Submitted to: Plant Molecular Biology International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2009
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Plants fix about 56 billion tons of CO2 and produce more than 170 billion tons of biomass annually, with cell walls representing about 70% of that biomass. This biomass represents a massive source of stored solar energy. Globally, a major technological goal is cost-effective lignocellulosic ethanol production from biomass feedstocks. Perennial C4 crops offer several benefits over annual crops for bioethanol production. These crops require minimal input and maintenance, while annual crops like maize require high input energy costs during cultivation and fertilization. The dedicated energy crop, giant miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), can achieve high CO2 assimilation efficiency even in cold conditions due to an adaption that maintains high levels of critical photosynthetic enzymes. Our goal is the development of a whole process pipeline in Arkansas, from cultivation ito cellulosic-ethanol production using giant miscanthus biomass. In Arkansas, giant miscanthus had leaf stem cellulose concentrations comparable to that of other prospective biofuel grasses.