Researchers at Iowa State University have led a study designed to test the efficiency of cropping sorghum grass for biofuel production. Testing was performed on biofuel production yields in both single-cropping and double-dropping systems.
Using sorghum from a single-cropping system was determined to be more effective for the production of ethanol over the leading ethanol producer, corn.
Ben Goff, author of the report, suggests that only 15%-25% of energy requirements can be fulfilled using corn or starch-based ethanol
While Goff states that sorghum is more efficient for ethanol production standpoint, it remains to be seen whether the double-cropping long-term benefits, such as reduced erosion potential, are an acceptable trade-off for the reduced total biomass production.
Specific genotypes of sorghum from the double-cropping study yielded total biomass equal to those in the single-cropping study, but all of the sorghum varieties in the single-cropping study had consistently higher ethanol yields.
Biofuels from sources like sorghum could have significant energy, sustainability, and industry impacts.
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