Sweet Sorghum for Biofuel Production

Sweet sorghum can be used the the production of biofuels in two ways. The stalk and seed are used directly for biomass energy and their high sugar content allows them to be fermented to make ethanol.

Sweet sorghum. Photo: Dennis Pennington, Bioenergy Educator, Michigan State University.



Sweet sorghum was first introduced into the United States in 1852. Isaac Hedges called it …

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) for Biofuel Production

Mature stand of switchgrass in its third year of production at Michigan State University. Photo: Dennis Pennington.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a native warm-season grass that is a leading biomass crop in the United States. More than 70 years of experience with switchgrass as a hay and forage crop suggest switchgrass will be productive and sustainable on rain-fed marginal land east of the 100th meridian. Long-term plot trials and farm-scale studies in the Great Plains and plot trials in the

Subtropical Crops for Biofuel Production

Several perennial grass species, such as energycane  are being assessed for their biomass energy potential.

Energy cane research on muck soils in Florida. Photo: Extension Farm Energy.


Subtropical Perennial Grasses for Energy

Numerous subtropical and tropical perennial grasses are being evaluated for use as a biomass energy feedstock. Among them, Energycane (Saccharum spp.), giant reedgrass (Arundo donax), elephantgrass/Napier grass (Pennisetum spp.), and erianthus (…

Rapeseed and Canola for Biodiesel Production

Oil from rapeseed or canola seed, the edible crop varieties, is used in biodiesel energy production. The oil has a low cloud point so it gels at lower temperatures than many other feedstocks.

Canola plants growing at Tennessee State University research farm. Photo: Jason de Koff, Extension Assistant Professor, Tennessee State University.



Miscanthus for biofuel production additional resources

Related articles and information

(Excerpted from Miscanthus for Biofuel Production Article)

  • Amalraj V.A. & Balasundaram N. (2006) On the taxonomy of the members of ‘saccharum complex’. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 53, 35-41.
  • Beale C.V., Bint D.A. & Long S.P. (1996) Leaf photosynthesis in the c-4-grass miscanthus x giganteus, growing in the cool temperate climate of southern england. Journal of Experimental Botany, 47, 267-273.
  • Burner D.M., Tew T.L., Harvey J.J. & Belesky D.P. (2009) Dry matter partitioning and quality

Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) for Biofuel Production

Looking for a perennial biomass crop that grows well on marginal land, needs little fertility, and weed management only during establishment? Research on giant miscanthus shows it produces twice the biomass of switchgrass.


Giant miscanthus. Photo: Jeff Skousen.



Giant …

Biomass Feedstocks and Energy Independence

A large increase of biofuel production is necessary to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard set in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). This article explores the feedstock portfolio required to do the job.

Switchgrass a source of biomass energy. Photo: Dennis Pennington, Bioenergy Educator, Michigan State University.


Energy Independence and Security Act

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 was …

Corn Cobs for Biofuel Production

Can corn cobs be a viable biofuel feedstock in the US? Learn about the use of cob and husk materials in cellulosic ethanol, co-firing, and gasification projects. New harvesting technologies reduce production costs and make the economics more attractive for this biofuel energy crop.

Corn cobs. Photo: Cole Gustafson, North Dakota State Univ.



Corn …

Corn Stover for Biofuel Production

Can corn stover harvested for biofuel energy be sustainable? This article examines production, potential yields and challenges of harvesting corn stover while maintaining soil quality.

Corn stover bales.  Photo: F. John Hay, Extension Educator, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.



Corn stover is one of the largest potential annual crop-based biofuel feedstocks for several key reasons: the quantity of …

Feedstocks for Biogas

  Find videos on feedstocks at the Farm Energy Media archive.

  Find images of feedstocks at the Farm Energy Media archive.

Anaerobic digestion of manure and other feedstocks produces biogas which can be burner to make energy on farms. Learn how to evaluate a feedstock and which ones to exclude for biogas production.

Anaerobic Digester in Charlotte, VT.  Photo: Caragh Fitzgerald, University of Maine.