Oklahoma BioEnergy Center gets 1,100 acres to plant switchgrass

Switchgrass and sorghum have been promoted heavily in the last couple of years as potential feedstocks for producing cellulosic ethanol. The recently-launched Oklahoma Bioenergy Center at Oklahoma State University has just procured 1,100 acres of land for planting feedstocks. A 1,000 acre plot near Guymon, Oklahoma will be planted with switchgrass within the next six weeks. The remaining land near Chickasha and Maysville will be planted with a mix of switchgrass and sorghum.
The crops from the Guymon fields will be used to feed a cellulosic ethanol plant currently under construction by Abengoa Bioenergy near Hugoton, Kan. The new plant should be operational in 2010. Switchgrass is one of the preferred potential feedstocks for biofuels because of its ability to re-seed itself and grow on marginally fertile land with no irrigation or fertilizer. Oklahoma State has an extensive history with cellulosic biofuels. Researchers at the school developed the process used by Coskata for producing ethanol. The land for this program is being leased from Hitch Enterprises a long-time, family-owned agricultural company in the region.

[Source: Oklahoma Bioenergy Center]

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