NREL Tests Sorghum for Cellulosic Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

National Sorghum ProducersRepresentatives of the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) witnessed a pilot test of bioenergy sorghum at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) this week.

NSP collaborated with NREL to provide almost 100 different sorghum samples for testing, eventually choosing two for pilot testing. The resulting data shows that high biomass forage sorghum demonstrates great potential to fit into cellulosic ethanol conversion. Sorghum varieties have a wide range of basic sugars and structure which could ultimately meet the needs of multiple biofuel systems.

Colorado sorghum farmer Terry Swanson, Vice Chairman of the NSP Board of Directors, is pleased with the NREL research because of potential it holds for both the nation and sorghum producers. “Renewable energy will play a critical role in the future of our nation’s quest for energy independence, and the work NREL is doing will help the sorghum industry establish itself as a major contributor to that cause,” said Swanson.

The test this week showcased three years of bioenergy sorghum research that was made possible by a Department of Energy grant obtained through NSP’s efforts.

Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News, sorghum