The production of ethanol from sweet sorghum in northern Negros Occidental is on a trial run and seems very positive, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said yesterday.
But it needs more study because, on the farmer’s side, the results are not very good, as their profit margin has been small, he said.
He noted that instead of the 40 tons of sweet sorghum projected per hectare, the farmers yield was only 22 tons per hectare.
Another run will be needed to aim for higher yield, Marañon said.
The project, if it succeeds, will be good for agrarian reform beneficiaries because this will work out in the small farms as sorghum has up to three ratoons, he said.
San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. in San Carlos City, for the first time in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, produced fuel ethanol from sweet sorghum on May 27 this year, Jose Ma. Zabaleta, SCBI chairman, said earlier.
The sweet sorghum juice used by SCBI was produced by the OPTIONS (Organic Producers in the Island of Negros) mill in Sagay City, the governor said.
Marañon said sweet sorghum was test-planted on 50 hectares in Sagay City with the help of Prof. Rex Demafiles, University of the Philippines Los Baños Alternative Energy Research, Development and Extension covenor and chairman of the UPLB Energy Systems Committee.
Demafiles said 15,231 liters of fuel ethanol was produced from sweet sorghum, which belongs to the family of corn, on May 27.
Its grains are used for animal feeds and it's stalks are used to produce sweet sorghum juice for the production of fuel ethanol, he said.
The juice yield from sweet sorghum stalks is higher than that of molasses, making its profit margins promising, Demafiles added.*CPG