Genera Energy joins freeway-to-fuels movement with test plots for switchgrass along highways

July 1, 2010 |

In Tennessee, Genera Energy has planted several plots of switchgrass along interstate corridors in Tennessee in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). The test plots are designed to see if switchgrass can help reduce maintenance costs by reducing the need for mowing and may also have the added benefit of producing biomass for energy and reducing erosion at highway interchanges.

Genera Energy currently contracts with 60 farmers in East Tennessee to grow the plant for bioenergy production, specifically cellulosic ethanol, on approximately 6,000 acres. The farms are located within a 50-mile radius of the world’s first demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Vonore, Tennessee. The biorefinery opened in late 2009 and will be producing cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass by the end of the year.

Genera Energy is a for-profit units of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, focused on developing integrated biomass supply chain solutions and strategic partnerships to support the bioenergy industry in Tennessee.

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