Evaluation and Modeling of Bioethanol Yield Efficiency from Sweet Sorghum Juice
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One of the challenges with using sweet sorghum as an energy crop is that although fermentation of the juice to ethanol does not require enzymes, the juice can easily spoil. One strategy to avoid spoilage is to harvest the juice in the field, place it into a tanker for transport, and add the yeast immediately to initiate the fermentation process to begin during transport. Hence, it is also important to understand how the fermentation process is influenced by pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen, since these parameters would not be “controlled” during transport. A full factorial design was applied to examine and optimize yield efficiency of ethanol production for the fermentation of sweet sorghum juice. Bioethanol yield efficiency was modeled using a linear equation. Under optimal pH (5.5), temperature (28 °C), and dissolved oxygen (0%) conditions, a maximum theoretical yield efficiency of 0.75 was achieved for bioethanol produced from M81E variety of sweet sorghum.
KeywordsBioethanol Sweet Sorghum Fermentation Factorial design Yield efficiency
This work was supported by the USDA Sun Grant No.09W-T020.
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