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posted by Fnord666 on Friday December 15 2017, @07:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the good-smelling-exhaust dept.

Feed your cattle, fuel your Mustang:

Sweet sorghum is not just for breakfast anymore. Although sorghum is a source for table syrup, scientists see a future in which we convert sorghum to biofuel, rather than relying on fossil fuel. That potential just grew as University of Florida researchers found three UF/IFAS-developed sorghum varieties could produce up to 1,000 gallons of ethanol per acre.

"Sweet sorghum has the potential to be an effective feedstock for ethanol production," said Wilfred Vermerris, a UF/IFAS professor of microbiology and cell science and a co-author on the study.

Ethanol produced from sweet sorghum can be used for auto and jet fuel, UF/IFAS researchers said.

UF/IFAS researchers picture big fuel potential from sorghum partly because it's so abundant. Sorghum is the fifth largest cereal crop in the world and the third largest in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2014, the U.S. was the largest producer of sorghum in the world.

UF/IFAS scientists like sorghum because it can be cultivated twice a year in Florida, requires little fertilizer, uses water efficiently and can be drought resistant, UF/IFAS research shows.

Combine this with terra preta to get more harvests per year and they might have something.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Friday December 15 2017, @05:54PM (3 children)

    by HiThere (866) on Friday December 15 2017, @05:54PM (#610375) Journal

    The big three for plants (and other life) are C H O & N. Unfortunately, Nitrogen can't be absorbed from the air by multicellular plants, though some have made a deal with bacteria (see legumes). Even more unfortunately, there are lots of trace minerals that are also needed, e.g. Phosphorous. But as so much water is highly polluted with fertilizers (see "dead zone") the needed stuff may already be present in the water you use. You need to test to make sure.

    As for "literally grow in a bucket of water" look up hydroponics. Also Water Lily (Nymphaea aquatica), algae, water-hyacinth. That's not a unreasonable claim, but most land plants need to get air to their roots or they drown, and I don't know about sorghum.

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  • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Friday December 15 2017, @08:28PM (1 child)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @08:28PM (#610438) Journal

    The big three... are C H O & N.

    Is this the Spanish Inquisition?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Joe Desertrat on Friday December 15 2017, @10:58PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Friday December 15 2017, @10:58PM (#610528)

      Is this the Spanish Inquisition?


  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Crash on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:11AM

    by Crash (1335) on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:11AM (#610611)

    I've noticed that with my (mostly) succulent garden outdoors:
    The various plants will root and grow just fine in a wide stainless steel bowl of water and tree leaves, whereas
    They rot and die in planters that contained wet dense soil, and
    Mostly rotted with limited rooting in hourglass-shaped glass vases filled with water.

    Indoors in the windowsill, the same plants are able to root in cylindrical glasses or cylindrical aluminum mugs.