“In Queensland the sugar mills run six months of the year,” Professor Ashwath said. “The remaining six months they sit idle, doing nothing.
“If we can grow the agave and supply that to the sugar mills, then we can maximise the use of the existing infrastructure at the same time as we produce alternative products.” _ImpactLab
Sugar cane is a good feedstock for producing bio-ethanol (and rum), but Agave tequilana (source of tequila) may be even better. Agave has the potential to yield 16,000 litres of ethanol per hectare, as compared to only 10,000 litres of ethanol per hectare for cane. Agave also has much lower requirements for water.
Unlike other sources of ethanol, such as corn, agave would not deplete existing food production or push up world food prices, he said.
Professor Ashwath said it would take about three years to prove the concept, but he was confident of its future, depending on fuel price movements. _IL
Labels: agave, ethanol