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Open AccessArticle

Technical Feasibility and Comprehensive Sustainability Assessment of Sweet Sorghum for Bioethanol Production in China

by 1,2,†, 1,2,†, 1,2, 1,2 and 1,2,*
1
College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, No. 2, Yuanmingyuan West Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100193, China
2
National Energy R&D Center for Non-Food Biomass, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030731
Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
Under dual pressures of energy and environmental security, sweet sorghum is becoming one of the most promising feedstocks for biofuel production. In the present study, the technical feasibility of sweet sorghum production was assessed in eight agricultural regions in China using the Sweet Sorghum Production Technique Maturity Model. Three top typical agricultural zones were then selected for further sustainability assessment of sweet sorghum production: Northeast China (NEC), Huang-Huai-Hai Basin (HHHB) and Ganxin Region (GX). Assessment results demonstrated that NEC exhibited the best sustainable production of sweet sorghum, with a degree of technical maturity value of 0.8066, followed by HHHB and GX, with corresponding values of 0.7531 and 0.6594, respectively. Prospective economic profitability analysis indicated that bioethanol production from sweet sorghum was not feasible using current technologies in China. More efforts are needed to dramatically improve feedstock mechanization logistics while developing new bioethanol productive technology to reduce the total cost. This study provides insight and information to guide further technological development toward profitable industrialization and large-scale sweet sorghum bioethanol production. View Full-Text
Keywords: sweet sorghum; technical feasibility; sustainability assessment; bioethanol production potential; economic profitability sweet sorghum; technical feasibility; sustainability assessment; bioethanol production potential; economic profitability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, X.; Li, M.; Liu, H.; Ren, L.; Xie, G. Technical Feasibility and Comprehensive Sustainability Assessment of Sweet Sorghum for Bioethanol Production in China. Sustainability 2018, 10, 731. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030731

AMA Style

Yang X, Li M, Liu H, Ren L, Xie G. Technical Feasibility and Comprehensive Sustainability Assessment of Sweet Sorghum for Bioethanol Production in China. Sustainability. 2018; 10(3):731. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030731

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yang, Xiaolin; Li, Meng; Liu, Huihui; Ren, Lantian; Xie, Guanghui. 2018. "Technical Feasibility and Comprehensive Sustainability Assessment of Sweet Sorghum for Bioethanol Production in China" Sustainability 10, no. 3: 731. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030731

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