Technical Feasibility and Comprehensive Sustainability Assessment of Sweet Sorghum for Bioethanol Production in China (2018)

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Under dual pressures of energy and environmental security, sweet sorghum is becoming one of the most promising feedstocks for biofuel production. In the present study, the technical feasibility of sweet sorghum production was assessed in eight agricultural regions in China using the Sweet Sorghum Production Technique Maturity Model. Three top typical agricultural zones were then selected for further sustainability assessment of sweet sorghum production: Northeast China (NEC), Huang-Huai-Hai Basin (HHHB) and Ganxin Region (GX). Assessment results demonstrated that NEC exhibited the best sustainable production of sweet sorghum, with a degree of technical maturity value of 0.8066, followed by HHHB and GX, with corresponding values of 0.7531 and 0.6594, respectively. Prospective economic profitability analysis indicated that bioethanol production from sweet sorghum was not feasible using current technologies in China. More efforts are needed to dramatically improve feedstock mechanization logistics while developing new bioethanol productive technology to reduce the total cost. This study provides insight and information to guide further technological development toward profitable industrialization and large-scale sweet sorghum bioethanol production. © 2018 by the authors.
Year: 2018
Language: English
In: Sustainability, 10 (3): 731-731 p.

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 Record created 2018-09-21, last modified 2018-09-21