Part of the book: Bioethanol
Cereal grains are biological materials and as such have certain unique characteristics greatly affected by both genetics and environment. Wheat is worldwide considered as the main cereal grain in the average human diet. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the most important grading factors and kernel physical parameters that are involved in the estimation of quality specifications. The determination of the physical properties of wheat kernels gives a first approximation of the structural characteristics useful for the design and selection of equipment for handling, harvesting, aeration, drying, storing and more importantly to functionality, processing and end uses. For instance, physical quality test that directly measure those properties are needed. To get a better prediction, physical evaluation of the wheat kernels offers a first and interesting quality control for their selection as raw materials in order to optimize quality of a large diversity of products. Kernel colour, shape, size, sphericity, porosity and bulk and specific densities and damages incurred due to heat, insects, molds or sprouting are relevant tests related to wheat kernel properties and quality.
Part of the book: Wheat Improvement, Management and Utilization
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and Bermuda (Cynodon dactylon) grass are examples of annual and perennial forage crops produced throughout the globe. These crops should be harvested at the peak of biomass production when the levels of lignin are relatively low. The high biomass sorghum, sweet sorghum bagasse (2 cuts or crops year−1) or Bermuda grass capable of yielding up to 50, 60 and 27 tons of dry forage ha−1 year−1 rich in cellulose and hemicellulose can be efficiently transformed into bioethanol using second-generation technologies consisting of milling, pretreatment (chemical and/or enzymatic) and fermentation with microorganisms capable of transforming C5/C6 sugars to obtain ethanol. An alternative process contemplates the extrusion aimed toward the physical disruption of cell walls minimizing the use of considerable amounts of water and chemicals commonly used during pretreatment. Extruded feedstocks treated with fiber-degrading enzyme cocktails had conversion efficiencies between 60 and 78% of the hemicellulose and cellulose similar to the ones achieved after acid/enzyme hydrolyses. The chief advantages of this continuous process are that hydrolysates are practically free of enzymes and yeast inhibitors. These feedstocks can produce up to 310 L anhydrous bioethanol dry t−1 and have a great potential for widespread use.
Part of the book: Biofuels