Sweet sorghum ethanol in field fermentation issues
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Sweet Sorghum Ethanol: In-Field Fermentation Issues. Dani Bellmer 1 , Ray Huhnke 2 1 Assoc. Professor, Biosystems Engineering & Food and Agricultural Products Center 2 Professor, Biosystems Engineering Oklahoma State University. In the US, we currently import over 60% of our petroleum needs.

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Sweet Sorghum Ethanol: In-Field Fermentation Issues

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Sweet sorghum ethanol in field fermentation issues
Sweet Sorghum Ethanol: In-Field Fermentation Issues

Dani Bellmer1, Ray Huhnke2

1Assoc. Professor, Biosystems Engineering & Food and Agricultural Products Center

2Professor, Biosystems Engineering

Oklahoma State University



Current u s ethanol production facilities 117 operational 57 under construction
Current U.S. Ethanol Production Facilities needs117 operational, 57 under construction


Sweet sorghum has great potential as an energy crop
Sweet Sorghum Has Great Potential as an Energy Crop needs

  • Can be grown in temperate climates

  • “More Crop Per Drop” - Low irrigation needs (1/2 corn and 1/3 sugarcane)

  • Drought tolerant

  • 12-21% directly fermentable sugar (i.e. no starch to convert)


Traditional sugar processing

Heat Energy needs

Traditional Sugar Processing

On-Farm

Central Facility

Distillation &

Dehydration

Fermentation

Juice

Press

Sugarcane

Bagasse


In field production of ethanol from sweet sorghum
In-Field Production of Ethanol from Sweet Sorghum needs

Harvesting, pressing, & fermenting the juice in the field…


Potential in field processing

Field Residue needs

Heat Energy

Silage

Potential In-Field Processing

On-Farm

Central Facility

Dewatering/

Distillation

Dehydration

Fermentation

Juice

Press

Sorghum

Bagasse



Possible system scenario in ok
Possible System Scenario in OK needs

  • Begin planting ~ mid April

  • Stagger plantings April- June

  • Harvest July – mid-November (4.5 month harvest window)

  • Producers owns 1 week juice storage capacity + partial dewatering system

  • Final dehydration conducted at central site


Evaluate sweet sorghum ethanol potential in oklahoma
Evaluate Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Potential in Oklahoma needs

Goals:

  • Evaluate In-Field Fermentation Issues

  • Determine Factors Affecting Juice Extraction Efficiency

  • Evaluate Potential for Expanded Harvest Window



Theoretical ethanol production
Theoretical Ethanol Production needs

Stoichiometry of sugar fermentation:C6H12O6  2C2H5OH + 2CO2Theoretical Conversion: 0.51 g etoh/ g sugar






Effect of leaf stripping on ethanol production
Effect of Leaf Stripping on apart)Ethanol Production


Effect of storage fermentation samples after 5 months
Effect of Storage apart) Fermentation samples after 5 months


Effect of storage fermentation samples after 5 months1
Effect of Storage apart) Fermentation samples after 5 months


Sweet sorghum ethanol in field fermentation issues

Juice Extraction Efficiency apart)

  • Compare roller press and screw press

  • Evaluate juice yield as affected by time of harvest

  • Effect of stalk diameter on juice expression



Sweet sorghum ethanol in field fermentation issues

Screw Press apart)



Screw press vs roller press
Screw Press vs Roller Press apart)

Juice Expression Ratio (g juice/g biomass)

  • Roller Press: .36 - .4

  • Screw Press: .45 - .5


Whole stalks in screw press effect of pressure
Whole Stalks in Screw Press: apart)Effect of Pressure



Effect of stalk diameter on juice expression
Effect of Stalk Diameter on apart)Juice Expression

Large ~ 3 cm

Small ~ 1.5 cm


Additional ongoing research
Additional Ongoing Research apart)

  • Determine level of sterilization needed between fermentation cycling in storage bladders

  • Develop on-farm partial dewatering process

  • Evaluate staggered plantings to determine effect of extended harvest window



Potential ethanol yield gallons acre
Potential Ethanol Yield apart)(gallons/acre)

* Assumes 0.55 juice expression ratio and 90% conversion efficiency


Trade offs between processing scenarios
Trade-Offs Between Processing Scenarios apart)

On-Farm

Central Facility

  • Lower Transportation Costs

  • Lower Capital Costs

  • More Feasible in Reduced Harvest Window Scenarios

  • Value to Rural Economies

  • Higher Juice Extraction Efficiency

  • Higher Conversion Efficiency

  • Economies of Scale


Critical process questions remaining
Critical Process Questions Remaining apart)

  • Best technology for in-field, single pass pressing

  • Determination of extent of dewatering to be completed on-farm, and best technology

  • Sterilization Requirements



Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements apart)

  • OSU Collaborators: Ray Huhnke, Dimple Kundiyana, Chad Godsey, Bill Raun, Rodney Holcomb, students

  • Lee McClune, LeeMax Energy, Knoxville, IA

  • Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Poteau, OK

  • OK Field Research Station Superintendents

  • Oklahoma Food and Agricultural Products Center, Stillwater, OK


Sugar content monitoring
Sugar Content Monitoring apart)

115 Days After Planting


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