Canadian Biomass Magazine

Black locust possible source of biomass

June 13, 2013
By Canadian Biomass

June 13, 2013, Urbana, Ill. - Researchers are evaluating the biomass potential of woody crops and are taking a closer look at what black locust might have to offer the biomass industry.

The team, from the Energy
Biosciences Institute at the University of Illinois, found that black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) showed a higher yield and a faster harvest time than
other woody plant species that they evaluated.

"For now the only thing you
can do with it is use it for direct combustion," said Gary Kling, U of I
associate professor of crop sciences. "But if it becomes a major crop, other
researchers could start working on the process of how to break it down."

"The EBI is working on how
to get the sugars out of plants and how to turn those to alcohols. It is a very
tough thing to do. It's typically been tough to break down the biomass in woody
plants to make it useful for alcohol production," says Kling. "Our plan is to
be able to take anything we grow and convert it into a drop-in fuel."

Kling and his team will
present the findings from their evaluations at the EBI Feedstock Symposium
program in August.


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