In addition, switchgrass as a biofuel is a huge contributor to biodiversity as it protects various habitats. 26 Oct. 2012. I believe we need to focus on building our infrastructures before making a rash decision on any type of biofuel. Nothing would go to waste when refining the blades into ethanol. This is extremely efficient as opposed to other biofuels, as we truly would be getting use out of the whole blade. A total of 150 acres was harvested, from fields ranging in size from 2 to 19 acres. We definitely have the infrastructures available, but the cost and research aspects of implanting this program would be extremely expensive. When the oil and fuel that are possible through algae production are compared to these other natural resources, then it can offer roughly 80 times more oil per acre than what we can achieve already. Biofuel Source: Interest in switchgrass as a renewable biofuel resource has been increasing in recent years, primarily in the Southern United States. They are extremely cheap and widely available to exploit with the technology and infrastructures that have been put in place. Hybrid Poplars Switchgrass Sorghum Switchgrass Hybrid Poplars Switchgrass Willows Hybrid Poplars Miscanthus Pine Sorghum Sweetgum Switchgrass Energy Cane Eucalyptus Pine Hybrid Poplars Miscanthus Sorghum Switchgrass. We can conclude that the yield is more beneficial as the years progress. Consequently, the consumption of fossil fuels has also escalated immensely. Several countries have initiated policies to support biofuel development, production and use in the transportation sector. Consumers need to weigh the pros and cons of biofuels to determine whether they feel comfortable with this resource as an alternative to traditional fuels. The process used to ferment the sugars in switchgrass to ethanol is called enzymatic hydrolysis. This entails adding water and special enzymes to the cellulose. However, before I go into more details about biofuels, I’m going to give you some background information. This glycoprotein was discovered in 1996 by Sara F. Wright. Switchgrass is a perennial grass native to much of the prairie. It barely needs any care and is very adaptable to different living conditions. As previously stated, since switchgrass can grow on very poor soil, agricultural companies do not need to be concerned about loss of land and/or money. “Biofuels and Sustainability – Department for Transport.” Department for Transport. We use fossil fuels to heat our houses in the winter and to cool them down in the summer. The reason switchgrass should be considered as a biofuel in Canada is due to its geographic situation. Print. 2.It would require us to use 96% of the US land mass for biofuel just to power the current number of cars on the road. The answer is biofuels. 3.6. The main three sectors that could potentially benefit from the use of switchgrass are as follow: Sector 1, farming, would profit from selling the switchgrass. On top of that, not only can switchgrass be grown in crops, it can also be grown in public area such as cottage lands o rooftop gardens. The reality is, that fossil fuels are finite resources. The main advantage of biofuel is that they are carbon neutral: the carbon dioxide they release upon combustion is initially extracted from the … I’m Linda Marcus and I will be talking to you about advantages and disadvantages of using switchgrass as a biofuel. Demand Media, 26 Mar. Howdy! We are constantly reminded of various predicaments in the world caused by humans. Bio fuels An Alternate Fuel Junaid Ashfaq Msc 4-Semester Dept. Therefore, the production of switchgrass itself would not pollute the environment. This is our future. With the yield and switchgrass composition shown above about 1689 tonnes of switchgrass (dry) will need to be processed per day (>600,000 tonnes per year). Farmers in Tennessee who have been growing the grass eventually  going to be used for ethanol have had extremely successful stories with the biofuel. CBC/Radio Canada, 09 June 2008. The reality of this energy source is that fossil fuels are the most important energy source in our world today. As you can see, the amount of disadvantages is much lower than the amount of benefits, which is a very good thing! Cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass, poplar, forest residue: USA: 70–80: 10–102 [27] Cellulosic ethanol: USA: 93: 86 [28] Cellulosic ethanol from wheat straw: UK: 78–102: 88–98 [45] Cellulosic ethanol from poplar and Fischer–Tropsch diesel from residual wood: Europe: N.A. List of Pros of Biofuels. Over all, I am most definitely for the developement and advancement of the use of switchgrass and biofuels. Web. Switchgrass behaves like Miscanthus early in the growing season, drying out the soil. From this biomass we can make ethanol. For example, the more glomalin in the soil, it is less prone to erosion and it is more fertile. Suzuki, David. Now, you might ask, why on earth are fossil fuels so bad? Switchgrass also promotes biodiversity as there are various species that live within the plant such as fungal endophyte. McIsaac said that Miscanthus's impact on water supply may be small if it is planted on only a few acres in a watershed. Fay, Patrick. If we look at the structure of switchgrass, we will see that it is extremely tall, therefore its roots are extremely deep. The DISADVANTAGES of Using Switchgrass… Unlike the benefits, there are only two major disadvantages of using switchgrass as a source for biofuels. It is easily harvested, does not take away from food production, contributes to fuel security and soil fertility. In fact, growing switchgrass along the stream banks can remove soil particles, pesticides, and fertilizer residues from the surface of the water before it reaches streams. This would increase the cost of heating homes as shown by the graph. Biofuel is a source of energy derived from the living matter through biological processes. Energy crops – switchgrass, Miscanthus, willow, algae, etc. I will be discussing a way that we can protect the resources we have and moreover; biodiversity. Using "urban green," or yard waste to make ethanol requires no new land. Advantages and Disadvantages of Biomass. The usage of switchgrass would also help reduce the various problems in our daily lives such as smog and the extremely problematic rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As a government official, it is extremely important to focus on renewable energy sources. Switchgrass has its own effective defenses against insects reducing the need or pesticides. Auburn University. Firstly, biofuels are a lot more reliable than fossil fuels as the are infinite resources. This would protect biodiversity in the water as water pollution is one of the main factors in loss of species in the water. There is lots of runoff over the stocking of various nutrients  in the waters. Thanks Linda, now we are going to move on to Gunther Charles’ perspective on the environmentalists standpoint of growing and managing switchgrass as a biofuel. After that, the sugars are fermented and then made into ethanol.