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Successes & failures in realization of Economic Potential of Biofuels:
Sugarcane Success in India:
Indian Sugar Industry...
Bioplastics is another area which is catching the attention of Industry and Bagasse is the raw
material with Sugar as bi...
Total Cost of Sugar manufacturing: Rs 365/Mt Appx.
Cogeneration Cos...
Total ...
Sweet Sorghum Alternate Dry land Crop under Propagation:
A dry land-adapted Bioethanol feedstock yielding both grain and...
production from sweet sorghum is more economical as compared to sugarcane molasses at the
prevailing prices.
Table 2. Co...
Table 3. CO2 absorption and emissions by sweet sorghum.
CO2 absorption CO2 emission
By the crop ~45 t CO2/ha
during the ...
Table 7. Performance of sweet sorghum varieties at MMSU, Illocos Norte, The Philippines.
Stripped stalk yield (t...
2. Calculated as the product of Brix and juice volume (kl ha
3. R = Rainy season; 4. PR = Post rainy season
b) Tra...
Considering the aspects—early maturity, high biomass, ethanol and grain yield potential and
photoperiod-and thermo-inse...
alcohol), Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) (96%) and pharma alcohol (99.8%) from agro-based raw
materials such as sweet sorg...
production in the lean season. Thus a combination of both centralized and decentralized
models augment the distillery’s...
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Successes & failures in realization of economic potential of biofuels


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Mr. Phani Mohan presentation at SAARC Biofuels workshop/seminar.

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Successes & failures in realization of economic potential of biofuels

  1. 1. 1 Successes & failures in realization of Economic Potential of Biofuels: Sugarcane Success in India: Indian Sugar Industry has made a turn around in last 5 years from being a seasonal and Cyclic Industry to a Biorefinery model. Here Sugar, Distillation, Cogen and Biofertilizer are produced optimizing their resources. With CDM taking shape since 2004 some of these also have utilized opportunity of Cogen by enhancing Boilers and generating additional Power to be sold to Grid and also benefit CER / VER realization. Few of them have also realized CDM for Distillation (Methanation). If UNFCCC provides benefit of CDM realization to Ethanol manufacturers then there is additional benefit that accrues to existing. Indian sugar industry operates in Zone area allocated to them; they are well networked with farming community of that zone sharing on all areas of inputs from seeding, Crop management, harvesting, and logistics and even in Loan disbursal from banks. So for two crop years once planted farmer is relieved of sale and pricing of produce and is attracted to this crop as long as it does not pinch his wallet. Harvesting Cost of Sugarcane is of growing concern and its timeliness, as Sucrose content deteriorates if not done at appropriate time. There has been marked improvement in farm equipment too in this segment. Using water shoots and Tops as Fodder has been prevalent for centuries. Indian sugar industry’s success is also due to contribution from Sugar Breeding Institute (Coimbatore), vasant Dada institute, Regional Bodies in Sugarcane research and others. SBI is one of the two World repositories (the other being at Miami, Florida state, USA) of sugarcane germplasm. India is the world’s largest consumer of cheap liquor and is a major revenue source of state Govt’s, with potable alcohol growing above 10% each year and its impact on Social fabric catastrophic and not taken seriously; Energy & Chemical value addition has lot of relevance that need to have support of all. There is another menace of Illicit Liquor from Jaggery and if this curtailed will make more available cane for Crushing. India occupies 40% of Global sugar mkt. Of the total cane produced 12% to go in to seed production, 5% to chewing and Juice, 25-30% to Khandasari (jiggery).Only 60%would be used for actual sugar production. Percapita consumption of sugar in India: 20kg and 5Kg Jaggery. Plant/Ratoon ratio is usually 45/55 to 55/45, but almost after 3 decades it’s shifting to 30/70 and to overcome this additional 14-15 milling plantation is required for Sugar alone. Moving towards Tran genetic sugar for alcohol manufacture also would enhance yields. Most of Mills have gone for Semi automation of Milling and Honeywell, Echogoa, Rockwell, OA, ABB, Siemens and several entered this Domain. As future is unfolding to smart grid and Plug-in technologies this Industry would see more of development. With CNG being produced of spent wash and this also being worthy template for CDM, we would see rural landscape buzzing with Flex fuel vehicles and vibrant innovations. Biofertilizer of spent wash is a must for all distillations and is still better to Incernation as to totally burn residues we need high energy and Biofertilizer would enhance soil fertility. Today most Molasses trading Companies like UMC, SVG, Peter Cremer, and Toepfer have no sellers at all and Domestically Present Indian Molasses Prices are above 7000 INR, so factories without distillation too are generating Good Revenues. Bagasse is also being completely utilized for self Cogeneration and as future is moving to whole cane crushing with Sugars induced in cane leaves no Trash would go waste or burnt in field.
