Influence of Stem Length on Harvesting Solutions for Sweet Sorghum
Assirelli, A.; Amaducci, S.; Suardi, A.; Del Giudice, A.; Scarfone, A.; Santangelo, E.; Pari, L.
22st European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, 23-26 June 2014, Hamburg, Germany.
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Via Giacomini 28, I - 50132 Florence
ETA-Florence Renewable Energies.
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The storage length and the size of the stored product are two factors affecting the sugar losses in sweet sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench var. saccharatum]. Within the project Biosea, the Consiglio per la ricerca e la sperimentazione in agricoltura, CRA ING, Unità di Ricerca per l’Ingegneria Agraria was in charge for suggesting and designing new mechanical solutions aimed at to assure the reduction of sugar losses during the harvesting and for the subsequent logistic step, taking into account the first outcome coming from storage studies. These have shown as the long-term storage appears feasible but the sugar losses are inversely related to the length of stem portions. The duration of storage may be longer for whole stem and should not exceed 20 days for smaller portions. Therefore, since in a future perspective the lengthening of the period of biomass storage can become an important objective in the timing of delivery to the biorefineries, the efforts have been addressed to the design of a machinery able to harvest the whole stem, possibly defoliated, starting from the conceptual idea already applied in other crops for the harvesting of whole stems.