Expert to present on potential of cattails as energy crop

The best energy crop may be the one that grows in marginal lands, does not require much input in the form of fertilizer and provides a high yield in the form of tons of biomass or gallons of fuel per acre. Gasheem Shahbaszi, director of the Biological Engineering Program at North Carolina A&T State University, will address this possibility with his presentation "Potential of Cattails as Energy Crop for Biofuels Production," at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 17 in 124 Agricultural Engineering Building on the University Park campus.

Shahbaszi's lecture is presented by Penn State's Biomass Energy Center.

Cattails grow in swampy marginal lands and produce high yield of starchy roots below ground and high yield of ligno-cellulosic biomass above ground. They can produce a total alcohol yield of about 8,690 liters per hectare per year from rhizomes and above-ground biomass.

In North Carolina, where about 10 million hogs are raised per year, generating millions of tons of hogwaste in need of disposal, cattails can absorb much of the nutrients of swine waste and produce large3 amounts of energy crop in the process. North Carolina also has 300,000 acres of marginal lands that can be used to produce cattail as an energy crop, which can in turn be converted into ethanol as an alternative transportation fuel.

Last Updated April 06, 2009