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Mendel and BP try out miscanthus as biofuel feedstock

Mendel Biotechnology Inc. (MBI) and BP Biofuels will conduct a four-year demonstration field trial of Mendel’s PowerCan Miscanthus to evaluate it as a feedstock for biofuel production at BP’s demonstration plant in Jennings, Louisiana, USA.

A total of 100 acres of mischanthus will be planted in early 2012 near BP’s Jennings facility and the first biomass harvest is expected in 2013.

“As we move toward commercial production of cellulosic biofuels and work to bring costs in line with conventional fuels, agricultural advancements such as this will be a critical factor,” says Sue Ellerbusch, President of BP Biofuels North America.

Don Panter, President of MBI’s subsidiary, Mendel BioEnergy Seeds, adds: “PowerCane Miscanthus varieties are the first miscanthus products specifically developed for biomass production that can be planted as a seed.

“The PowerCane Miscanthus system will be significantly more economical and efficient for growers, and will allow the industry to scale up more quickly to meet renewable energy goals.”

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