• 2 minutes U.S. Presidential Elections Status - Electoral Votes
  • 5 minutes “Cushing Oil Inventories Are Soaring Again” By Tsvetana Paraskova
  • 7 minutes United States LNG Exports Reach Third Place
  • 22 mins Joe Biden's Presidency
  • 2 mins Biden suspends oil and gas drilling on Federal Lands for 60 days for review.
  • 1 hour So Is COVID a Media Hoax or Not?
  • 1 min China sends warplanes thru Taiwan airspace. Joe's reponse . . . .
  • 17 hours a In 2020, we produced and delivered half a million cars.
  • 2 hours The World Economic Forum & Davos - Setting the agenda on fossil fuels, global regulations, etc.
  • 5 hours Parler’s New Partner Has Ties to the Russian Government
  • 53 mins JACK MA versus Xi Jinping
  • 3 hours GENERAL NORMAN SCHWARZKOPF: The Third Tour
  • 8 hours Thanks to food countersanctiona after 2014 Russia become net exporter of food
  • 3 hours Minerals, Mining and Industrial Ecology
  • 17 hours Did I Miss Something?
  • 21 hours The Debate Starts : Remake Republican Party vs. Third Party
Ammonia: A Jet Fuel For The Future

Ammonia: A Jet Fuel For The Future

The race to decarbonize the…

Oil Crash Could Destroy Global Biofuels Market

Oil Crash Could Destroy Global Biofuels Market

This month’s unprecedented oil crash…

Hand Sanitizer Boom Could Save The Ethanol Industry

Hand Sanitizer Boom Could Save The Ethanol Industry

While the ethanol industry continues…

Joao Peixe

Joao Peixe

Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com

More Info

Premium Content

Switchgrass Fuel: Bush Wanted It, Obama Gets It

The idea of using switchgrass to produce biofuels was brought up by former US president George W. Bush in his 2006 State of the Union address, which was received with an equal amount of laughter and serious research.  

Years later, the Obama administration is making this a reality, but research that began with switchgrass has switched to sugarcane, and the first real product results should be unveiled within two years.  

Regardless of who was responsible for the switchgrass sound bite in Bush’s speech, it prompted an in-depth study from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), which suggested that millions of homes and businesses would save money by burning biomass instead of oil, in the form of switchgrass pellets.

Related article: Why the Advanced Biofuel Industry is Struggling

More specifically, the study concluded that using switchgrass pellets instead of petroleum fuel oil to generate one gigajoule of heat would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 146 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Totaling all costs associated with actually producing this biofuel and revamping residential heating system to run on it, the team concluded that each gigajoule of heat produced using switchgrass pellets would cost $7 less than using fuel oil.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research department has been working on this idea for years, headed by Dr. Jorge da Silva. Dr. Silva says he expects the first product to be released from his lab within two years, but he’s swapped the switchgrass for sugarcane because it’s easier to re-engineer.

“Unlike corn, or even switchgrass, sugarcane is unique in that it can be crossed with different species, including sorghum, to create new plant varieties with favorable traits that are competitive with corn in producing biofuels,” he told reporters.

Related article: Algae Produces more Fat for Biofuels when Starved

Dr. Silva transfers the desirable genetic traits from various plant sources to sugarcane using genetic markers, rendering a new plant material referred to as wide-hybridization. These are the second generation of bioenergy plants—and they have the potential to replace corn, sugarcane and switchgrass in the process of producing biofuels like ethanol.

Where are we now? Dr. Silva and his team started out with hundreds of thousands of possibilities of hybrids, which they have now narrowed down to the elites that stand the best chance of efficiently producing biofuels and being able to grow outside their “comfort zones”. Right now, these elite strains are being tested in various locations in Texas—where Bush would have wanted it to happen.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News