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Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica

The Journal of Czech University of Life Sciences Prague

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Sweet Sorghum (sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) Bioenergy Value – Importance for Portugal

Jose Sarreira Tomas Monteiro
  • Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco – College of Agriculture, Castelo Branco, Portugal
  • :
/ Bohumil Havrland
  • Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic
/ Tatiana Ivanova
  • Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic
Published Online: 2012-10-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10295-012-0002-y


Sweet Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is an annual herbaceous species used for centuries in a multitude of countries, especially in Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), but also in the Americas and Asia, mainly for its grain and fi brous remainders, these used as animal fodder or as a combustible. Already for some decades the non-structural sugars from Sorghum stalks became of interest for the ethanol production business either for industrial, beverage or fuel uses. The species is particularly interesting because of its characteristic low energy, chemicals and water inputs. In addition, this is achieved with a very interesting performance in terms of Greenhouse Effect Gases (GEG) emission mitigation. This paper discusses the Sweet Sorghum production under climatic/soil conditions in Portugal and its possible use in a combined bio-energy production plant. Results from experimental fi eld trials ran in Portugal (Province of Beira Interior) for two years showed yields up to 90 tonnes of fresh biomass per hectare at very low inputs. They confi rm that this crop cultivation is technically feasible and economically effective for the above region and can become a cash crop. The technical aspects of the Sweet Sorghum growing processes and profi table use are especially discussed. These include the ethanol production, co-generation of heat and power as well as biogas generation. The interest in some valuable co-products use is raised, too. Advantages of integrating these processes are also analyzed.

Keywords: : Infant food; environment; dust; Cronobacter spp.

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Published Online: 2012-10-24

Published in Print: 2012-03-01

Citation Information: Agricultura tropica et subtropica. Volume 45, Issue 1, Pages 12–19, ISSN (Online) 1801-0571, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10295-012-0002-y, October 2012

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