Powering our Future


New Study Shows Value of Switch Grass as Biofuel Crop

Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change

switch grass for green fuel michiganNew research at Michigan State University (MSU) has shown that switchgrass, a biofuel crop, can mitigate the effects of climate change when grown on agricultural land of little value. For farmers, it may also provide economic returns in these otherwise unproductive spaces.

The research team was led by Bruno Basso, an MSU foundation professor in the departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, as well as the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station.

Basso said the goal of the research project was to examine whether marginal lands could be both profitable and environmentally conscious, something that would be a victory for everyone involved.
“This shows that some marginal lands lacking nitrogen have potential value for biofuel crop production, which is of interest to farmers looking to increase profitability and of environmental importance by reducing the carbon footprint of the operation,” Basso said.

The research was supported in part by the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center; the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research program; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and MSU AgBioResearch.

Green Fuel for the Future Continues Its Growth

With all of this good news about the positive benefits of using various organic products like switch grass as a biofuel crop, you might wonder where home heating oil stands. Don’t worry. Not only is today’s heating oil environmentally friendly, it’s also a vital part of America’s progress toward reaching net-zero carbon emissions.

Advanced heating fuels like Bioheat® fuel combine ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and biodiesel, composed of organic products like used cooking oil, tallow, fats and algae. Produced in the United States, it is one of the cleanest-burning energy sources.

Biodiesel is a gallon-for-gallon substitute for petroleum-based fuels. Widespread regional use of Bioheat fuel annually prevents more than 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of removing 320,000 vehicles from the road.

Plus, homes that heat with energy-efficient Bioheat fuel use less energy overall. Right now, and in the years ahead, you should feel great about heating your Michigan home with renewable heating oil!