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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NEW AND IMPROVED CULTURAL PRACTICES FOR SUSTAINABLE SUGARCANE PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Location: Sugarcane Research Unit

Title: Sustainable production of energycane for bio-energy in the Southeastern US

Authors
item Viator, Ryan
item WHITE, PAUL
item Richard Jr, Edward

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2010
Publication Date: April 4, 2011
Citation: Viator, R.P., White Jr, P.M., Richard Jr, E.P. 2011. Sustainable production of energycane for bio-energy in the Southeastern U.S. American Chemical Society Book Series, Sustainability of Sugarcane for Sugar and Bioenergy. 1058:147-161.

Technical Abstract: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that at least 36 billion gallons of biofuels are to be used by 2022 and in particular 16 billion gallons be derived from cellulosic sources. When one considers this new demand for cellulosic ethanol, then sugarcane as a biofuels feedstock has tremendous potential for production of bioethanol and second-generation biofuels as suggested by Shapouri et al (2006); growers could be paid for not just cane stalks but also for leafy material that is usually not harvested. Sugarcane grown solely for the production of energy is commonly referred to as energycane (Chynoweth et al., 1993). For energycane, fiber can range from 14-30%, sucrose 4-15%, and leafy material 2-20%. For energycane to be sustainable, it must economically produce high and consistent yields. Early-generation hybrids/ energycanes appear to have greater biomass yield potential, ratoon vigor, flood tolerance, and cold tolerance than commercial sugarcane cultivars. Energycane may be grown for more ratoon crops, on marginal land, in cooler environments, and with fewer inputs than sugarcane. Economic sustainability will depend on biofuel yields from the conversion of feedstocks such as sugarcane and energycane via multiple techniques such as combustion and cellulosic conversion; currently there is a very broad range for fuel yields and conversion cost are also unknown. Once an economically viable conversion process is established, then the level of resources required to produce a sustainable feedstock from energycane can become more specific.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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