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Oklahoma plants ‘world’s biggest’ 1,000 acre switchgrass plot

grass2.jpgIt’s not all just cowboys and cowboy musicals in Oklahoma, you know. If it were, there’d be more exclamation marks for a start. You know, like this: Oklahoma! But today, Greenbang would like to dedicate that exclamation mark to Oklahoma’s biggest new export: switchgrass!

In the name of biofuels, the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center (OBC) has procured itself 1,000 acres of delicious dirt, which it will cover in switchgrass, making it what the University claims is the biggest single plot of switchgrass growing.

Apparently, the OBC is very much down with concerns over biofuels and food prices, which is why it much prefers a switchgrass crop for generating cellulosic ethanol. The 1,000 acres will also sport a bit of sorghum too.

The point of this massive allotment? A long-term study into what growing switchgrass will do to the environment, as well as testing out new production techniques and critical harvest, collection and
transport methods.

What’s more, the plot will also get its very own biorefinery not 35 miles away, set to be operational by 2010, while any profits from the project will be reinvested into OBC for additional bioenergy and biofuel research.

Here’s what Oklahoma Secretary of Energy David Fleischaker had to say about it:

“Rising food costs recently resulted in a pushback against renewable fuels. However, cellulosic ethanol from sources like switchgrass and sorghum are non-competitive with food sources for animals and humans and remove cellulosic ethanol from this discussion. More so, this dedicated land will allow us to demonstrate the advantages of switchgrass.”

1 Comment

  • nonein2008
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    What was this land used for, before? Any food crops?
    How much fertilizer and water will be needed?
    What is the cost of the refinery plant? How much power and water are used in the conversion?

Comments are closed.

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