  2. 2. 2 Bioplastics is another area which is catching the attention of Industry and Bagasse is the raw material with Sugar as binder and this also Generated CDM. Some have been using Bagasse for paper and particle board manufacturing. With Agronomy being the prime focus to bring better yields, Crop Sciences have also taken Centre stage and companies like Syngenta, Monsanto, and DuPont and several others conducting lot of research. Indian Companies like NFL, Nuziveedu Seeds have also seen Success. Traditional Practices like Black Gold agriculture which enhances carbon content and Soil health have again come back to centre stage. VAM fungus has also seen Success in Sugarcane cultivation. Optimizing Fertilizer, water, Insecticides, Pesticides, Herbicides and mapping Crop has also taken precedence. For Seed Treatment of Cane Renewable resources like Solar Power for steam and Temperature are being utilized. Future Cultivation should enable more ratoon years to bring down cost as well stop soil erosion. Manpower in Harvesting being Critical Semi and full harvesting is being studied and also to optimize cost. Mahindra Tractors is working on Solutions around Tractor suiting Asian needs. In Sugar manufacturing saving steam, minimizing usage of Lime, HCL, Sulphur and also moving towards refined Sugar has caught up attention of Industry. Using Fondant for Crystallization is visible in all plants. Sugar the Commodity is moving from being a sweetener to Fortification and Low GI Sugar bringing in value addition and take cognizance of Health & Diet. With Distillation rapidly moving towards Second generation and Stable prices for Alcohol as Fuel and also Potable usage, Sugarcane’s 50% revenue stream would be from Sugar and 50% from Alcohol and Cogen. Manufacturing Costs at Sugarcane factory: A 5000TPD Sugarcane Crushing mill, 9 MW Cogen and 60 KLPD Distillation would cost around 300 Crores INR. Sugar Manufacturing Cost: Steam 35% Rs.15/Mt Gunny Bag Rs.15/Mt Chemicals Rs. 30/Mt Antiscalants Sulphitation/Ca/ juice settlement Rs. 50/Mt Wear & Tear Rs.100/Mt Working capital int Rs.175/Mt --------------------------------------------------- Conversion (Total of Above): Rs.385/Mt Salaries & wages Rs.130/Mt ------------------------------------------------------ Rs.515/Mt Sale of Bagasse & Molasses Rs.150/Mt
  3. 3. 3 ---------------------------------------------------- Total Cost of Sugar manufacturing: Rs 365/Mt Appx. Cogeneration Costs: Variable: Raw material + salaries +O&M +Int +Depreciation Fixed: Project Cost For One unit of Power 3 kg of Bagasse is consumed (1MW:3.2 Mt of Bagasse Consumed) Unit generation Cost: Rs 2.37/Unit Revenue on Cogen estimated on CER realization per annum : <40 paise/Unit Season: 151 days Off season: 70 days Export: 3.625 MWH/export (Long-term Contract) Internal usage: 4.2 MWH/season Sale to Govt Rs 6.50/Unit (Spot) Rectified Spirit Production Costs: Raw material @ Rs 4000/Mt Rs/Bl 16.00 Excise Duty on Mol (Rs772.50/Mt) 3.09 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Rs/Bl 19.09 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Chemicals Breakup: Yeast, Enzyme, water treatment chemicals, Euchem/Nutrients for Digester, Antifoam (Turkey redoil), Urea+DAP@ Fermenters, Misc ------------------------------ Rs.0.73/Bl ------------------------------ Steam cost for 30 days without biogas generation @ Rs 950/Mt Bagasse 0.14 Power Cost @ 5500 KW/day (Rs 2.63/Kwh) 0.72 DM Water cost for boiler 0.04 Man power cost 0.33 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rs.1.23
