Location: Sugarcane Research
Project Number: 6052-21000-015-11-R
Project Type: Reimbursable
Start Date: Aug 1, 2011
End Date: Jul 31, 2017
The goal of this proposal is to expand the Southern Regional Agricultural Sector by utilizing sweet sorghum and energycane crops, capable of being produced in underutilized land, for the manufacturing of bio-based fuels and by-products. Formation of a regional multidisciplinary consortium of agricultural scientists, biotechnologists, technology and engineering providers, economists and educators will facilitate conversion of these regionally appropriate crops into a portfolio of bio-based fuels and chemicals. A training and demonstration facility will be expanded to support research, education and extension for the emerging biorefining industry. The structure of the proposed consortium focuses resources and all necessary expertise in one regional location that provides outreach through a well developed extension network. The team of agricultural economists will analyze and model the scenarios throughout the Southeastern region of the United States. Once created, this program will serve to advance biofuel production in the Southeastern Region.
1. Evaluation of selected energycane and sweet sorghum crops and improvement in their production through utilization of low-input, sustainable systems to ensure an uninterrupted supply of carbohydrates and fiber to biofuel production facilities. 2. Utilization of existing pilot and industrial facilities, incorporating multiple crops and cutting edge processing technologies to demonstrate butanol, gasoline, and isoprene. 3. Regionally appropriate business-marketing models that integrate bio-based fuels and products into existing logistics and supply chain infrastructures will be developed based on inputs from agricultural research and techno-economic analyses. 4. Educational programs at the consortium universities will be expanded and coordinated to support a practical training center in biofuel processing linked to an extension/outreach program targeting supply chain participants.