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Replacing corn with perennial grasses improves carbon footprint of biofuels
Date:12/2/2008

ur hypothesis, the perennial feedstocks like Miscanthus and switchgrass start building soil carbon very, very early on," DeLucia said. "From a purely carbon perspective, our research indicates that putting perennial biofuel crops on landscapes that are dominated by annual row crops will have a positive effect on soil carbon."

The finding "seems to walk you right into the food for fuel debate," DeLucia said, referring to the controversy over using agricultural land for fuel production. But because the U.S. is already devoting about 20 percent of its corn crop to ethanol production, he said, it would make sense to eventually use that land to produce a much higher yielding biofuel feedstock that has the added benefit of increasing organic carbon in the soil.


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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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