Composition of sugar cane, energy cane, and sweet sorghum suitable for ethanol production at Louisiana sugar mills

J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Jul;38(7):803-7. doi: 10.1007/s10295-010-0812-8. Epub 2010 Aug 29.


A challenge facing the biofuel industry is to develop an economically viable and sustainable biorefinery. The existing potential biorefineries in Louisiana, raw sugar mills, operate only 3 months of the year. For year-round operation, they must adopt other feedstocks, besides sugar cane, as supplemental feedstocks. Energy cane and sweet sorghum have different harvest times, but can be processed for bio-ethanol using the same equipment. Juice of energy cane contains 9.8% fermentable sugars and that of sweet sorghum, 11.8%. Chemical composition of sugar cane bagasse was determined to be 42% cellulose, 25% hemicellulose, and 20% lignin, and that of energy cane was 43% cellulose, 24% hemicellulose, and 22% lignin. Sweet sorghum was 45% cellulose, 27% hemicellulose, and 21% lignin. Theoretical ethanol yields would be 3,609 kg per ha from sugar cane, 12,938 kg per ha from energy cane, and 5,804 kg per ha from sweet sorghum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels*
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Cellulose / analysis
  • Cellulose / chemistry
  • Ethanol / metabolism*
  • Fermentation
  • Food-Processing Industry
  • Lignin / analysis
  • Louisiana
  • Polysaccharides / analysis
  • Saccharum / chemistry*
  • Saccharum / metabolism
  • Sorghum / chemistry*
  • Sorghum / metabolism


  • Biofuels
  • Polysaccharides
  • Ethanol
  • hemicellulose
  • Cellulose
  • Lignin
  • bagasse