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Switchgrass Bales from a 5-Year-Old Field in Northeast South Dakota in 2005

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Each 1200-lb. bale represents 48 gallons of ethanol at a conversion rate of 80 gallons per ton. The cultivar used in this field has a yield potential of 5 to 6 tons per acre (corresponding to 400 to 500 gallons per acre) because it was bred for use as a pasture grass. In experimental plots, 10 tons per acre have been achieved. Proccessing goals target 100 gallons per ton of biomass, which would increase potential ethanol yield to 1000 gallons per acre.

Credit or Source: K. Vogel, University of Nebraska.

Citation(s):

U.S. DOE. 2006. Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol: A Joint Research Agenda, DOE/SC/EE-0095, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. (p. 58) (website)