What is sweet sorghum? This substance is both a food and it meets the alternative fuels definition if it is processed into ethanol. When it is converted into ethanol then it may be listed on the alternative fuels index. Sweet sorghum comes from sorghum cane, and it is the juice which is taken from the plant and used undiluted. After it is harvested, the juice of the plant is concentrated down and any impurities are removed. After the juice is processed it is an amber color and clear. The sugars in the syrup are concentrated down, making it the perfect feedstock for fermentation into ethanol. The ethanol produced meets the alternative fuels definition and can be found in the alternative fuels index each week.
Put simply, sweet sorghum is the concentrated and purified juice taken from certain types of cane, specifically sorghum cane. This type of plant is loaded with natural sugars, and when the juice is extracted so are these sugar molecules. One disadvantage to using sweet sorghum for biofuels is the old food versus fuel debate, because this feedstock does have food value and is used in the global food supply. Switching to this type of ethanol around the world could cause the sugar and sorghum syrup prices to rise drastically, and cause these products to become scarce for food use. This is a prospect that has caused some critics, but in Brazil sugar cane has become widely used for biofuels and this has not really happened so far, although it could in the future.
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