Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus) is a tall, woody, perennial, rhizomatous grass, originating from Asia, which has a high rate of growth and is well suited to the production of cellulosic ethanol, as well as clean power generation. It has a range of end-uses including cubes and bails for co-firing coal power plants, large-scale electricity power stations and for home heating in pellet stoves.
Planted in the spring, Miscanthus is a viable and productive crop for over fifteen years. In September, October, the leaves shed, returning nutrients to the soil. The canes are harvested during winter. The plant has a low mineral content that results in higher fuel quality. Annual yield is relatively high: 3 to 6 tons per acre, with low moisture content.
Unlike fossil fuels, the combustion of miscanthus has no carbon footprint, as it produces an amount of CO2 equal to what that which it removes from the atmosphere (when it is growing).
1 tonne of Miscanthus could produce 1.8 MW of Electricity, the equivalent of 0.7t of coal and Miscanthus is a carbon neutral, sustainable energy source, one that grows back every year.
The density of Miscanthus Energy Cubes is approximately 450 -500kg/M³.
Miscanthus can be processed into fuel briquettes which are perfect for wood burners, open fires and chimneys. These conventional wood fuel logs last up to 3 times longer than logs. We recommend the KOTEB 350-50 Briquette Machine.
Miscanthus can be used to produce heat, CHP or electricity power on a range of scales from large power stations (30 MW+) requiring hundreds of thousands of tonnes of biomass annually, to small-scale systems (on-farm or single building) requiring just a few dozen tonnes during winter months. Turning Miscanthus into Pellets or Briquettes is a very good way to turn it into a manageable Fuel,and easy to transport long distances. Advice on grants for capital expenditure on biomass systems is obtainable from a range of sources listed at the back of this booklet.
Grants to assist in the establishment of this crop have been available from Defra under the Energy Crops Scheme (ECS), part of the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP). A second round of Energy Crops Scheme establishment grants for 2007-2013 has been announced and is expected to open in late summer 2007. A second Bioenergy infrastructure Structure Scheme Grant was announced in the 2006 Climate Change Review. The aim of the grant will be to facilitate the development of the supply chain required to harvest, store, process and supply biomass to heat, combined heat and power and electricity end users. Details will be available on the Defra website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/crops/industrial/energy/infrastructure.htm when the scheme becomes live.