Thursday, August 20, 2009

Elephant Grass

I was wondering when we were going to hear from elephant grass. King grass is a hybrid of elephant grass and is finding markets.

This probably makes it the single most promising crop base for simple biomass production.

It needs the tropics and it certainly needs water. However, it also seems to prosper is a range of difficult soils.

I would like to know if it will naturally dehydrate prior to harvest, since any form of drying adds a lot of cost and effort.

Otherwise we may have a viable silage source and a crop that stands up for several years of harvesting. If it can be used on fairly lousy tropical soils were cattle raising is already underway, then it is a major improvement,

I also notice on the power point presentation on the Viaspace website, that this grass is been fed exclusively to grass carp in China. That is also promising. We have been talking about wetland crops like cattails. Adding in grass carp to the wetlands and feeding them with this particular grass adds another revenue stream to the property.

They quote 175 tons per acre of wet tonnage which likely approaches the produced tonnage for cattail starch and reed biomass. It is certainly enough to optimize any technology around.

Anyway, we can add this to our list of prospective feed stocks for cellulosic ethanol production.

Independent Analysis Confirms Renewable Energy Crop

by Staff Writers

Irvine CA (SPX) Aug 19, 2009

VIASPACE has announced that an independent analysis of Giant King Grass as an energy crop by the China National Center for Quality Supervision and Test of Coal confirmed that Giant King Grass has an energy content of 18.4 MJ per dry kilogram (4402 kcal per kilogram), which makes it suitable as a renewable feedstock for generating electric power and producing liquid biofuels.

A well-known energy company, at present unnamed due to ongoing business discussions with VIASPACE, commissioned the independent analysis, and based on the results has declared Giant King Grass suitable for its
renewable energy requirements.

Chief Executive Dr. Carl Kukkonen commented: "We are pleased with this independent analysis which confirms the suitability of Giant King Grass for renewable biofuels. While the energy content of Giant King Grass is higher than that of switchgrass, miscanthus or giant reed, the real competitive advantage of Giant King Grass is its yield which is much higher than the yield for these other grasses. This higher yield offers an important land-use advantage, especially where demand for renewable energy is competing with the need for food."

Kukkonen added: "Giant King Grass can be burned directly in an electricity generating power plant as a full or partial replacement for coal. Giant King Grass can also be used to make liquid biofuels, such as cellulosic
ethanol, and green gasoline, which are collectively known as grassoline, and it can be used to feed cows, sheep, pigs, poultry and fish. VIASPACE is in discussions with several potential customers and partners, and is pursuing new opportunities worldwide."

In addition to the energy content, the analysis provided data on moisture, volatile matter, sulfur, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and chlorine, as well as the composition of the ash.

Giant King Grass

Rapid growth to 4 m height

Very high productivity Up to 350 tonnes/hectare (wet)

Perennial grass with 7 year life

Best in tropical and subtropical areas.

4 or more harvests per year possible

Little growth below 10 C, frost will kill tops, roots can survive

Originally developed as feed for cows, sheep, pigs, fowl and fishSuitable as fresh grass, silage or dried and processed into meal

No comments: