The Global View

Switchgrass ethanol gets thumbs up


Greenbang does the hard work, so you don’t have to. If you’d been sitting there, thinking to yourself: “Hmmm. I must read the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ report into the suitability of switchgrass to make biofuel ethanol,” but didn’t get around to it, well, Greenbang is here to help.

In short, switchgrass comes out the winner. Says the PNAS:

Switchgrass produced 540% more renewable than nonrenewable energy consumed. Switchgrass monocultures managed for high yield produced 93% more biomass yield and an equivalent estimated [net energy yield] than previous estimates from human-made prairies that received low agricultural inputs. Estimated average greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cellulosic ethanol derived from switchgrass were 94% lower than estimated GHG from gasoline.

You can read the whole report, in fabulous PDF, here.