Scientists discover agave's tremendous potential as new bioenergy feedstock

Feb 17, 2011

An article in the current issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy reviews the suitability of Agave as a bioenergy feedstock that can sustain high productivity in spite of poor soil and stressful climatic conditions accompanying climate change.

Agave, which grows successfully under hot, dry conditions, is currently used in the production of beverages, food, and fiber, and has only recently been considered a promising source of biofuel.

Garcia-Moya and colleagues (2011) were able to assess Agave's potential as a biomass crop by reviewing Agave research published in English and Spanish. Agave has comparable productivity to high productivity crops such as corn and Eucalyptus has much larger biomass yields than most desert plants. Unlike most crops, Agave would continue to thrive under increased temperatures and variable precipitation accompanying . In addition, elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 would increase productivity.

According to E. Garcia-Moya, Professor of Botany at the Colegio de Postgraduados en Ciencias Agricolas in Texcoco, Mexico, "Agave is a potential candidate as a because it does not compete for land with the production of commodities and it is widely distributed in Mexico. Waste remaining in the fields after harvest, and created during tequila and mescal production, can potentially provide thousands of tons of bioenergy feedstock per year for bioenergy production."

Explore further: Investigators insert large DNA sequence into mammalian cells

Related Stories

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 ...

Yield projections for switchgrass as a biofuel crop

Jul 12, 2010

While scientists have conducted numerous studies on production of biomass from biofuel crops, such as switchgrass, no one has yet compiled this information to evaluate the response of biomass yield to soils, ...

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

Why do strawberries taste so good?

7 hours ago

Each year, spectators at the Wimbledon tennis tournament get through a whopping 30 tons of strawberries in the course of a summer fortnight. It is no wonder that the association between Wimbledon and strawberries ...

Investigators insert large DNA sequence into mammalian cells

21 hours ago

For the first time, researchers have used a simplified technique derived from a defense mechanism evolved by bacteria and other single-celled organisms to successfully insert a large DNA sequence into a predetermined genomic ...

Can gene editing provide a solution to global hunger?

Jul 06, 2015

According to the World Food Program, some 795 million people – one in nine people on earth – don't have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That will only get worse with the next global food cris ...

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.