A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that new breeds of switchgrass yields 20-30 percent higher than earlier strains. This shows that it may be a more viable plant source to produce ethanol than previously imagined. The document states that these newer breeds produce 540 percent more energy than the energy consumed in its production, up from a previous study that estimated yield at 343 percent.

Kennet Vogel, from the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service based at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, said that the results increased because the study was made at farm scale. He also expects higher outputs when selecting crops specifically for energy production, because they were using plants developed for pasture and conservation.

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[Source: AFP via Domestic Fuel]

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