I applauded any creative solution to addressing the spread of cogongrass. Dr. Rockwood, UF emeritus, worked for a number of years on controlling cogongrass in phosphate minelands by using fast-growing trees to shade out cogongrass and serve as a nurse crop for other species. Several years ago we collected some samples for Dr. Alex Green, UF emeritus, to test for pyrolysis at his lab in the Energy Park. They both may be able to supply you with additional information. The use of invasive species for biofuels is indeed very attractive. One thing I would add for including in your project is that cogongrass is listed on Florida's Noxious Weed List which restricts movement of the plant. Last I heard cogongrass in Florida was still listed as sterile, propagating via rhizomes only, though it is a prodigious seed producer (if I recall correctly it was originally introduced to the US as packing material, at least raising the question in my mind of the possibility of viable seed production). Any use of the above-ground biomass as a feedstock would have to take these into consideration - barring a change in legislations, the design of your system would most likely have to be mobile to enable taking the unit to where the cogongrass is, and include the energy required for preprocessing and transportation. Alternatively, areas of extensive infestation such as the minelands in Central Florida might support a permanent conversion facility if movement within the area of infestation was permitted and that was deemed to be the most appropriate use of the land. Good luck with the project!
From: Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Prince,Candice M
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 8:12 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Question on Cogongrass
My name is Candice Prince, and I am an intern with Dr. Wilkie's BioEnergy Summer School. I am very interested in using cogongrass to make biofuel, particularly via anaerobic digestion. It is one of the top ten worst weeds in the world, and poses a huge problem in the southeastern United States. It produces a lot of biomass, and my thought is that it might be beneficial to remove it from the natural areas it invades and anaerobically digest it to make biogas. I have managed to find one article (here:
showing cogongrass has potential as a feedstock for bioethanol, but have been unable to find any other sources in the literature. I was wondering if the BEST community might have any thoughts on using cogongrass to produce biofuel, or know of any research being done?
Thank you for your time,