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Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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biofuel, unlike the fossil fuels extracted from decomposed material, is made from living plants. Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) is the source of two major fuels: solid-based (bagasse—the fiber left over after crushing the cane—and the cane’s tops and leaves) and liquid-based (ethanol, obtained from the fermentation of sugars). Approximately 26 million hectares of sugarcane are planted worldwide (a small area compared to all major crops), of which about 5 million are currently dedicated to ethanol fuel, primarily in Brazil. Sugarcane is produced in more than 100 countries, though a handful, including Brazil, India, China, Pakistan, and Thailand, represent three-quarters of the total production.