The Latest in next-wave biofuels feedstock reports: Miscanthus, switchgrass

June 8, 2014 |

Two gems from the University of Illinois on miscanthus. First, this one that found that miscanthus and other biofuels crops actually reduce the escape of nitrogen into the environment, according to a study performed at the University of Illinois.

The study compared miscanthus, switchgrass, and mixed prairie species against a traditional corn and soybean rotation, and discovered that certain perennial crops quickly reduce nitrate in the soil. The lab plans to further study this cycle to understand more clearly the environmental effects of these crops on the soil.

The report is here.

Meanwhile, this one found that in the country’s first long-term studies into miscanthus that even though production slips after five years, biomass production is still double that of switchgrass. The results in the US are even more promising than those from studies done in Europe. Miscanthus was grown in seven sites around the state for between 8 and 10 years, producing on average 10.5 tons per acre compared to 4.5 tons for switchgrass.

The report is here.

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Category: Research

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