Giant Energy Grass Outshines and Outproduces Corn
Dedicated energy crops are clearly the long-term fuel sources for the future. While corn (or maize) led the way, followed by switchgrass, extensive research has revealed that Miscanthus Giganteus, a perennial grass native to parts of Asia, has even greater potential.
Miscanthus can be grown on barren land, useless for food production, thereby avoiding the food versus fuel issues triggered by large-scale planting of corn for ethanol production. Once established, the giant grass also requires a minimum of agricultural inputs while achieving biomass yields double and even treble that of corn.
With the climate change debate also an issue of global import, researchers point out that corn is a greenhouse gas source, while Miscanthus offers high levels of carbon sequestration.
A report from scientists at the University of Illinois found that Miscanthus uses more water than corn or soy beans but is better for water quality. The scientists planted Miscanthus alongside corn, soy beans and switchgrass and studied its behaviour for a period of four years.
The study found that Miscanthus and switchgrass used more water early in the growing season but this is a potential advantage as Miscanthus absorbs nitrates, reducing the amount draining into rivers and streams. Furthermore, the study found that Miscanthus requires little fertiliser and slows soil erosion, whereas corn requires high levels of nitrate fertilisers which leach into local groundwater.
The potential for Miscanthus as an ethical, sustainable investment is now clear. International private investment company, Insight Group PLC, spent over 12 months monitoring the successes and failures of bio-fuel based opportunities on the market before launching its BIO E-GRASS project, a government-backed project in Gambia, West Africa, that will see 500 hectares of Miscanthus Giganteus grown for the production of ethanol.
"We encourage investors to find out how 'green' our grass is and to talk with one of our Wealth Management Specialists about the significant returns that will be achieved in as little as five years, with first return in just 18 months," says Insight Group Chairman Alfonso Rivera Revilla.
For further information on the BIO E-GRASS TM project and the investment opportunities it affords, visit .
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