sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is similar to grain sorghum
with a sugar-rich stalk, almost like sugarcane. The sugar
content varies from 16-23% Brix. Besides having wide
adaptability, rapid growth, high sugar accumulation and
biomass production potential, sweet sorghum, is tolerant to
drought, water logging, and soil salinity and acidity
toxicities. The partnership-sweet sorghum varieties, hybrids
and the technologies developed by ICRISAT hold high promise
for the farmers of the semi-arid tropics.
The water requirement and crop growth duration of sweet
sorghum is much lower than that of sugarcane, whose byproduct
(molasses) is traditionally used for ethanol production. The
ethanol production process from sweet sorghum is more
eco-friendly than that of sugarcane molasses. The ethanol can
be blended with petrol for producing Gasohol. The grains from
sweet sorghum can be used for food or
5,600 liters per hectare per year (over two crops, at 70 tons
per hectare of millable stalk per crop at 40 liters per ton),
the ethanol production from sweet sorghum compares well with
the 6,500 liters per ha per crop for sugarcane (at 85-90 tons
per hectare of millable cane per crop at 75 liters per
of the sweet sorghums grown by ICRISAT.
renewed the program for the identification and development of
sweet sorghum hybrid parents and varieties in 2002. Promising
lines such as ICSB 631 and ICSB 264 among the seed parents;
and Seredo, ICSR 93034, S 35, ICSV 700, ICSV 93046, E 36-1,
NTJ 2 and Entry 64 DTN among the varieties/male parents were
identified for their high stalk sugar content (sugar
percentage ranged from 16.8% to 21.6%). A special Sweet
Sorghum Hybrid (SSH) 104 developed at the National Research
Center for Sorghum, Hyderabad, from ICSA 38, an ICRISAT-bred
male-sterile (seed) parent and SSV 84, a male parent bred in
the Indian program is being recommended for release for
Agri-Business Incubator (ABI) at ICRISAT has signed a
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Rusni Distilleries Pvt.
Ltd. of Hyderabad to incubate the ethanol production
technology using ICRISAT-bred sweet-stalk sorghum lines.
ICRISAT signed another MOA with Vasanthadada Sugar Institute,
Pune, for identification/development of improved sweet sorghum
varieties, characterizing the juice, and ethanol quality and
quantity, and also providing process technology to Rusni
Distilleries through ABI.
India, the estimated requirement for ethanol to blend with
petrol (at 10%) is about 1000 m liters, and for blending with
diesel (at 5%) another 3000 m liters. Total ethanol
requirement including other purposes is 5000 m liters. The
possible ethanol production from available sugarcane molasses
(8.2 m tones) and other sources is 2000 m liters. This leaves
a gap of 3000 m liters of ethanol. The deficit of ethanol can
be made good if sweet sorghum varieties are developed and
their cultivation is promoted for ethanol production.
is hopeful that private seed companies in India will
complement the efforts of the national program in the
development of location-specific hybrids (using hybrid parents
developed in ICRISAT and the national program) to meet the
expected increased demand for raw material for ethanol
production in the years to come.
more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.