Sugar-Rich Willow Can Boost Biofuels’ Green Credentials
by Mark Kinver (BBC News) Scientists have identified willow trees that yield five times as much sugar as ordinary varieties, “drastically reducing” the impact of biofuels.
UK researchers found that if the trees grew at an angle, they produced a special kind of wood that resulted in the higher sugar content.
Willow, a short rotation coppice crop, is widely grown as a source for the biofuel and biomass industries.
The findings appear in the Biotechnology for Biofuels journal.
“It would drastically reduce [the environmental impact of biofuels] because you would not need such a severe pre-treatment in the conversion process, which is currently one of the highest energy consumption steps in the process of converting woody biomass to biofuels,” explained co-author Michael Ray, a researcher at Imperial College London. READ MORE and MORE (Ethanol Producer Magazine)