  4. 4. 4 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total O&M Cost for Biocomposting Rs.1.82 Total O&M Cost for decanter @ Rs 280Kwh/day 0.04 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total Expenditure: Rs.22.91/Bulk liter. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The conversion of Rectified spirit to Ethanol: Rs 1.25/lt (Anhydrous alcohol) Total Ethanol Manufacturing cost: Rs.24.16/lt. Present Ethanol Purchasing cost by Oil Companies is Rs.21.50/lt ex mill, so none supplying. Using Cane Juice directly would further enhance feedstock cost almost by Rs.2/lt but effluent production is lowest and non polluting (Rs.26/lt). Alcohol requirement: Alcohol based chemical Industries: 1,100 million Lts. Potable Alcohol requirement: 1,000 million Lts. @5% ethanol Blending : 600 million Lts. @10% ethanol Blending : + 600 million Lts. ---------------------------- 3,300 Million Lts. ---------------------------- India produces 1.3 billion Lts and requires almost 2 billion Lts if it has to cater 10% blending. Petrol Consumed in 2006-07: 9,295,000MT.Only 0.64% of petrol is replaced with Ethanol. Alcohol at 10% level requires another 10-15 million, so a possible acreage growth of 25-30Million ton based on price rewarded to farmer. Cane-Juice- Alcohol conversion: A MT of Cane produces 65-70Lts of alcohol. 30-33% pure molasses gives a yield of 250 Lt Alcohol. Molasses percentage in cane: 4.4%.
  5. 5. 5 Sweet Sorghum Alternate Dry land Crop under Propagation: A dry land-adapted Bioethanol feedstock yielding both grain and fuel Bioenergy has become a priority research and development area worldwide. Nations are investing heavily to increase their energy security and reduce their fossil-fuel carbon emissions and pollution. However, they are also justifiably concerned that the Bioenergy revolution could marginalize the poor, raise food prices and degrade the environment. Sweet sorghums are similar to grain sorghums, have rapid growth, wider adaptability and high biomass producing ability with sugar-rich stalks, known to have good potential for ethanol production (Reddy et al., 2005). The brown midrib sorghums (bmr) are also similar to grain sorghums and produce both grain and stover. Sweet sorghum is more profitable (23%) to the farmer than the grain sorghum (Table 1). Table 1. Economics of sweet sorghum production Sweet sorghum Grain sorghum Grain yield (t ha-1 ) 1.6 2.5 Stalk yield (t ha-1 ) 20 4 (dry) Grain value (US$ season-1 ) 234 365 Stalk value (US$ season-1 ) 293 50 Total value (US$ season-1 ) 527 415 Leaf stripping (US$ season-1 ) 15 - Net value (US$ season-1 ) 512 415 Gain from sweet sorghum (US$ season-1 ha-1 ) 97 (23%) Adapted from Rajasekhar (2007), UAS, Dharward Sugarcane molasses is currently the main raw material for ethanol production in several countries. The sweet sorghum growing period (about 4.5 months) and water requirement (8000 m 3 over two crops) (Soltani and Almodares, 1994) are 4 times lower than those of sugarcane (12−16 months duration and 36,000 m 3 of water per crop). The cost of cultivation of sweet sorghum is four times lower than that of sugarcane. Sweet sorghum juice is better suited for ethanol production because of its higher content of reducing sugars as compared to other sources including sugarcane juice. These important characteristics, along with its suitability for seed propagation, mechanized crop production, and comparable ethanol production capacity vis a vis sugarcane molasses and sugarcane makes sweet sorghum a viable alternative raw material source for ethanol production (Table 2). The per day productivity of sweet sorghum is twice than that of sugarcane 416 vs. 205 kg/ha respectively. Also, the cost of ethanol
