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According to researchers from the University of Illinois, the Agave plant that is used in making tequila could be an excellent source of biofuels. In a report published in the journal Global Change Biology Bioenergy, two Agave species are capable of producing yields of biofuels that far surpass those from biofuel feedstocks such as corn, wheat, soybean, and sorghum. Scientists have said that in 14 independent studies, it was concluded that Agave had “high biofuel potential”.
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Tequila! It makes this writer happy! But could the plant that powers most frat parties also soon power our world? While Agave is primarily used to produce tequila, it can also be grown en mass to create biofuel. According to bioenergy analyst, Sarah Davis, “We need bioenergy crops that have a low risk of unintended land use change. Biomass from Agave can be harvested as a co-product of tequila production without additional land demand.”
“Also, abandoned Agave plantations in Mexico and Africa that previously supported the natural fiber market could be reclaimed as bioenergy cropland. More research on Agave species is warranted to determine the tolerance ranges of the highest yielding varieties that would be most viable for bioenergy production in semi-arid regions of the world.”
Agave could not only be an exciting new bioenergy crop and source of student drunkenness, but it is economically and environmentally sustainable with production capable in Africa, Australia, and Mexico.
Whether you could do a shot of the new biofuel with some salt and lime is still unclear…
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