[NEWS] Missouri Weed the Next Big Thing in Biofuels?
– by Kelly Moffitt, May 12, 2016, St. Louis Public Radio
While the typical American may be considering how to use alternative fuel in the form of an electric car or investing in a “smart home” system, big industry is also looking for ways to reduce CO2 emissions through the use of alternative biofuels.
While the promise of ethanol-as-alternative-biofuel has waned due to its impact on food prices and lack of efficiency, groups of local researchers and businesses in St. Louis are looking for other biofuels that could meet the needs of big industries like aviation and aerospace.
Toni Kutchan, Vice President for Research at Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, said that sorghum, Camelina sativa and pennycress are non-agricultural crops that researchers are harvesting for oil and biomass to use for fuel.
Pennycress, for example, is a “weed” that Missourians can find growing road-side. Jerry Steiner is the CEO of Arvegenix, a local company leading the development of Pennycress oil for use in biodiesel fuel. He said that plants like pennycress can fill a void left by the promise of ethanol.
Pennycress could be planted in fields between the harvest of soybeans and corn.