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Beyond ethanol

Could prairie grass be the next generation of biofuel?
Friday, July 4, 2008 | 9:49 p.m. CDT; updated 8:49 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The 7-foot-tall patch of swaying prairie grasses is more reminiscent of Missouri’s landscape during the pioneer period than a crop planted by a research farm.

Switchgrass, one variety of prairie grass, has been growing on MU’s Bradford Farm for 20 years, but only in the last several years has it become a favorite among those looking to use it for an alternative fuel source.

Someday, this and other prairie grasses could fuel your car.

The race is on to make the next generation of ethanol – ethanol made from grasses, leftover agricultural products, waste wood or other biomass – profitable, affordable and available.

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