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49 plants that could make biofuel less troublesome

 

August 19, 2014 - Scientists searching for the next big energy-producing biofuel, something such as switchgrass that power plants could burn to make electricity and reduce their carbon emissions, have a very fussy wish list.

Ideal species should not be food crops. They need to grow quickly and have to be successful on marginal land that's less suited to growing food crops. They should be resistant to disease and pests, and also produce enough biomass to make them competitive with fossil fuels.

The problem is that plants with good possibilities often have the same traits that make then potentially invasive species, said Lauren Quinn, an invasive plant ecologist at the University of Illinois' Energy Biosciences Institute. That prompted Quinn and her colleagues to come up with a white list of potential species that were appropriate for biofuel use and had low risk of becoming invasive. The research appeared last month in the journal BioEnergy Research.

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August 19, 2014
By Scientific American

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