  6. 6. 6 production from sweet sorghum is more economical as compared to sugarcane molasses at the prevailing prices. Table 2. Comparative advantages of sweet sorghum vs. sugarcane/sugarcane molasses for ethanol production in India. Crop Cost of cultivatio n (USD ha-1 ) Crop duratio n (month s) Fertilizer Requireme nt (N-P-K Kg/ ha.) Water requirem ent (m3 ) Ethanol productivit y (liters ha- 1 ) Av. Stalk yield (t/ha ) Per day biomas s produc tivity (Kg/ha) Cost of ethanol productio n (USD lit-1 ) Sweet sorghum 435 over two crops 4 80 - 50 - 40 8000 over two crops 4000 year-1 over two crops(a) 50 416.67 0.32(d) Sugarcane 1079 crop-1 12-16 250 to 400 –125 -125 36000 crop-1 6500 crop- 1 (b) 75 205.47 Sugarcane molasses - - - - 850 year- 1 (c) - - 0.37(e) (a)50 t ha-1 millable stalk per crop @ 40 l t-1 (b) 85- 90 t ha-1 millable cane per crop @ 75 l t-1 (c) 3.4 t ha-1 @ 250 l t-1 (d) Sweet sorghum stalk @ US$ 12.2 t-1 (e) Sugarcane molasses @ US$ 39 t-1 Source(d,e): Dayakar Rao et al. 2004 In addition to sweet stalks, grain yield of 2-2.5 t ha -1 can be obtained from sweet sorghum that can be used as food or feed. The Bagasse (stalks after crushing) from sweet sorghum After the extraction juice has a higher biological value than the Bagasse from sugarcane when used as feed for cattle, as it is rich in micronutrients and minerals. The Bagasse is as good as stover in terms of digestibility. The Bagasse can also be used for generation of electricity similar to the co-generation facility in many of the sugar factories or can be converted to Biocompost in decentralized syrup making units. Additionally, the pollution level in sweet sorghum-based ethanol production has 25% of the biological oxygen dissolved (BOD), i.e., 19,500 mg liter -1 and lower chemical oxygen dissolved (COD) i.e., 38,640 mg liter -1 compared to molasses-based ethanol production [as per pilot study conducted by Vasanthadada Sugar Institute (VSI), Pune, India]. Sweet sorghum CO2 absorption and energy inputs and outputs of sweet sorghum: Due to its high productivity (20-40 dry ton/growing cycle) and fast plant cycle (120-150 days) sweet sorghum has an impressive capacity to absorb a large amount of CO2 from the atmosphere during the 4-5 months growing cycle, with a small amount of CO2 (~ 4 % of the total absorbed), emitted for the use of conventional energy during its cultivation. During the pre-treatment, conversion and utilization (combustion), further CO2 emission is produced, but sweet sorghum closed schemes are CO2 neutral presenting a total CO2 balance = 0. The details of CO2 emissions by sweet sorghum are given in Table 3. The data (unpublished) from Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) shows that utilization of sweet sorghum first generation ethanol saves 11 t greenhouse gasses (CO2 equivalents) yearly per ha. This wide variation is attributed to changes in crop management, fertilizer dose and extent of mechanization etc.
