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Chromatin's Sorghum Hybrids Top In Biomass Yield, Energy And Sugar Content

Chromatin's top performing sorghum hybrids from the 2010 biomass and sugar testing programs. (Photo: Business Wire)
by Staff Writers
Chicago IL (SPX) Feb 25, 2011
Chromatin has announced that its sorghum hybrids showed top performance in its 2010 biomass and sugar testing programs when compared to other materials from public, private, and commercial sorghum collections.

In the first trial, 50 biomass sorghum entries were planted in 4 replicate plots and tested for total yield, moisture, energy, and ash content. In a similar, second trial, Chromatin tested 50 types of sweet sorghum, measuring total biomass yield and fermentable carbohydrate in harvested juice.

The results from these studies indicate that Chromatin's entries provided the 3 top-yielding biomass sorghum hybrids, and among this group are hybrids with very high BTU (British Thermal Units, or energy) content, low ash content and low moisture retention. In addition, a number of Chromatin's sorghum materials generated more fermentable sugar per acre than most of the competitors.

"These results are highly significant," said Dave Jessen, Chromatin's CTO.

"With a range in the biomass testing program of 18.8 to 4.3 dry tons per acre (entry mean = 10.6), we are very confident that our best materials will deliver superior biomass yields. Further, two of our sorghum hybrids have sugar yields per acre that surpass many sweet sorghum cultivars that are used today."

In addressing the statistical significance of the data, Jessen noted "Although research trials are performed on a smaller scale, we are confident that the relative rankings of most entries will replicate in future, larger scale tests."

"These tests show that our biomass has a combination of qualities that are high priority for thermochemical processors, and that our sweet sorghum provide solutions that can meet today's growing demand for soluble sugar," added Daphne Preuss, Chromatin's CEO.

"BTU values ranged over $1000 / acre between the biomass at the extremes in the trial. This clearly shows that a key economic driver for cleantech projects will be the ability to access a high-performance feedstock."

Chromatin is a biotechnology company that is providing access to biomass feedstocks through its relationships with companies in the biopower, chemical, and biofuel sectors. Chromatin's subsidiary, Sorghum Partners, LLC, sells sorghum seed products to growers, resulting in over 1 million acres planted worldwide.

"The ability to leverage our seed production and distribution pipeline is making it possible for us to deliver superior biomass products in 2011," said Preuss.

"We have sufficient quantities of seed from these top hybrids for large scale biomass production today."

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