Home
Newsletter
Events
Blogs
Reports
Graphics
RSS
About Us
Contact Us
Write for Us
Media Info
Advertising Info
Biofuels

Biofuels from Switchgrass Offer 540 Percent Return on Energy Inputs

Thursday, June 12, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: biofuels, health news, Natural News


Most Viewed Articles
https://www.naturalnews.com/023423_energy_biofuels_research.html
Delicious
diaspora
Print
Email
Share

(NaturalNews) Biofuel produced from a fast-growing variety of grass can produce 540 percent more energy than is used during its manufacture, according to a study conducted by researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers grew switchgrass on 10 different farms, ranging between three and nine hectares in size, for five years. They calculated the energy used to produce the fertilizers, herbicides, diesel and seeds used in the switchgrass production. Because no large-scale biorefineries currently exist, the researchers used estimates to calculate how much biofuel could be produced from the switchgrass farms' output.

In contrast to an earlier study, which found a net energy gain of 343 percent, the researchers found a 540 percent energy gain from switchgrass.

The researchers did not include in their calculations how much energy used to ship the switchgrass to a refinery. In order to keep these costs low and the energy output high, they recommended that biorefineries be constructed near the fields on which switchgrass is grown.

"A biorefinery will have a feedstock supply radius of about 25 to 50 miles, so the feedstock of any biorefinery needs to be localized," said co-author Ken Vogel, of the USDA's Agriculture Research Service.

The United Nations and other organizations have criticized the biofuels industry for taking arable land out of food production and using it to produce fuel instead. According to Vogel, one of the advantages of switchgrass is that it can be grown on marginal cropland.

"The intent is to have energy crops being grown on marginal cropland, so it would not be in competition with food crops on our best land," he said.

Another advantage switchgrass has over other oil crops, such as corn, is that the entire plant and not just a seed can be used to produce ethanol, leading to much higher yields per ton.

Receive Our Free Email Newsletter

Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.


comments powered by Disqus


Natural News Wire (Sponsored Content)

Science.News
Science News & Studies
Medicine.News
Medicine News and Information
Food.News
Food News & Studies
Health.News
Health News & Studies
Herbs.News
Herbs News & Information
Pollution.News
Pollution News & Studies
Cancer.News
Cancer News & Studies
Climate.News
Climate News & Studies
Survival.News
Survival News & Information
Gear.News
Gear News & Information
Glitch.News
News covering technology, stocks, hackers, and more