Gallery: A Tequila Based Biofuel? Cheers to That!


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”.

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…

+ University of Illinois

Via Innovations Report

Image © sjsharktank


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  1. jv disegno May 19, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Big mistake!! your photo of the agave plant isn’t the realy used to make tequila, the only certificated to be use is the type Agave Tequilana Weber, variation Blue. I don’t know if is the same Agave used to make bioenergy and for make tequila, but in your first photo show a “Caballito” for Tequila, cause i’m from México i understand it’s the same, please specify the plant used.

  2. greendragonvj March 24, 2011 at 8:10 am

    The author would do well to check this out…
    Comparing any biofuel to the output of corn is like comparing pro sports teams to high school teams.Nice straw man argument.
    They also make Agave into sweeteners,not just tequila.

  3. Maru Whitmore February 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    NOBODY ABANDONS True agave plantations, They are certified and crops have armed guards for security. What you are referring to is the Henequen crop that used to produce natural fiber ropes from the succulent of the same name. Henequen. The Agave plant and Henequen are relatively similar but used in different ways. Either grows in a different part of Mexico. There is a fiberous by product from agave once the “leaves” are cut from the “pineapple” (heart of the Agave. Once the pinneaple is processed it does also leave fiber residue susceptible to be fermented and processed in any way desired.

    The picture from southern arizona homes you show above is not either agave nor a Henequen plant. A caption under the plant should clarify this.

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