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Grassahol Fuel

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Ethanol has been the gas alternative darling for some time now. But, recent studies have shown that ethanol requires large amounts of water and energy to create it. It’s not quite the panacea we in the green industry have thought it to be. Besides the amount of water and energy needed to create ethanol, it takes away the corn that could be used to feed people with. But, now there are some recent studies showing the potential of using grass for fuel. Not the ordinary Kentucky Blue grass we are all familiar with, but with switchback grass found in the Plains. Switchback grass is a hardy plant that grows from Texas, and through out the Plains States. Researchers have been converting switchback grass into “grassahol”, and have found that it requires less water and energy to do so. The yield of fuel that switchback creates are greater than corn ethanol. Switchback grass is not a plant we utilize in human consumption, and it grows like a weed. The switchback grassahol has been used to fuel a variety of engines in testing its efficacy. Estimates claim that US switchback grassahol could meet 50% of our vehicle fuel needs. The road to freeing us from imported oil is now getting closer to becoming reality.

John Vlahakis

Switchgrass
Switchback grass

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