  7. 7. 7 Table 3. CO2 absorption and emissions by sweet sorghum. CO2 absorption CO2 emission By the crop ~45 t CO2/ha during the growing cycle ~1, 5 t CO2/ha (growing cycle) ~8,5 t CO2/ha for conversion ~35,0 t CO2/ha for utilization (combustion) ~45 total tons CO2/ ha One ha of sweet sorghum plantation can substitute ~11 TOE of net energy without any negative CO2 emission into the atmosphere. Source: LAMNET and EUBIA, 2001. As per the studies by LAMNET and EUBIA, the energy utilized for cultivation and the energy produced in the form of feedstock is another important factor. The estimated energy inputs for cultivation of 1 ha sweet sorghum is 4850 Mcal/ha compared to the energy out put 74500 Mcal/ha from the total biomass. Digestibility studies on sweet sorghum: Comparison of commercial feed blocks (normal sorghum stover + concentrates, 50:50 by weight) with Bagasse block (normal sorghum replaced by Bagasse while the concentrates remained the same) and sorghum stover alone showed no significant differences in intake and body weight gain between Bagasse block and commercial feed block (Table 6). Table 6. Intake and body weight gain for different feed blocks. Treatment Intake (g/kg live weight) Weight gain (kg/day) Commercial feed block 3.64 0.975 Bagasse-leave feed block 3.76 0.871 Sorghum stover (chopped) 1.24 -0.457 Source: Michael Blümmel et al (unpublished) Sweet sorghum research at ICRISAT Development of hybrid parents and hybrids: Considerable progress has been made in breeding for improved sweet sorghum lines with higher millable cane and juice yields in India. ICRISAT, has developed several improved lines of sweet sorghum with high stalk sugar content that are currently being tested in pilot studies for sweet sorghum-based ethanol production in India, the Philippines and Uganda. A few of these cultivars like SSV 84, SSV 74 and CSH 22SS have already been released in India. Some of the varieties or restorer lines developed with Brix greater than 19% are ICSR 93034, ICSV 700, ICSV 93046, E36-1, SPV 422, NTJ 2, Seredo and Entry#64 DTN. Some of the promising female lines for combining ability for high Brix are: ICSA 38, ICSA 264, ICSA 474, ICSA 321, ICSA 480, ICSA 479, ICSA 453, ICSA 73, ICSA 271 and ICSA 487. The performance of some of the varieties in Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) is given in Table 7.
  8. 8. 8 Table 7. Performance of sweet sorghum varieties at MMSU, Illocos Norte, The Philippines. Variety Stripped stalk yield (t ha-1 ) Grain yield ( t ha-1 ) Brix (%) Main crop Ratoon crop Main crop Ratoon crop NTJ 2 45-50 48-55 3.62 4.40 18.5 SPV 422 55-60 57-65 3.28 3.92 19.0 ICSV 700 43-48 45-50 3.46 4.11 18.0 ICSV 93046 47-52 48-55 3.40 4.08 15.0 ICSR 93034 46-52 47-53 3.46 4.25 18.0 Research experience at ICRISAT and elsewhere has shown that hybrids produce relatively higher biomass, besides being earlier and more photo-insensitive when compared to the varieties under normal as well as abiotic stresses including water-limited environments. Therefore, the development of sweet sorghum hybrids is receiving high priority to produce more feedstock and grain yield per drop of water and unit of energy invested. Data for ethanol related traits for the selected sweet sorghum hybrids are given Table 8. Table 8. Performance of selected sweet sorghum hybrids, Patancheru, AP., India. Hybrid Days to 50% flower Brix (%) Cane yield (t ha-1 ) Juice yield (kl ha-1 ) Sugar yield (t ha-1 ) Grain yield (t ha-1 ) Per day ethanol productivity (l ha-1 )1 ICSA 749 × SSV 74 85 18 57.75 27.15 9.15 3.28 18.48 ICSA 511 × SSV 74 88 17.97 49.25 22.7 7.84 5.79 15.39 ICSA 474 × SSV 74 82 16.33 52.25 25.42 7.57 7.19 17.13 SSV 84 (control) 94 15.65 35.18 16.84 4.98 2.67 10.5 NSSH 104 (control) 91 15.65 35.17 16.84 4.98 4.12 10.74 1. Ethanol productivity estimated at 40 liters per ton of millable cane yield. Strategic research: a) Season specificity of hybrids: Some of the hybrids do well in the rainy season, Therefore it appears that selection of the hybrids is season specific (Table 9) Table 9. Selected sweet sorghum hybrids performance in rainy season and post rainy season for Brix, sugar yield in stalks and grain yield. Hybrid Brix reading (%) Sugar yield (t ha-1)2 Grain yield (t ha-1) R3 PR4 R Rank PR Rank R Rank PR Rank ICSA 675 × SSV 74 16.6 10.3 6.3 1 1.1 9 6.7 8 7.1 8 ICSA 675 × SPV 422 17.3 11.7 6.1 2 0.9 14 6.6 9 6.7 10 ICSA 324 × SPV 422 16.5 16.1 4.8 13 1.7 2 4.9 17 3.9 20 ICSA 474 × E 36-1 13.5 14.3 4.8 14 1.7 3 6.3 14 6.2 15 NSSH 104 (control) 18.5 19.8 5.9 3 1.2 8 4.2 18 7.2 3 1. Trial entries: 20; RCBD; 2 years and 2 seasons testing.
