Researchers turn to switchgrass for biofuel

Tuesday, June 10th 2008, 12:58 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

Oklahoma lawmakers are investing millions of dollars into biofuels, specifically switchgrass. The Oklahoma Bioenergy Center includes research at both the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and the Noble Foundation in Ardmore.

On Tuesday, the Noble Foundation flew two members of the NEWS 9 team to Guymon to view the world's largest field dedicated to biomass production.

As part of the Oklahoma's biofuels initiative, the Samuel Roberts Nobel Foundation in Ardmore focused on switchgrass research. The fields will provide a living laboratory for the Foundation.

Planting switchgrass could be difficult, as the seeds are left essentially on the land's surface.

In two years, when the switchgrass crop will be flourishing, it will be harvested and delivered to a new biorefinery in Kansas. Once the crop is delivered, it will be processed into cellulose-based ethanol.

The Noble Foundation also plans to plant smaller switchgrass fields near Chickasha and Maysville.