Biofuel From Switchgrass

Corn is problematic as a biofuel source material. It’s resource-intensive to grow, creates many environmental impacts, and is more useful as food.

A study from Colorado State University finds new promise for biofuels produced from switchgrass, a non-edible native grass that grows in many parts of North America. Scientists used modeling to simulate various growing scenarios, and found a climate footprint ranging from -11 to 10 grams of carbon dioxide per mega-joule — the standard way of measuring greenhouse gas emissions.

To compare with other fuels, the impact of using gasoline results in 94 grams of carbon dioxide per mega-joule.

The study, “High resolution techno-ecological modeling of a bioenergy landscape to identify climate mitigation opportunities in cellulosic ethanol production,” was published online Feb. 19 in Nature Energy.

Source: How biofuels from plant fibers could combat global warming

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