Industrial Innovations

Alcohol From Sorghum (Grain Spirit)

Alcohol has assumed a very important position in the economy of the country. It is a vital raw material for number of chemicals viz., acetic acid, acetic anhydride, vinyl acetate, butanol, PVC, glycols and other derivatives. It can also be blended with petrol (gasoline) at 5 to 20% ratio as an anti-knocking agent replacing hazardous pollutant-lead without much changes in S.I. engines. Sorghum, a coarse cereal, is an excellent raw material for production of grain spirit. Any quality grains even discolored grains, which fetches low market price, can be utilised for alcohol production. Sorghum cultivated in India contains 66 to 71% starch. Assuming 65% starch, one ton of grain after hydrolysis of starch will given 371 kg of alcohol, measuring 445 liters. A five-step process involving grinding, gelatinisation and liquedifaction, saccharification and fermentation, distillation.

Area: Agricultural Sciences

Funding agency: Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India

Implementing institute: National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Govt. of India

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