Grass the Next Gas?

Published 01/19 2012 01:37PM

Updated 01/19 2012 01:44PM

    A new study by UI researchers finds a potential alternative energy source. "Miscanthus x giganteus" is considered a strong contender in the race to find the next source of ethanol if appropriate growing conditions are met.
    The grass was studied to determine establishment success, plant growth and dry biomass yield. The overall goal was to promote yield per acre using the fewest inputs while preventing environmental damage.
    The study is part of the Department of Energy-funded "North Central Sun Grant Feedstock Partnership Project." Data was collected at sites in Urbana, Lexington, KY, Mead, NE and Adelphia, N.J.
    Lead scientist and associate professor at UI Department of Crop Sciences, Tom Voigt, says "We want bioenergy crops to find their way into more marginal settings where ground is less easy to work with. Miscanthus can work where food crops can't."
    Voigt added the results are positive and prove energy crops have great potential as alternative energy sources.

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