A firm based in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky is hoping more farmers raise sorghum to use in ethanol fuels production in the future. Southeast Biofuels has completed the first phase of a project that resulted in a million gallons of ethanol being produced from two thousand acres of sweet sorghum. It’s a plant that’s similar in appearance to corn, that can grow in a variety of soil types.
The company’s President, who is a retired IBM chemical engineer, spoke recently to the Kentucky General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Small Business. Southeast Biofuels wants to develop a processing unit that can fit on a tractor trailer, so farmers could someday produce their own fuel on the farm. Company officials told lawmakers that no funding is available at this point for the development of such units, which could produce about 250 gallons of sorghum ethanol per day. They maintain that its not hard to produce ethanol from sorghum and they believe the idea is worth pursuing. They estimate about 700 gallons of ethanol can be produced from an acre of sweet sorghum.