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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #359662

Research Project: Developing Technologies that Enable Growth and Profitability in the Commercial Conversion of Sugarcane, Sweet Sorghum, and Energy Beets into Sugar, Advanced Biofuels, and Bioproducts

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Stabilization of sweet sorghum bagasse for novel applications using compaction and ensiling

item Wright, Maureen
item Lima, Isabel
item POWELL, RANDALL - Biodimensions Delta Bio-Renewables, Llc
item Bigner, Renee

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2019
Publication Date: 11/6/2019
Citation: Wright, M., Lima, I., Powell, R., Bigner, R. 2019. Stabilization of sweet sorghum bagasse for novel applications using compaction and ensiling. In: Proceedings of the Advances in Sugar Crop Processing and Conversion 2018 Conference, May 15-18, 2018, New Orleans, Louisiana. 2:163-171.

Interpretive Summary: Milling of sweet sorghum stalks to remove the juice results in an accumulation of solid material called bagasse. The fibrous qualities of bagasse have potential for other uses such as fuel generation, animal bedding and animal feed. Some bagasse is spread back on the sorghum fields to enhance growth of subsequent crops, but more is generated than can be used in this way. Converting bagasse for other uses will require stabilizing of the material for processing after the harvest season has ended. This work describes a method of compacting bagasse for storage during harvest season. The method, employing inexpensive and easily operated tools, resulted in increased bulk density, reduced pH, and stabilized the microbial and physicochemical properties of bagasse from multiple time points during the season.

Technical Abstract: Bagasse is a byproduct of sweet sorghum processing. It has been used to return nutrients to the soil in fields, but a larger volume is generated than can be consumed through this process. Efforts have been made to convert the bagasse for novel secondary applications rather than discarding it. This work reports a simple, cost-effective method to stabilize sweet sorghum bagasse for secondary use, such as fuel or animal bedding, after the staff-intensive period during harvesting and processing of sweet sorghum juice.