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Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 11657-11678; doi:10.3390/su70911657

Influence of Sowing Times, Densities, and Soils to Biomass and Ethanol Yield of Sweet Sorghum

1
Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima 739-8529, Japan
2
Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Science (VAAS), Ha Noi, Vietnam
3
Agricultural Genetics Institute (AGI), Hanoi, Vietnam
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Susan Krumdieck
Received: 2 May 2015 / Revised: 19 July 2015 / Accepted: 27 July 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Biomass Energy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [718 KB, uploaded 26 August 2015]

Abstract

The use of biofuels helps to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and therefore decreases CO2 emission. Ethanol mixed with gasoline in mandatory percentages has been used in many countries. However, production of ethanol mainly depends on food crops, commonly associated with problems such as governmental policies and social controversies. Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is one of the most potential and appropriate alternative crops for biofuel production because of its high biomass and sugar content, strong tolerance to environmental stress conditions and diseases, and wide adaptability to various soils and climates. The aim of this study was to select prospective varieties of sweet sorghum, optimum sowing times and densities to achieve high yields of ethanol production and to establish stable operational conditions in cultivating this crop. The summer-autumn cropping season combined with the sowing densities of 8.3–10.9 plant m2 obtained the highest ethanol yield. Among cultivated locations, the soil with pH of 5.5 and contents of Al and Zn of 39.4 and 0.6 g kg1, respectively, was the best condition to have an ethanol yield >5000 L ha1. The pH ≥ 6.0 may be responsible for the significant reduction of zinc content in soils, which decreases both biomass of sweet sorghum and ethanol yield, while contents of N, P, K, organic carbon (OC) and cation exchange capacity (CEC), and Fe likely play no role. The cultivar 4A was the preferred candidate for ethanol production and resistant to pests and diseases, especially cut worm (Agrotis spp.). View Full-Text
Keywords: ethanol; sweet sorghum; ethanol yield; biomass; sowing time; pests and diseases ethanol; sweet sorghum; ethanol yield; biomass; sowing time; pests and diseases
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Xuan, T.D.; Phuong, N.T.; Khang, D.T.; Khanh, T.D. Influence of Sowing Times, Densities, and Soils to Biomass and Ethanol Yield of Sweet Sorghum. Sustainability 2015, 7, 11657-11678.

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