Scientists discover agave's tremendous potential as new bioenergy feedstock

February 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: Tequila plant may provide colon relief

Related Stories

Tequila plant may provide colon relief

March 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.

Yield projections for switchgrass as a biofuel crop

July 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, climate, and ...

Agave fuels global excitement as a bioenergy crop

January 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 ...

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

Study shows female frogs susceptible to 'decoy effect'

August 28, 2015

(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers has found that female túngaras, frogs that live in parts of Mexico and Central and South America, appear to be susceptible to the "decoy effect." In their paper published in the journal ...

0 comments

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.