Switchgrass on Steroids

Cindy Zimmerman

miscanthus It’s called miscanthus and it’s a relative of switchgrass that’s WAY bigger, as you can see by the picture. University of Illinois researcher Stephen Long and graduate assistant Emily Heaton (in the picture, next to the giant grass – she’s only 5’4″) have been growing miscanthus for four years in Illinois. According to this article from Agriculture Online: In the 2004 trials, miscanthus out-performed switchgrass by more than double and in the 2005 trials more than triple. Long says “our results show that with Miscanthus the President’s goal of replacing 30% of foreign oil with ethanol, derived from agricultural wastes and switchgrass by 2030, could be achieved sooner and with less land.” Check these Wikipedia links for more info about miscanthus and switchgrass.

Cellulosic, Ethanol