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Idesia (Arica)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-3429


BASTIAS, Elizabeth et al. Characterization of maíze "Lluteño" (Zea mays L. amylaceae type) from northern Chile, tolerant to NaCl and excess of boron, as an alternativefor bio-energy production. Idesia [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.3, pp.7-16. ISSN 0718-3429.

The aim of this study was to examine the chemistry and biochemistry of plant tissues and evaluate the growth parameters of maíze variety Lluteño (Zea mays L. amylacea type), to consider the alternative production of bioethanol from biomass waste obtained from the chaff of corn after harvest, in the valley of Lluta (Arica-Chile). The entire production of corn is geared mainly for fresh consumption, the dry biomass or chaff currently has no productive use. This material is burned and rarely incorporated into the soil and few farmers use it as fodder, wasting large volumes of biomass in the valley. This study estimated the content of ethanol from biomass and characterized the behavior of plants under field conditions from May to October 2008. The parameters examined during the crop phenology were biomass, relative water content (RWC), chlorophyll content and total soluble sugars The results suggest that Lluteño corn has an exponential growth of biomass content and plant height, despite the high salinity and excess B in the soil and irrigation water; this increase in biomass was significant in the month of October, about 94%. The content of chlorophyll in the leaves was maintained, showing not be a limiting factor in the assimilation of CO2. Total soluble sugars, also increased up to 86%, suggesting that Lluteño corn would use the significant increase of the organic solute to increase indirectly the potential bioethanol content; this solute may also act as an osmoregulator and/or osmoprotectant to maintain the water status of plants, thereby enabling a high production of biomass. The estimated levels of ethanol after harvest may be considered very good, noting that the sample was only from dry biomass and husks were not included; this being an important advantage that does not affect human consumption of this corn.

Palabras clave : Zea mays, amylacea; salinity; boron; germoplasm; bioenergy.

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