An Uninvestigated Biomass Resource

Would you be interested in knowing about a previously uninvestigated biomass energy resource with extraordinary potential well beyond any plant currently being investigated?

I do understand that the claim of a major crop plant that has never been investigated for its bioenergy potential doesn’t make much sense, but after reading my web page, please search the ORNL database or any other bioenergy database you like – you will find not a mention of this incredibly high potential resource.

For your information, this unknown bioenergy resource is ordinary tobacco, grown as biomass. Tobacco grown for biomass is completely different than tobacco grown for consumption, and while biomass tobacco has never been investigated for its energy potential, other than my own work, it may turn out to be the cost-effective, unsubsidized biomass resource that the industry has been seeking for so long.

Here are just a few of the relevant characteristics of this potential biomass game-changer:

1. Because of its vigorous coppicing behavior, multiple harvests of tobacco for biomass per season mean that producers can expect a seasonal biomass yield of between 100-300 Metric Tons/Acre of (150-180 MT/Acre has already been demonstrated in trials at North Carolina State University).

2. The dry weight yield of this tobacco biomass will be 10-20 tons per 100 tons green weight

3. Of this dry weight, approximately 20% will be sugars, or approximately 2-4 tons of sugars per 100 tons of green weight.

4. Another 10% or so will be starches, or about 1-2 tons of starch per 100 tons green weight.

5. About 20% of the dry weight will be mixed proteins, which break down into what is called Fraction 1 and Fraction 2 protein, or between 2-4 tons of pure protein per 100 tons of fresh, green weight. These are HUMAN FOOD-GRADE proteins, and can be recovered after energy is produced from the biomass.

7. Also, since tobacco is about 40% cellulose, dry weight equivalent, 100 tons green weight will yield between 4 & 8 tons of very low lignin, easily fermented or digested cellulose.

8. Finally, this biomass crop can be grown on marginal land unsuitable for food crops, and has a wider geographic geographic range than either corn or sugar cane.

If you would like to read complete details on my proposal to utilize this previously uninvestigated bioresource please visit my non-commercial web page

Best wishes – Bill Drake

2 Responses to “An Uninvestigated Biomass Resource”
  1. arclein says:

    This is very interesting. Do you have comparables to other crops?


  2. Alex says:

    I haven’t seen any other comparisons, although, if you go and search online, I found a really neat website, but I have forgotten the name of it.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.