  9. 9. 9 2. Calculated as the product of Brix and juice volume (kl ha -1 ). 3. R = Rainy season; 4. PR = Post rainy season b) Trade-off between food and fuel: It is generally debated that sweet sorghum cultivars do not produce grain yield and if they produce, the grain yield is less. At ICRISAT, however, the comparison of sweet sorghum and non sweet sorghum hybrids in the rainy season showed that they produce higher sugar yield (21%) and higher grain yield (15%) than non sweet sorghum hybrids indicating that there is no trade off in hybrids. On the other hand, in the varieties during the rainy season, there is some trade off between higher grain yield and sugar yield, but the loss in grain yield is far less than the gain in sugar yield (Table 10). Similar trends are noted for both varieties and hybrids during the post rainy season. These results are handy to prove a point for sensibility in cultivation of sweet sorghum over corn, palm oil and rapeseed in the context of environmental damage and present food crisis. Table 10. Trade-off between food (grain) and fuel (sugar yield) based on studies at Patancheru in Andhra Pradesh, 2005 and 2006. Season Stalk sugar yield (t ha-1) Grain yield (t ha-1) Sweet sorghum (SS) Non- sweet sorghum % gain in SS Sweet sorghum (SS) Non- sweet sorghum % gain/loss in SS Rainy Variety 5.8 (7) 4.1 (15) 42 3.4 (7) 4.2 (15) -18 Hybrid 5.5 (7) 4.6 (10) 21 7.4 (7) 6.5 (10) 15 Postrainy Variety 2.0 (5) 1.3 (17) 53 4.1 (15) 5.2 (17) -21 Hybrid 1.6 (6) 0.9 (11) 78 6.0 (6) 7.2 (11) -16 C) Photoperiod- and thermo-sensitivity of hybrids vs varieties: Sweet sorghum hybrids and varieties sown at different dates (representing different photoperiods and soil and air temperatures) to evaluate them under different photoperiods and thermo-sensitivity. The results clearly showed that the hybrids matured earlier than varieties (meaning less water use). Also variation in days to 50% flowering of hybrids was minimal compared to those of varieties sown in different dates (Fig. 1) indicating relatively less photoperiod- and thermo-sensitiveness of hybrids. The photoperiod- and thermo-sensitiveness is required to predict maturity period, which in turn helps in timely scheduling the supply of sweet stalks distillery units as and when required. Figure 1. Response of sweet sorghum hybrids vs varieties in different dates of planting. 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Date of sowing Daysto50%flowering ICSA474xSSV84 ICSA654xICSR 93034 ICSR 93034 Seredo SSV84
  10. 10. 10 Considering the aspects—early maturity, high biomass, ethanol and grain yield potential and photoperiod-and thermo-insensitivity of hybrids vis-à-vis varieties, the hybrids are best suitable for sweet sorghum-based ethanol production technology. we are evaluating 56 hybrids in elite hybrid trial and 45 hybrids in advanced hybrid trial in this kharif 2008 season for sugar as well as grain yield. Hundreds of populations in different generations meant for development of elite hybrid parents are under progressive evaluation. It is found that for obtaining maximum sugar yields in sweet sorghum, an optimum dosage of 64 N ha-1 (half as basal and half as top dressing) can be applied. Our data also shows that juice yield has predominant effect on sugar yield in comparison with that of total soluble solids alone. Potential of lingo-cellulosic biomass for ethanol production: With the development of biocatalysts including genetically engineered enzymes, yeasts and bacteria, it is possible to produce ethanol from any plant or plant part known as lingo-cellulose biomass including cereal crop residues (stovers). Sorghum stover also serves as an excellent feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production. Currently, a few countries with higher ethanol and fuel prices are producing ethanol from lingo-cellulose feedstocks (Badger, 2002). Stover contains lignin, hemi- cellulose and cellulose. The hemi-cellulose and cellulose are enclosed by lignin (which contains no sugars), making them