Biomass production and soil nutrient removal by switchgrass
grown for biofuel production.
and smooth bromegrass growing in two plots (5 m long and 4 m wide) (Zhang et al.
After evaluating the different yields obtained from the two varieties, the scientists concluded that biomass producers could optimize ethanol production from their crops by planting the variety Kanlow--a lowland switchgrass
type--and harvesting either at midseason or after a frost.
Genetic modification may be able to produce switchgrass
that could grow taller, faster, and have cell walls that are easier to break down, or lead to plants that better resist drought or disease.
Bredesen, UT officials and economic development leaders throughout the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley also hope the use of switchgrass
will give Tennessee farmers a new cash crop.
Adler and others conducted a life-cycle assessment comparing costs of energy generation from coal, natural gas, fuel oil, and switchgrass
in the form of energy-dense cubes, briquettes, and pellets.
Because of its high biomass yields, switchgrass
(above, in El Centro, Imperial County) is considered a good candidate for dedicated energy crops (biofuels).
A lone bacterium, genetically tweaked, can demolish switchgrass
and ferment the sugary rubble to ethanol in one fell swoop.
Scientists bred it specifically as an "energy crop," a genre that includes the giant reed Arundo donax, napier grass, switchgrass
, and hybrid poplar.
The new hybrid cell, developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, can use a wide variety of biomass sources, including starch, cellulose, lignin- and even switchgrass
, powdered wood, algae and waste from poultry processing.
The primary focus of BFA will be on guiding the responsible selection and harvesting of feedstocks such as sugar cane, corn, bulrush and switchgrass
used to make plastics from agricultural materials.
David Hart's "Corn Creates Nesting Nightmare," reminded me of an article published several years ago in Audubon Society Magazine called "Grass is Greener," which suggests using switchgrass
instead of corn for biofuel production.