Researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada are studying the use of sugar corn varieties with higher sucrose concentrations for the making of ethanol. They have already started testing their first harvest.
With sugar corn, the stalks are pressed to collect the juice, which is quite similar to that from Brazilian sugar cane, and then ferment the sucrose directly into ethanol.
The university team explained that the sugar corn-to-ethanol process is much more simple than with traditional corn, as the latter yields starch which needs to be processed in order to break it down into fermentable sugars. The mechanical processing and the use of heat and enzymes also make the ethanol more expensive.
The University of Guelph-led project includes scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Ontario ministry of agriculture and food (OMAFRA), and Western University. The joint project will also study the potential use of corn stalks left after pressing.
Provided by SeeNews exclusively for Essentica.