Skip to comments.Grass Makes Better Ethanol than Corn Does (interesting if true)
Posted on 01/11/2008 8:07:03 AM PST by tobyhill
Farmers in Nebraska and the Dakotas brought the U.S. closer to becoming a biofuel economy, planting huge tracts of land for the first time with switchgrassa native North American perennial grass (Panicum virgatum) that often grows on the borders of cropland naturallyand proving that it can deliver more than five times more energy than it takes to grow it.
Working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the farmers tracked the seed used to establish the plant, fertilizer used to boost its growth, fuel used to farm it, overall rainfall and the amount of grass ultimately harvested for five years on fields ranging from seven to 23 acres in size (three to nine hectares).
Once established, the fields yielded from 5.2 to 11.1 metric tons of grass bales per hectare, depending on rainfall, says USDA plant scientist Ken Vogel. "It fluctuates with the timing of the precipitation,'' he says. "Switchgrass needs most of its moisture in spring and midsummer. If you get fall rains, it's not going to do that year's crops much good."
But yields from a grass that only needs to be planted once would deliver an average of 13.1 megajoules of energy as ethanol for every megajoule of petroleum consumedin the form of nitrogen fertilizers or diesel for tractorsgrowing them. "It's a prediction because right now there are no biorefineries built that handle cellulosic material" like that which switchgrass provides, Vogel notes. "We're pretty confident the ethanol yield is pretty close." This means that switchgrass ethanol delivers 540 percent of the energy used to produce it, compared with just roughly 25 percent more energy returned by corn-based ethanol according to the most optimistic studies.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciam.com ...
Dude, grass will also give you the munchies.
Switchgrass is better and it grows with far less water and care than corn. I also understand that farmers don’t like it because by pushing corn, the price of corn gets pushed up due to competition between corn as a food product and energy source. Maybe farmers need to work on a per-BTU pricing structure.
Ron Paul supporters hardest hit.
I’m sure the eco wacks and statists will be along shortly to protest any possible alternatives to foreign oil.
Yup...and that means even more pressure on the corn growers...Fritos.
They already have make-your-own diesel kits that utilize that, in part.
In Texas, the taxing authorities don’t like it, of course.
*starts planting switchgrass in teh backyard*
Now, if I could just get some plans for a fermentation-refinery that fits in my garage
the hippies got excited there for a minute util it was explained it was for switchgrass.
(then they got the munchies and tried to eat it)
Then we can all recycle our grass clippings, get a tax credit, and make fuel for the auto????????
That’s my uncle...crazy man. Like wow. :-)
Ethanol is a chemical formula. It’s chemically identical regardless of the feedstock.
What they meant is that switchgrass makes a better feedstock, but that’s not what they said.
Using grass for fuel is great and all, but where am I supposed to find rolling papers big enough to hold my car?
I guess that's why they invented drive-thrus!
Or the crop that covers much of the Southern mountains to fantastic depths.....cudzu