Grass as fuel

February 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

New biofuel of the day #1: grass. Not of the smokable variety, but a type called reed canary grass, native to the UK. The Contaminated Land and Water Centre at Teeside University has been studying the greening-up of brownfield sites (such as disused industrial spaces) since 2004, and reckons that not only is this grass an attractive way of reintroducing biodiversity to such sites, it makes an excellent fuel for biomass power stations or smaller boilers in public buildings. It could thus contribute towards providing sustainable-source electricity to run electric vehicles.

Dr Richard Lord, Reader in Environmental Geochemistry and Sustainability (pictured left), said:  “The test burnings have shown that reed canary grass produces a good, clean fuel without picking-up contamination from the soil. Reed canary grass has great potential because it offers a suitable use for unsightly brownfield sites while producing an excellent fuel at a time when the world is crying out for new ways of producing green energy.

“We are now examining ways in which we can commercialise this idea and are already talking to a number of major biomass power station operators.”

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