17 November 2012

Giant reed seen as biofuel – or another kudzu disaster

Intentional introduction of energy crops may create the next invasive species catastrophe

It’s fast-growing and drought-tolerant, producing tons of biomass per acre. It thrives even in poor soil and is a self-propagating perennial, so it requires little investment once established.

To people in the renewable fuels industry, Arundo donax – also known as “giant reed” – is nothing short of a miracle plant. An Oregon power plant is looking at it as a potential substitute for coal, and North Carolina boosters are salivating over the prospect of an ethanol bio-refinery that would bring millions of dollars in investment and dozens of high-paying jobs to hog country.

…Full text: usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/17/15242788-giant-reed-seen-as-biofuel-or-another-kudzu-disaster

Tags: invasiveness, intentional introduction, nasty plant, energy grasses, weed risk analysis, sprayfields, renewable fuel standard program

Source: NBC News, 2012-11-17.

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