University of Kentucky researchers show dual-purpose hemp cultivars best for bioenergy

August 13, 2020 |

In Kentucky, dual-purpose industrial hemp cultivars show the best potential for coproduction of biofuel and bioproducts, according to University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment study. Researchers evaluated 11 hemp cultivars from all over the world. They planted cultivars at UK’s Spindletop Farm and at Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability under the leadership of the late David Williams. The cultivars included six that produced fiber only and five that produced fiber and grain. The study explored each cultivar’s ability to produce biofuels, how each performed with a laboratory pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis, which is designed to enhance biofuel yields, and projected economic returns.

All dual-purpose cultivars had higher economic returns than the fiber-only cultivars. The top performing cultivars were Bialobrzeskie from Poland and NWG 331 from Colorado. Bialobrzeskie had estimated returns from the sale of the grain and projected biofuel production of $1,564 per hectare, and NWG 331 had estimated returns of $1,482 per hectare. NWG 331 had the highest biomass yield and the second highest grain yield of all cultivars. Bialobrzeskie had the highest grain yield.

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Category: Research

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