Salt loving plants may help biofuels production

Researchers at the University of Arizona say that salt loving plants might hold the key to 63bn gallons ethanol from non-crop land, according to Biofuels Digest, which quoted from Wired.

If this is true then it really is interesting. With one bound (or several faltering steps) we could be free of the reliance on high-quality land which we need for crops globally.  Questions around the level of salt tolerance, yield and so on must be answered. But it could be one of those win-wins where it is possible to increases wealth for people who own marginal land. I wonder if there is any chance that such crops could remediate land that has become saline through irrigation.

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3 Responses to Salt loving plants may help biofuels production

  1. Pradeep 10 December, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    Very interesting..I read about samphire about a week ago and thought about biofuels..
    I would love to see a more detailed estimate of fuel production though..63 billion gallons seems a bit optimisitic..

  2. Simon Robinson 11 December, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    Samphire is the kind of thing that you find in chintzy/ritzy seafood restaurants on the coasts of the UK… Not exactly a huge food demand, but you can eat it. There’s a recipe here…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/warmsaladofsamphirea_3290.shtml

    I’ve not tried it myself.

  3. larry hagedon 19 December, 2008 at 12:49 am #

    No question that salt loving plants will be a part of the solution.

    I always laugh at the totals myself, it is not 63 billion gallons or nothing, it is whatever market share the companies utilizing this feedstock can capture. If it is one billion gallons that is still a huge gain for our side.

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