This section is from the book "Alcohol, Its Production, Properties, Chemistry, And Industrial Applications", by Charles Simmonds. Also available from Amazon: Alcohol: Its Production, Properties, Chemistry, And Industrial Applications.
A considerable quantity of alcohol is obtained by fermenting the juice of sugar-beets. In France, the amount thus produced is about one-third to one half of the total output of alcohol. The better varieties of beets contain from 12 to 16 per cent, of fermentable sugar; but the beets used for fermentation purposes may be. and often are. less rich in sugar than those employed for beet -sugar manufacture. Consequently, the yield of alcohol varies considerably, ranging from 11 to 24 gallons per ton of roots. The yield of roots per acre is usually from 12 to 20 tons.
Molasses, both cane and beet, are another considerable source of alcohol. In cane-sugar molasses, the total amount of sugars, calculated as dextrose, ranges from about 52 to 67 per cent., and beet-sugar molasses contain from 48 to. 53 per cent, of sucrose. The theoretical yield of alcohol from dextrose is 51.1 per cent., and from sucrose 538 per cent.; and the practical yield is about 83 per cent, of the theoretical in each case. One gallon of absolute alcohol is obtainable from 22 gallons of cane molasses of average sugar-content 577 per cent, and specific gravity 147, or from 2 5 gallons of beet molasses containing 50 per cent, of sugar. It has been calculated that the total quantity of alcohol obtainable from the world's production of cane- and beet-molasses would be about 200 million gallons.2 The actual quantity obtained is uncertain, but is, of course, very much less than this.