ISSN: 1659-2751

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Evaluation of Sugarcane Energy Cultivars for Biomass Production from Ratoons

Abstract

The search for sources of clean energy is a priority to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Biofuels are an alternative for the production of energy from plant biomass, which is why sugarcane cultivars have been developed to meet the need of biomass for cellulosic ethanol production and electricity generation by direct combustion. The objective of this project was to identify sugarcane energy cultivars with high biomass production potential in humid tropicclimatic conditions, using ratoons. Variables were evaluated to characterize the growth and reproductive potential of 18 cultivars, two commercial sugarcane varieties (Q-132, Pindar), a wild cane specie Pennisetum (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach), and 15 cultivars of Saccharum officinarum x Saccharum spontaneum (SO X SS), The cultivars with greatest leaf area index (LAI) were US 78-1011 followed by 85-1006 with values of 6.74 and 6.43, respectively, and the cultivar with the longest stems was US 88-1008 with 3.94 m. The cultivar US 85-1006 obtained the highest fresh weight, 204 Mg/ha. Commercial cultivars had the lowest density but with the largest stem diameter, while the cultivar US 88-1002 presented almost six times more stems per area than the commercial cultivars. The Pennisetum had the largest number of leaves per stem, and along with commercial varieties showed the highest leaf width with an average of 5.21 cm. The highest density of inflorescences was 4.76 m2 for the US 84-1017 and the cultivar with highest percentage of pollen viability was US 84-1002 with 78.2 %. The cultivar with the highest percentage of seeds germination was US 81-275 with 39.2 %. Due to its biomass production potential and low production of viable sexual seed, the cultivars recommended for the humid tropics are US 85-1006, US 88-1006 and US 74-1014.

Key words: biofuel, biomass, energy cane, germination, hybrid, LAI, viability.

Artículo en español (pdf) (466)