Renergie, Inc. Receives $1.5M Grant for Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Plant
Renergie produces ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. The advantages of producing ethanol directly from sweet sorghum juice are:
High Yield. Sweet sorghum juice yields between 500 to 800 gallons of ethanol per acre;
Water Efficient Crop. Sweet sorghum requires one-half of the water required to grow corn and one third of the water required to grow sugarcane;
Ability to Grow in Marginal Soil . Sweet sorghum can grow in marginal soils, ranging from heavy clay to light sand. Sweet sorghum has been called a “camel among crops,” owing to its wide adaptability, its marked resistance to drought and saline-alkaline soils, and tolerance to high temperature and waterlogging;
Lower nitrogen use. Sweet sorghum requires the use of only 40 to 60 pounds of nitrogen per acre whereas corn growers use more than 150 pounds per acre, according to the US. Environmental Protection Agency. Less fertilizer reduces the risk of water contamination. Producing ethanol from sweet sorghum rather than increasing corn-to-ethanol production, reduces the risk of the continued formation of dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico;
Rapid Growth. Sweet sorghum takes only 4 months to reach maturity, which is short enough to allow harvesting twice a year. Sugarcane requires 14 months to reach maturity; and
Energy Efficient. The energy requirement for converting sweet sorghum juice into ethanol is less than half of that required to convert corn into ethanol. This is due to the fact that the sugars in sweet sorghum juice are fermented directly. There is no need to excessively heat the juice to breakdown starch into sugars as required for corn.