Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

Switchgrass shows potential for bio-ethanol

Ethanol is currently made of corn, but it scarcity make scientists look for other crops, such as switchgrass. Using swithgrass is also more efficient, according to US researchers.

A study conducted on Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota farm lands over a five year period, resulted in 54% more energy yielded from switchgrass compared to 25% for corn.

Environmentalists disagree
Despite the optimistic approach of the study, environmentalists disagree with the production of bioethanol from switchgrass, saying that the production will most certainly not meet the energy goals and furthermore, it will need intense irrigation processes, which will increase the pressure on water resources.

Continued search
What the United States will decide on bioethanol production remains to be seen, as scientists continue to search for new alternatives to the environmental-unfriendly gasoline fuel. Brazil already has the biggest fuel ethanol production in the world, and almost 50 % of its cars are able to use ethanol as fuel.

Related folder:
Dossier AllAbout Bio Energy

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