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Advanced Biofuel Payments Made

On Sept. 27, USDA announced it would make payments to more than 160 energy producers from 41 states to support and ensure the production and expansion of advanced biofuels.

The payments are authorized under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, under Section 9005 of the 2008 Farm Bill, and includes payments to ethanol plants using sorghum.

NSP has been closely monitoring this process as the program provides strong incentive for the U.S. biofuels industry to use sorghum.

Big news for Chromatin Inc.

NSP Industry Partner, Chromatin Inc., a supplier of biomass feedstock for energy producers, and Constellation Energy announced in September they have invested in sorghum as a feasible option to generate electricity for two California power plants. Both power plants are jointly owned by Constellation Energy and North American Power Group.

Sorghum is an excellent biomass feedstock because it has high energy

test burns to determine the amount of energy it will be able to generate for the power plants. The energy sorghum currently being grown is 10 to 15 feet tall and reaches maturity very quickly.

Chromatin staggered the planting of these three fi elds to produce a consis- tent, steady supply of biomass sor- ghum for the power plants.

The biomass supplier said its fi rst fi eld of 30 acres near El Centro in the Impe- rial Valley of California will be ready to harvest in September and October. The end product will be used to supply one of the power plants and the other two fi elds will be used later.

Daphne Preuss, Chromatin CEO, said the impressive yield of the El Centro crop is an important validation of the advan- tages of sorghum as a biomass source. Sorghum is expected to have an energy content that is more than 70 percent of coal – roughly equivalent to fi rewood.

In October, Chromatin was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for fund- ing to develop energy-rich sorghum.

Chromatin was selected as one of 10 companies to receive an award in the

“...we plan to accelerate the development of sorghum as a feedstock for power, fuel and chemical producers.”

content, uses less than half the water of corn and sugar cane, and can be grown on a variety of land types.

Chromatin is growing three fi elds, totaling 95 acres, of high energy, bio- mass sorghum that will be used for

SORGHUM Grower Fall 2011

PETRO (Plants Engineered To Replace Oil) program, sponsored by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy. With this award, the com- pany will engineer sweet sorghum to produce high energy molecules in the plant, providing drop-in, low-cost fuel.

Chromatin CEO Daphne Preuss and Steve Gross of Constellation Energy inspect a crop of energy sorghum.

“Chromatin expects to receive $5.7 million from this program, enabling us to deploy our unique technology platforms to develop sorghum variet- ies that meet specifi c needs for renew- able energy production,” commented Dave Jessen, Chromatin’s Chief Tech- nology Offi cer.

Sorghum’s water use effi ciency makes it ideal for the production of low-cost transportation fuel and as a high BTU source of biopower.

“By collaborating with academic and industry experts, we plan to acceler- ate the development of sorghum as a feedstock for power, fuel, and chemi- cal producers.”


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