difficult to convert into ethanol, thereby increasing the energy requirement for processing. The brown midrib (bmr) mutant sorghum lines, which were originally described by Porter et al. (1978) have significantly lower levels of lignin content (51% less in stems and 25% less in leaves). Research at Purdue University, USA showed 50% higher yield of the fermentable sugars from stover of certain sorghum bmr lines after enzymatic hydrolysis ( Therefore, the use of bmr sorghum cultivars would reduce the cost of biomass-based ethanol production. The potential of ethanol yields for some of the feedstocks are given in Table 11. Table 11. The potential of ethanol yields for some of the feedstocks. Feedstock Liters ethanol ton-1 Bagasse 500 Maize/sorghum/rice stover 500 Forest thinnings 370 Harwood sawdust 450 Mixed paper 420 *Source: Planning cmtt_bio.pdf With several bmr mutant sources available, ICRISAT has a comparative advantage to develop high biomass-yielding bmr sorghum hybrids suitable for enhancing ethanol production from stover. Hybrid parents and hybrids based on the brown midrib phenotype are currently under evaluation. Public-private partnerships and Consortia Agri-Business Incubator (ABI) at ICRISAT is a technology commercialization wing of ICRISAT. ABI supports perspective entrepreneurs to commercialize agro-technology through business facilitation support. ABI facilitated Rusni Distilleries Pvt. Ltd, promoted by a non-resident Indian for sweet sorghum based ethanol production. M/s. Rusni Distilleries (P) Ltd set up a 40 KLPD distillery, a multi feed stock unit near Hyderabad, India. It produces fuel ethanol (99.4%
  11. 11. 11 alcohol), Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) (96%) and pharma alcohol (99.8%) from agro-based raw materials such as sweet sorghum stalks (juice) and molded grains, cassava and rotten frutis. Nealy 1000 farmers grew sweet sorghum (800 ha) during 2007 rainy season entering in buy-back agreement with RUSNI. ICRISAT supplied the the sweet sorghum seed and provided technical back stopping for enhanced productivity. Buoyed with the success, more and more famres are coming forward to take up the crop in 2008. Table 12. Rusni Distilleries Ltd.- plant production capacity. Ethanol/day (kL) 35-40 Sweet sorghum cane required day-1 (t) 800-875 Cane required for 105 days (t) per season 84000-91875 Area required (rainy season) ha 2300-2600 Area required (postrainy season) ha 3700-4200 Total sweet sorghum area required (ha) 6000-6800 No. of small farmers1 to be involved 3000-3400 1. Small farmers: 2 ha holdings in India; Source: Rusni Distilleries. ICRISAT has created two platforms for a holistic, pro-poor approach to public-private partnership so that both the needs of industry for sustainable supplies of feedstock, and the needs of the poor for a fair sharing of the income, are met for mutual benefit. The first one is the ICRISAT-Private Sector Sweet Sorghum-Ethanol Research Consortium (SSERC) has been established at ICRISAT to meet current and future demands of the sweet sorghum-based ethanol distillery units. As of now four companies are partners to this consortium. The second one is ICRISAT-Private Seed Sector Sorghum Hybrid Parents Research Consortium (SHPRC) operating with about 17 members. The overall goal of these consortia is to strengthen sweet sorghum research at ICRISAT and its partners to improve the livelihood options of the smallholder farmers in the SAT. The research outputs to be generated by ICRISAT under the consortia are as follows: i) Improved sweet sorghum cultivars (varieties and hybrid parents) for ethanol production for supplying to members ii) Strategic research on heterosis, photoperiod and temperature insensitivity, earliness, yield stability, planting dates, fertilizer application, harvesting, etc. iii) Socio-economic and institutional research-for-development to innovate pro-poor, win-win partnership arrangements that ensure that the large revenue flows into the Bioethanol sector help reduce poverty, hunger and