Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alternative Energy: New Sugarcanes To Deliver One-Two Energy Punch

Date:
October 20, 2008
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
New varieties of sugarcane and other crops adapted to the U.S. Gulf Coast region are being developed for use in making ethanol as a cleaner-burning alternative to gasoline.

New varieties of sugarcane are being developed that are especially good for use in making ethanol.
Credit: Image courtesy of USDA/Agricultural Research Service

New varieties of sugarcane and other crops adapted to the U.S. Gulf Coast region are being developed for use in making ethanol as a cleaner-burning alternative to gasoline.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists, in cooperation with the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station (LAES) and the American Sugar Cane League, USA (ASCL), have already released three new varieties of "energy sugarcane." They're called that because of their high stalk contents of sugar and fiber, which could eventually serve as complementary ethanol feedstocks.

Raw-sugar processors now burn the fiber to generate heat that powers stalk-crushing and sugar-crystallization processes, notes Edward Richard, who leads the ARS Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma, La. The extracted sucrose sugar is sold for consumption or converted into ethanol. However, Richard anticipates that biorefineries will use the fiber as well, once technologies for converting cellulose into ethanol become economically feasible.

The three new energy sugarcanes--one high fiber/low sucrose and two high sucrose/high-fiber varieties--were released in April 2007 by ARS, LAES and ASCL as part of a cooperative breeding program. The releases also reflect ARS' push to exploit region-specific crops as feedstocks that will sustain localized production of biobased fuels and energy.

Corn, especially that grown in the Midwest, is a staple feedstock for ethanol production. But in southern Louisiana, soil conditions are more amenable to sugarcane and sweet sorghum. Sugarcane also offers a key processing advantage over corn-based ethanol production: Cane sugars needn't be derived from starch using cooking steps and enzymes. Rather, the sugar can be directly fermented into ethanol as soon as the sugar is extracted from stalks.

Richard estimates an acre planted to one of the three energy sugarcanes could yield nearly 1,240 gallons of ethanol using both the sugar and fiber. To extend sugarcane's growing and processing season and production range further to the north, his lab also is developing cold-tolerant varieties of the crop.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Alternative Energy: New Sugarcanes To Deliver One-Two Energy Punch." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013194043.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2008, October 20). Alternative Energy: New Sugarcanes To Deliver One-Two Energy Punch. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013194043.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Alternative Energy: New Sugarcanes To Deliver One-Two Energy Punch." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013194043.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins