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Kudzu a Potential Biofuel

Ever since I learned about this ridiculously quickly growing plant and viagra com its gazillion uses, I wondered why it wasn’t getting utilized as a renewable resource for a whole range of products. It seems that a lot of people also wondered about that, enough to look into using it as biofuel.


Researchers at the University of Toronto and the US Department of Agriculture are taking a close look at kudzu, a native plant of Asia that can grow more than 6.5 feet a week and is cheap tramadol site nearly impossible to get rid of. The team examined the amount of carbohydrate in the plant – the part that gets turned into ethanol – at different times of year in different parts of the good choice cheap cialis online prescription plant. They found the root carries over 2/3 of the carbs by weight, and they estimate kudzu could produce 2.2 to 5.3 tons of carbs per acre. This translates to 270 gallons of ethanol per acre, comparable to generic viagra without prescription the ethanol yield of corn - which isn't saying much considering corn is on tramadol cod cheap saturday the low end of the energy yield spectrum.

Now the question the team is asking is whether or not it is worth the effort of digging up the generic soft tabs cialis roots that can grow more than six feet deep.


On the pro side, kudzu needs nothing to grow – no planting, no fertilizer, no irrigation. That’s obvious considering its pseudonym is “the plant that ate the South.” But on the con side, what amount of energy will go into getting at the tough-to-reach hillsides where much of the kudzu grows, and what will harvesting the plant’s roots do to the ecosystem, especially when folks are digging up hillsides?


Though we can use kudzu as biofuel, there seems to be little telling us we should. Nonetheless, researchers are weighing the scales and looking at its potential.


Via Discovery News; Photo by Fuzzy Gerdes

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Comments (30)Add Comment
written by Jimbo, June 18, 2008
OK. I will play.

If this were a practical biofuel source, it is only natural that the producers would want to increase that 270 gallons/acre yield in order to increase profits. The next step will surely be that some enterprise makes a GM version of the weed, bigger, better, resistant to good choice buy pfizer viagra herbicides, etc etc.

I for one look forward to the new Kudzu overlords.
More than carbs
written by Christian, June 18, 2008
Carbohydrate is only one way to make biofuel. If and when a cellulosic ethanol process is developed, all that above-ground biomass becomes fuel feedstock. Even in the absence of order usa levitra online a cellulosic ethanol process, the biomass in the leaves and the stems might be usable for making biogass. Leaving the roots in the ground will allow the kudzu to regenerate, thus making it a good renewable crop and a means of sequestering CO2.

I first encountered kudzu when I was in Army training at Ft. Benning, and I have wondered ever since about the buy viagra online possibilities of all that biomass. By the way, the kudzu's tough, slightly wooly leaves make good field TP.
Algae still rules
written by GMacK, June 18, 2008
If it barely compares to corn's yield, then it is still nothing compared to what you get from an algae photobioreactor.
One issue
written by Jordan, June 18, 2008
While kudzu may appear to be a viable option for biofuel, the one problem is harvesting. There is not an effective way to harvest kudzu. It binds up hay balers, even though there are some people who have figured out how to wow)) viagra canada online pharmacy bale it.
Kudzu is a terrible invader
written by Francine Becker, June 18, 2008
Don't even consider releasing this plant into an ecosystem. It is a plant that cannot be removed and in the subtropical areas of countries like South Africa it has destroyed large areas of vegetation - the vine just climbs over everything and cialis drugstore number one shop smothers it.
Interesting concept
written by The Food Monster, June 18, 2008

I wonder the same thing about bamboo, while it does not grow quite as fast, I assume it would have more carb per plant than kudzu. Great way to get rid of some of it as well as get cheaper gas.
Kudzu finally has use!
written by iGreenify, June 18, 2008
I'm glad to see that Kudzu finally has a legitimate use. now, if it works, let's use it!
written by Chris N, June 19, 2008
Good god no! As a professional who works in the field of ecological restoration, I can say from personal experience that pristine, natural ecosystems are growing more scarce every year, and the main culprits are highly invasive species like kudzu, garlic mustard, reed canary, etc... If it can be harvested from areas already hopelessly overrun, then fine. However, the last thing our environment needs is a financial incentive to encourage the use of rx viagra ruinous, ecologically invasive species. Instead, why not plant diverse, native, tallgrass prairie? Why not sustainably log our woodlots while maintaining their biological diversity? Invasive species are not the answer!
It's already here
written by Christian, June 19, 2008
I don't think anyone is advocating spreading kudzu around to use as fuel stock. On the other hand, we are already overrun with the stuff in the American south. Why not pull it down and use it? We are certainly in no danger of getting rid of it. A serious enough harvesting effort might even be a good control measure.
bath type hydroponics
written by gtp, June 19, 2008
just a notion, if the roots are where its at, why not grow the junk in big shallow tanks, sorta a low tech hydro scheme.
Are still talking about...
written by KO, June 19, 2008
burning biofuels and releasing CO2 into the cheapest levitra prescription atmosphere? Kudzu is a nasty invasive plant. It has and is destroying vast natural and agricultural landscapes. But turning it into burnable biofuel is not the answer. We should not solve our transportation and energy problems by putting more CO2 into the atmosphere. This cure is cheap generic viagra worse than the disease.
What better way to get rid of it
written by Greg S, June 19, 2008
If a program that pays a bounty for kudzu roots were created, wouldn't it be a great way to start an eradication program?
Let's not re-invent the wheel here.
written by tesla, June 19, 2008
All this to keep old school, dirty, maintenance intensive, internal combustion engines around. Quit. wasting. my. time.

- Christian: You are entirely correct
- GTP: Yes Hydroponics will prevent mass infestations in area's that are not yet infested.
Fuels that don't emit CO2 exist?
written by Chuck, June 19, 2008
This is in response to KOs comments. Well is there any fuel that wouldn't produce CO2? Unless you're referring to wind power, I guess any fuel would add something to indian levitra the atmosphere. May be hydrogen cars don't add any CO2 also just like the Japanese car that was released last week that runs completely on water. I've heard about hydrogen on demand, where you use water to produce hydrogen and then to combine that with gasoline. But running cars entirely on water, right now sounds as good as running cars with Kudzu. If you haven't seen the reuter's video about this water car, check out and scroll down half way. So...water seems to be ranked above Kudzu right now eh? :D
written by Dana Oredson, June 19, 2008
Well, they could be grown hydroponically, so no digging is required. Nah, if you're doing that, you might as well use algae, which also doesn't need planting, etc.
CO2 Neutral
written by HelloWorld, June 19, 2008
KO. The carbon released in burning biofuels is offset by the carbon absorbed by the plant to make them. It's at worst neutral, as long as the energy used turning it into fuel is also neutral. At best, there will probably be some waste the tramadol no perscription ends up being sequestered and it ends up being a small carbon sink.
written by JImmy JayJay, June 19, 2008
Hmmmm, I just love BioFuel. Soo tasty!
written by gtp, June 19, 2008
no matter how you look at it there are going to be IC's on the road for about 15 years or more so unless somebody comes up with the ultimate battery that is almost free we have to deal with the existing infrastructure. The kud vrs alge thing, I was thinking that kud would require less processing (drying etc)than alge and who knows maybe a combined system where you use the hydro tank for both (a nitrogen fixing alge perhaps)after all its total cost that makes a system profitable....and with out profit you got nuttin.
written by Lucien Beauley, June 19, 2008
Everything looks good, is on schedule and it looks like Ethanol fuel is well on its way to eventually replacing gasoline as a fuel source for our present automobile engines. What we must all consider is that under full-scale production, Ethanol will deplete our food supply.
An Abrupt Reality, Fuel or Food
Perhaps not
written by Josh, June 19, 2008
The thing about biofuels is they don't always need to be made from foodstock, cane sorghum grows well in drier areas than corn can take (like South Dakota) and yields more sugars than corn does too - and it hasn't been through an intensive energy maximizing breeding program yet either.

