Highway grasses converted to heat and biofuel in Illinois

August 12, 2017 |

In Illinois, University of Illinois – Urbana researchers are implementing a pilot program based on a three-year study that showed nearly $2 million in energy could be recovered by harvesting more than 100,000 acres of unpaved public land along highways and other rights-of-way full of weeds and grasses that can be converted to biofuel. It would cover the cost of mowing the public areas as well as generate revenue for the state.

The implementation will begin on a 10-plus acre parcel as well as the original test plot in order to create standard operating procedures and plans to scale it up in other areas across the state. They plan on using the biomass for heating Illinois Department of Transportation garages and a new biomass boiler, as well as looking into biofuels using hydrolysis, fermentation, and gasification technologies.

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Category: Research

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