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Did you know?

Q: Did Yankee ingenuity build a better mousetrap?
A: Numerous US patents were granted for hay burning iron stoves in the late 19th century. Metal cylinders over a foot in diameter or magazines were stuffed with grass, and tension was provided to feed the hay directly into the firebox. One packed cylinder could keep a good fire for an hour or two. These stoves were very dangerous to operate. Various devices also were invented for twisting grass into sticks that could be cut to length like stove wood.

For more Frequently Asked Questions, see our FAQ.

 

Why consider grasses as biofuel?

Reed canarygrass ready to harvest

It takes 70 days to grow a crop of grass pellet fuel.

It takes 70 million years to grow a crop of fossil fuel.

Grass pellets have great potential as a low-tech, small-scale, environmentally-friendly, renewable energy system that can be locally produced, locally processed and locally consumed. As the US focuses on energy security, grass bioenergy is one of the ways that rural communities can move towards energy security. New York State has about 1.5 million acres of unused or underutilized agricultural land, most of which is already growing grass.

Grass biofuel production does not need to divert any of the current agricultural productivity into the energy market; this biomass industry can be completely independent from, but complimentary to, the production of food or animal feed. It is also a very “farmer-friendly” way to get producers exposed to biofuel production. Some research and development is needed to optimize stoves and boilers for grass combustion, and to minimize emissions.

Grass Bioenergy Attributes