Currently we're making fuel from corn and soy because we have a lot of it, that's really a first generation approach, specialty crops and advanced processes like cellulose ethanol are second generation. Closed cycle algae bio-reactors would be 3G, if ever. There's something to be said for the infrastructure costs of planting stuff in the spring and mowing it up in the fall (or several times through the year).

If cellulose ethanol takes off, we'll be able to pretty much mow off any vegetation and it's cool on line pharmacy convert it into fuel - kudzu and all. Free wood-chips for the garden will be a thing of the past and we'll probably need to enact environmental regulations to protect ecosystems from excessive cellulose exploitation. This could be good in fire prone areas because people would harvest brush before dead stuff builds up thick enough to create a serious fire hazard. It could also be bad in the long run because mowing off wild areas regularly could result in nutrient depletion in some circumstances.
written by Julie, June 19, 2008
According to a Purdue study: Another concern is kudzu's connection to soybeans. Because it is a legume like the soybean plant, kudzu serves as an alternate host for Asian soybean rust - a devastating crop disease first detected in the continental United States this past November. The disease spread as far north as Missouri and Tennessee.
written by John Keels, June 21, 2008
I live in North Carolina. Kudzu is prevalent throughout the piedmont and coastal plains region of this state (although not as much in the mountains where I live.) In any case, there is a lot of it here and throughout the south. I heard about a program at Georgia Tech that actually figured out how to make fuel from Kudzu some 30 years ago. So, really I have heard about this for years and wondered why some part of it wasn't put to use. I am not saying that Kudzu is the final solution. HARDLY. We need many different forms of energy and perhaps one day a complete absence of internal combustion or at least done so that there is a net neutral or negative carbon effect. It is an interesting idea though. Kudzu is definitely invasive and has destroyed many areas that used to harbor native plant life.
Eco-Weed Tree
written by N Adams, June 22, 2008
Since this tree grows like a weed seems appropriate that it be used for the good of the planet. It's reassuring to continue hearing new information about unheard of resources that all but fit nicely on the other side of the congruent sign for sustainability! 8)
written by Rodney, June 22, 2008
Have you heard of argo gas, They are going to buy kudzunol for their bio-fuel Plant in Cleveland TN, and I have a way to Grow and havest Kudzu without it being being invasive. It can be farmed.
Kudzu Ethanol, Start Up Plant in Tenness
written by Steven Mason, June 24, 2008
Mu blog is
Agro*Gas Industries in Cleveland, Tn. is producing ethanol form kudzu. If you want to find out about Agro and Doug Mizell, co-founder of Agro, check out my post on: Kudzu Ethanol, Plant Startup in Tn.
Chemically Green will be interviewing Doug Mizell today, 6/24/08 and will have a future post on his company and more information on Kudzu Ethanol. Be sure to watch for the upcoming post on Doug Mizell, Kudzu Ethanol, Agro*Gas Industries and questions answered about Kudzu Ethanol.
corrrect spelling of chemicallygreen
written by Steven Mason, June 24, 2008
Correct spelling of blog:
My mistake.
written by sanjay, December 08, 2008
Has any organisation done research on kudzu? Is any investment happening in This field? what is the Level of commercialisation? Is there a report i can get on kudzu? When did the research in to this field start? Is India a leader in this kudzu opportunity? or is it atleast prevalent in India?
Can anybody answer these queries?
written by Robert, December 20, 2008
I am dreaming of kudzu since i was a young boy :)and interested in the medical use of herbs.
I couldn't find it, no seeds, no cuttings are available where i live in Europe, So please help me to some small cuttlings or seeds.
ps) just a small package is enough, let me know the costs for sending.
I've always wondered...
written by Breanna P, February 26, 2010
As a Georgia gal who's taking AP Environmental Science, i've been wondering for years why we aren't doing this... kudzu is just a nuisance plant, so it's about time we put it to good use! And as far as how to do it goes, I know more than a few people who would willingly go dig up theirs just to get rid of it.

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