Hinterland Green

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Research Project Finds Everyday Grass Could Provide Green Energy

ScienceDaily (Feb. 18, 2010) — A five-year research project has come up with a way of generating green energy from a humble everyday grass. Researchers at Teesside University's Contaminated Land and Water Center began the project in 2004 to see which plants could best be grown on brownfield sites as a way of improving unsightly blots on the landscape.

Now, the research by the BioReGen (Biomass, Remediation, re-Generation) project team has revealed that reed canary grass can be turned into an excellent fuel for biomass power stations and, on a smaller scale, boilers in buildings like schools. The native British grass is turned into bricks and pellets. These not only burn well but also don't add to greenhouse gases or contribute to global warming.

The team experimented with four types of plant, willow trees, the current favorite for biomass power stations, and the miscanthus, reed canary and switch grasses. Tests were carried out on sites around the region with work supported by a 1.2m Euros grant from the European Union's LIFE-Environment research program.

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