About Giant Miscanthus
The World's Best Biomass Crop
Giant Miscanthus (miscanthus x giganteus), also known as Mxg, is one of several C4 grasses – plants that are nature's most efficient means of converting sunlight to biomass energy. C4 grasses are especially good at converting energy with limited water availability and at high temperatures.
We invite you to read more about miscanthus as a crop.
Wikipedia Article on Giant Miscanthus
The UK has been growing Mgx for decades.
NNFCC Facts on Miscanthus
: More info from the UK. They have a good PDF factsheet for download.
Iowa State University Miscanthus Videos:
This series of 7 videos addresses specific miscanthus topics from the basics to nitrogen requirements.
- Miscanthus is a perennial grass that needs normal inputs to the soil in the first year, herbicides in the first and second year, but nominal soil inputs and no herbicides by the third year.
- Miscanthus is initially planted in the spring in narrow rows and will provide a crop each year for up to 30+ years.
- Miscanthus has many uses including a biomass crop for fuel for a furnace to provide steam power, converting to hot gas, thermo conversion to bio-oil as crude for diesel fuel, bedding for livestock, or as feedstock for cellulosic ethanol.
- The grass provides up to 25 tons of biomass per acre, about 5 times more than switchgrass.
Freedom Giant Miscanthus, a perennial C4 grass, will regrow for many years once established. Miscanthus does not require annual tilling or replanting, and provides numerous benefits:
- Substantial greenhouse gas emission reduction as compared to conventional transportation fuel
- Soil health and fertility
- Excellent water holding capacity
Energy Benefits of Miscanthus
Propagation of Miscanthus giganteus is through rhizome cuttings.
The rapid growth, low mineral content and high biomass yield of Miscanthus make it a favorite choice as an energy crop. It can be harvested dry (<16% moisture), baled and stored under cover. Once burned for energy or converted into biofuels, the resulting CO₂ emissions are equal to the amount of CO₂ that the plant used up from the atmosphere during its growing phase, and thus the process is greenhouse gas-neutral, excluding any establishment or production inputs, which are relatively low compared to annual crops. When co-fired with coal, it can be used in some current coal-burning power plants with minimal modifications.