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Breakthrough with Ethanol from Sorghum

29 May 2012

PHILIPPINES - San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. (SCBI) in San Carlos City has produced ethanol from sweet sorghum, for the first time in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

The breakthrough was a joint effort of SCBI, Professor Rex Demafelis, University of the Philippines Los Baños Alternative Energy Research, Development and Extension gonvenor and chairman of the UPLB Energy Systems Committee, the Sagay City government, Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research and Biomass Resources Inc. that conducted the agricultural trial for the production of sweet sorghum, reports the Visayan Daily Star.

Professor Demafiles said they produced 15,231 litres of ethanol by early Sunday morning (27 May).

“We were able to produce 247 litres of fuel grade ethanol for every ton of sweet sorghum syrup,” Professor Demafiles said.

“We believe it will be cheaper to produce ethanol from sweet sorghum,” Professor Demafiles added.

Jose Ma Zabaleta, SCBI chairman said the sweet sorghum planted on 30 hectares in Sagay City was converted into syrup by a mill called Options, which was then sent to SCBI for processing into ethanol.

“We are very happy with this milestone. This has never before been tried nor done in the Philippines and Southeast Asia as far as I know. It has been a resounding first success, although of course we have more to learn yet and improve on,” Zabaleta said.

"This now proves that the small planters in the hills, or small land reform beneficiaries can participate and increase their income growing sorghum as a combined food and energy crop for transport fuel," Mr Zabaleta added.

TheCropSite News Desk

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