5 Things You Didn’t Know Were Biofuels
Most people believe that in order for biofuels to be produced, food staples need to be utilized. This in turn can lead to food shortages. However, biofuel does not have to be made using staple food crops. Here are top five potential products which can be used to manufacture biofuels.
1. Giant Grass:
Giant Grass, which is also known as Elephant Grass and Miscanthus, yields twice as much the volume of ethanol per acre than switchgrass or corn ethanol. Miscanthus, for example, is able to flourish and grow on land which is too barren for staple crop production. Therefore, it does not have to compete with the land for staple food crops. It also does not need major fertilization or input after planting. Once planted, they can provide for approximately fifteen years.
Agave is no longer known only as the element required to produce tequila and agave nectar. Mexican scientists have begun to test the feasibility of agave plants as a potential producer of ethanol. Scientists have estimated that agave can yield approximately 2,000 gallons of ethanol per land each year and increase up to 18,000 gallons if the cellulose of the plant is processed. The plant is also considered to be extremely durable.
Sapphire Energy, a bio petroleum manufacturer, boasts a high-octane and renewable diesel produced from algae known as Green Crude which is chemically similar to gasoline. According to them, “The resulting gasoline is completely compatible with current infrastructure, meaning absolutely no change to consumer’s cars.”
The kudzu plant, also commonly known as “the plant that ate the South” grows all over the United States of America at a rate of 6.5 feet per week. Investigators estimate that the kudzu plant could produce up to 2.3 to 5.6 tons of carbohydrate per acre or approximately 270 gallons per acre of ethanol. This would make it equal to the yield of corn which is about 210 to 320 gallons per acre. These findings have been published in the Journal of Biomass and Bioenergy.
5. Sugarcane-Giant Grass Hybrid:
Giok Se Tijong was the person behind the creation of Tijong grass which is a sugarcane-giant grass hybrid plant located in Indonesia. He created this plant in the year 1950 as a premium quality cattle feed. Upon testing the plant for its biofuel potential, tests showed that it has an extremely high carbohydrate content which is about 71.26%. Tijong has now also produced ethanol using it in his personal home laboratory, however he does not have the required support to achieve more.
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