environmental degradation through sustainable, profitable enterprises. iv) Building the human resource capacity of the consortium members and the national partners associated with the consortium members in sweet sorghum cultivar testing, and seed production. Decentralized crushing and syrup making units The biggest challenge in use of sweet sorghum for ethanol production is availability of feed stock for longer periods. Owing to the short harvest window (one month per season) it is difficult to supply the feed stock with the centralized model (farmers supplying stalks to the distillery directly). To increase the feed stock availability for extended periods, ICRISAT is working for development of cultivars with different maturity durations and promoting sweet sorghum planting in wider areas, establishment of decentralized syrup making units and harvesting the stalks one week after cutting the panicles to increase the harvest window. Also an innovative decentralized model is worked out at ICRISAT. Under decentralized model, the crushing and syrup making units are established in villages it self. The harvested sweet sorghum stalks are crushed in the village and the juice is boiled to produce syrup (concentrated solution with 70% Brix). The syrup is transported to distillery that can be used as feed stock for ethanol
  12. 12. 12 production in the lean season. Thus a combination of both centralized and decentralized models augment the distillery’s feed stock requirement for ethanol production. In decentralized model, the farmers can harvest the grain; take Bagasse after crushing stalks for use as animal feed/compost. Impacts and risks Impacts are several folds. Besides reducing pollution problems, dependence on non-sustainable fossil fuels, and total water demand (when compared to corn and sugarcane feed stocks; refer Table 2), sweet sorghum cultivation fetches farmers an additional net income of US $ 97/ha (per season) as indicated earlier (refer Table 1) over the traditional system of grain sorghum cultivation. There is no trade off with food if the farmer harvests the crop at physiological maturity. The risks from cultivating sweet sorghum are negligible in the sense, even during the drought years, farmer can harvest more fodder from sweet sorghum compared to grain sorghum. He can get additional income from sweet sorghum cultivation when there is a tie up with the industry. If for some reason the tie up fails, the farmer is not the looser because the crop provides grain, similar in quantity and quality to grain sorghum. Furthermore, he/she gets more fodder when compared to normal grain sorghum and the quality of fodder in terms of digestibility is better than normal grain sorghum fodder. Note: ICRISAT has also tied up with Praj to take ahead Distillation of Sweet Sorghum. Commercial Scale and acceptability is slow from Agronomists. This can be propagated along with Cane if Sugar Industry believes in its Ethanol substitution. That would give impetus to this Crops propagation. References Reddy BVS, Ramesh S, Sanjana Reddy P, Ramaiah B, Salimath PM and Rajashekar Kachapur. 2005. Sweet Sorghum-A Potential Alternative Raw Material for Bio-ethanol and Bio-energy. International Sorghum and Millets Newsletter 46:79-86. Tapioca: India is yet to see Commercialization of Tapioca Ethanol like Thailand, most of Tapioca is used by Domestic Sago Industry, Textiles, Pharmacy, Paper, Drilling, feed Industries as filling agent and as Starch. Scale is low and visible in dry lands in few southern states of Kerala, TN, AP. Success from Thailand and China need to be replicated with focus to develop seed and milling technologies. Tapioca Distillation produces more effluent and consumes more water and this has been detrimental. India may not see much of Tapioca Distillation in near future too as Dry land farmers are looking at Commercial Horticulture crops and Processing. Thailand has seen several success stories in Cassava distillation, which to extent china has replicated and Africa is looking at.