Rapid analysis of Sorghum Biomass composition using  NIR: Lab and Field based Methods
Thursday, May 1, 2014: 10:10 AM
Grand Ballroom A-C, lobby level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Kripa Rao, Biomass Chemistry, Nexsteppe Inc, South San Francisco, CA, Richard Schneeberger, Core R & D, Nexsteppe Inc, South San Francisco, CA and Bonnie Hames, BHames Consulting, Newbury Park, CA
As a developer of renewable biomass crops for the biobased economy, NexSteppe is actively engaged in crop breeding and agronomy R&D to develop mainly sorghum feedstocks for biofuel, biobased chemicals and biopower industries. NexSteppe sweet sorghum hybrids produce juice with readily accessible sucrose and glucose geared as fermentation feedstocks, and bagasse biomass for use in biopower or cellulosic sugar production.  Nexsteppe low moisture, high biomass sorghums are targeted towards second generation cellulosic biofuel, biochemicals and bio-power customers.  A common bottleneck in crop feedstock R&D and biomass supply chain quality control is the speed of chemical composition analysis. Wet chemistry methods, while providing high accuracy and precision, are slow and expensive to perform and not suitable for screening large numbers of samples in a research or production setting. Furthermore there is a great need for field and on board harvester based measurement systems that can deliver real-time data on key composition traits such as moisture, glucan, xylan and lignin. 

 At Nexsteppe, we have been developing Near InfraRed-based analytical tools to support lab-based and field based breeding and agronomic research activities.  This presentation will  describe the development of new spectroscopic methods, calibration, validation and ongoing analysis for two important bioenergy feedstocks, sweet sorghum and high biomass sorghum.