Miscanthus - The Supergrass of Energy?

How the worm turns. From the home state of the fossil fuel dependent automobile industry comes research that could liberate many from such a nasty addiction. The Uni of Illinois reckons if it planted 8% of the state's land area with Miscanthus grass, burning the resulting dried fibre could generate enough electricty for the entire state. A similar percentage, if cropped in Ireland, could yield about a third of that country’s electricity. Now, long term ‘huggers will know we like our grasses here, especially that bamboo stuff. But this one deserves keeping an eye out for. Apparently the US are thinking doing a 50% mix with coal, to run power plants. This is not the common backyard lawn that your push mower can tackle—it grows up and over the 4 metre mark (that’s about 13 feet for those in the world still to embrace metric). According the scientists quoted in this ABC news bulletin, Miscanthus would also be carbon neutral. But don’t take our word for it. Read Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s factoids and the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs take on it, too. ::ABC News Online


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