Jan. 20, 2010 –
A new miscanthus rhizome
root harvester and planter unveiled this month at the seventh annual Bioenergy Feedstocks
Symposium in Champaign, Illinois, will make harvesting the
biomass crop much easier and cheaper according to its developers. Working with the
University of Illinois, bioenergy company Tomax Ltd. and machinery supplier
Bermuda King showed how the Rizomgen Harvester /Planter package can save 50
per cent on existing rhizome harvesting and planting costs.
Tomax Senior Bioenergy Consultant Gavin Maxwell said, "Our collaboration
with the Energy Crop Science Team at the University of Illinois has enabled us
to analyze a greater variety of testing conditions and has allowed our
manufacturing partner to apply appropriate engineering solutions to make
vegetative rhizome harvesting more competitive."
Recent United States trials demonstrated a 200 per cent increase in rhizome
collection over manual systems. This will allow regional nurseries to expand
more efficiently to meet the demand for both solid and liquid fuel conversion.
The new machine package will be deployed in 2010 to licensed nurseries in the
U.S. and Europe and will be available for commercial grower groups for the 2011