To pursue the continuous implementation of the bioethanol blending mandate by the Philippine Biofuels Law, part of the roadmap of the National Biofuels Board (NBB) through the Department of Energy (DOE) is to find a sustainable feedstock. This is due to the deficit in locally produced bioethanol as there is an insufficient supply of currently used feedstock, sugarcane. There are several biomasses available in the country with components viable for ethanol fermentation. Aside from sugarcane, these include sweet sorghum and cassava (first-generation), rice straw and corn stover (second-generation), and macroalgae (third-generation). Among which, sweet sorghum can be considered as the best complementary feedstock to sugarcane as its syrup can be directly fermented to produce bioethanol. Considering its maximum bioethanol potential yield of 100 L/ton for two croppings annually, a comparably low production cost of PhP 36.00/L bioethanol was estimated, competitive enough with the PhP33.43/L bioethanol from sugarcane. Aside from finding a promising feedstock, the bioethanol production volume in the country must be increased to meet the demand through either working on the optimum processing conditions to increase the capacity utilization from the current 77.9% or through installation of additional distilleries.
Part of the book: Bioethanol Technologies