Agave fuels global excitement as a bioenergy crop

Jan 26, 2011

Scientists found that in 14 independent studies, the yields of two Agave species greatly exceeded the yields of other biofuel feedstocks, such as corn, soybean, sorghum, and wheat. Additionally, even more productive Agave species that have not yet been evaluated exist.

According to bioenergy analyst, Sarah Davis, "We need bioenergy crops that have a low risk of unintended land use change. from Agave can be harvested as a co-product of tequila production without additional land demands. Also, abandoned Agave plantations in Mexico and Africa that previously supported the natural fiber market could be reclaimed as bioenergy cropland. More research on Agave species is warranted to determine the tolerance ranges of the highest yielding varieties that would be most viable for bioenergy production in semi-arid regions of the world."

Agave is not only an exciting new bioenergy crop, but its economically and environmentally sustainable production could prove to successfully stimulate economies in Africa, Australia, and Mexico, if political and legislative challenges are overcome.

The special issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy in which this article appears focuses on the potential of agave as a bioenergy . Global Change Biology Bioenergy is a bimonthly journal that focuses on the biological sciences and the production of fuels directly from plants, algae, and waste.

Explore further: The origin of the language of life

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Abandoned farmlands are key to sustainable bioenergy

Jun 23, 2008

Biofuels can be a sustainable part of the world's energy future, especially if bioenergy agriculture is developed on currently abandoned or degraded agricultural lands, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution and ...

Tequila plant may provide colon relief

Mar 29, 2007

Researchers in Mexico say compounds from the fruit used to make tequila may provide a more effective way to treat diseases of the colon.

Recommended for you

The origin of the language of life

Dec 19, 2014

The genetic code is the universal language of life. It describes how information is encoded in the genetic material and is the same for all organisms from simple bacteria to animals to humans. However, the ...

Quest to unravel mysteries of our gene network

Dec 18, 2014

There are roughly 27,000 genes in the human body, all but a relative few of them connected through an intricate and complex network that plays a dominant role in shaping our physiological structure and functions.

EU court clears stem cell patenting

Dec 18, 2014

A human egg used to produce stem cells but unable to develop into a viable embryo can be patented, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.