Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Biofuel: Major Net Energy Gain From Switchgrass-based Ethanol


Switchgrass grown in this study yielded 93 percent more biomass per acre and an estimated 93 percent more net energy yield than previously estimated in a study done elsewhere. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
ScienceDaily — Switchgrass grown for biofuel production produced 540 percent more energy than needed to grow, harvest and process it into cellulosic ethanol, according to estimates from a large on-farm study by researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Results from the five-year study involving fields on farms in three states highlight the prairie grass' potential as a biomass fuel source that yields significantly more energy than is consumed in production and conversion into cellulosic ethanol, said Ken Vogel, a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service geneticist in UNL's agronomy and horticulture department.