagasse and animal food from the bagasse and grain.         This picture shows a number of different sweet sorghum plants illustrating the size differences between varieties. Total green mass yields from sweet sorghum have been reported between 60 to 160 mt/ha/crop. Yields are very dependent on variety, climate, soil and project location latitude location. Sweet Sorghum needs a lot of sun light and cool nights to have great yields of biomass and sugar.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Sweet Sorghum is harvested and processed into bio-fuels the same way as sugar cane. The sugar juice is extracted using screw or roller presses and the remaining bagasse is used as a feedstock to electric energy and steam and to produce a synthetic bio-fuel similar to bio-diesel. 

     Sweet Sorghum, like sugar cane, ratoons. That is it regrows after it is cut as shown in the picture below. The first ratoon crop can yield as much as 160% of the first crop. However, the yields from subsequent ratoon crops are significantly smaller than the first crop.