Oklahoma to plant 1000 acres with switchgrass

Oklahoma to plant 1000 acres with switchgrass to demonstrate whether it is suitable as a cellulosic biofuel. According to PR newswire, the site will be 35 miles from Abengoa’s biorefinery in Hugoton, Kansas.

Seeral thoughts strike me. Why not just let 1000 acres revert to prairee and use that instead of going to all the trouble of planting switchgrass. No metion of irrigation. its not clear if the Abengoa plant will use any of the grass, theres an implication that it might, but no concrete statement from the firm and finally, how’s the switchgrass going to get the 35 miles to the refinery if it goes to that one?

My verdict: for what its worth. Useful as a demonstrator but probably not as sustainable as it could be.

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3 Responses to Oklahoma to plant 1000 acres with switchgrass

  1. Miles Leahy 25 April, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    I have a question, rather than a comment so much. All this discussion is taking place at the moment about the impact on food prices that Biofuels is having as a result of the demand for primary feedstock such as corn. However, the entire debate seems to be around biofuels as opposed to renewable energies more generally. Plenty of renewable energies that are not fuels for transport also use primary feedstock. As an example, Biogas produced from corn silage which is then converted to electricity and plugged into the grid. If the EU decides to do U-turn on the biofuels issue as a result of the food crisis, do people think that this also might have implications for companies in the biogas sector who also use primary feedstock rather than waste?

  2. Biofuelsimon 29 April, 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    I think that it is probably very likely that if the EU were to change its stance then the biogas sector could be hit. But that would need the EU to change its position. To me that seems likely to need a reasonable period of time. If you are smart and in the biogas sector then perhaps you could find something else to be doing instead?

  3. David B. Benson 29 April, 2008 at 10:51 pm #

    Miles Leahy — It should, but that implies the rules are written rationally.

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