Grass for Solid Biofuel
Grass for biofuel can be grown alongside food production on marginal agricultural lands and abandoned pastures, and in conserved open spaces. The harvested grass can be baled and used as-is in straw bale combustion systems, or it can be compressed into several useable forms for pellet fuel combustion systems.
The keys to commercializing grass for energy are improving fuel supply with high-yielding crops, establishing best practices for production and use, developing appropriate, high-efficiency combustion technology, and building markets for grass fuel.
The profiles, publications and links to the right and image gallery below provide more information on the work being done in Vermont and nationally to advance the commercialization of grass for thermal energy.
Grass Energy Overview
Wilson Engineering, Grass Energy in Vermont and the Northeast, May 2014.
Grass Energy Basics
Biomass Energy Resource Center, Grass Energy: Basics of Production, Processing, and Combustion of Grasses for Energy, 2009.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Bioenergy Information Sheet #1, Grass Bioenergy in the Northeast USA, July 2006.
Grass Energy Benefits
A Witter et al, Sustainability in the Biofuels Industry, March 31, 2009.
Roger Samson and Stephanie Bailey Stamler, Going Green for Less: Cost-effective Alternative Energy Sources, February 2009.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Bioenergy Information Sheet #2, Benefits of Grass Biomass, July 2006.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Bioenergy Information Sheet #3, USA History of Grasses for Biofuel, December 2005.
R. Samson, R. Jannasch, T. Adams, and C. Ho Lem, Grass Biofuel Pellets: An ecological response to North America’s energy concerns, 2002.
R. Samson et al, The Use of Switchgrass Biofuel Pellets as a Greenhouse Gas Offset Strategy, 2000.
Growing Grass for Biomass
Sid Bosworth and Tim Kelly, Evaluation of Warm Season Grasses for Biomass Potential in Vermont, 2009-2012, March 2013.
C. Ho Lem et al, Commercial Energy Grass Production and Implications for Invasive Species in Canada, December 31, 2008.
Jerry Cherney, Production of Grass Biomass in the Northeast, Presentation at the Grass Energy Symposium, November 2008.
REAP Canada, Optimization of Switchgrass Management for Commercial Fuel Pellet Production, March 2008.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Agronomy Fact Sheet Series, Establishment and Management of Switchgrass, February 2006.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Bioenergy Information Sheet #4, Management of Grasses for Biofuel, December 2005.
Grass Energy Feasibility
Biomass Energy Resource Center, Addison County [VT] Pellet Feasibility Study, November 2009.
Biomass Energy Resource Center, A Feasibility Study of Pellet Manufacturing in Chittenden County, Vermont, August 2011.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Bioenergy Information Sheet #6, Research to Advance Grass Bioenergy, February 2006.
R. Jannasch, R. Samson, A. de Maio, and T. Helwig, Switchgrass Fuel Production in Eastern Ontario: A Market Study, December 2001.
Robin L. Graham and Marie E. Walsh, A National Assessment of Promising Areas for Switchgrass, Hybrd Poplar, or Willow Energy Crop Production, February 1999.
Grass Fuel Processing
Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Bioenergy Information Sheet #7, Grass Pelleting – The Process, February 2006.
Jannasch et al, A Process and Energy Analysis of Pelletizing Switchgrass, 2001.
Grass Combustion & Use
Biomass Energy Resource Center, A Technical Assessment of Grass Pellets as Boiler Fuel in Vermont, January 2011.
Biomass Energy Resource Center, A Sanctuary’s Modest Pellet Boiler Will Help Test Local Field Grasses, 2009.
Jerry Cherney, Combustion Technology Issues in Vermont, Presentation at the Grass Energy Symposium, November 2008.
Samson et al, The Use of Agricultural Residues and Energy Crops in Biomass Combustion Systems, 2007.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Bioenergy Information Sheet #5, Ash Content of Grasses for Biofuel, July 2006.
Samson and Duxbury, Assessment of Pelletized Biofuels, 2000.
Roger Samson and Bano Medhi, Strategies to Reduce the Ash Content in Perennial Grasses, BioEnergy, 1998.
Sustainability and Harvesting Guidelines
Wisconsin Bioenergy Council, Wisconsin Sustainable Planting and Harvest Guidelines for Non-Forest Biomass
Grass Energy Basics
UVM Grass Energy Website (with reports and links)
Grass Energy in the Northeast (NY Biomass Energy Alliance Blog)
Grass Energy Resources (Biomass Energy Resource Center)
Grass Bioenergy (Jerry Cherney at Cornell University)
Ditchmass: Roadside Biomass for Energy (Wisconsin)
Grass Energy Conference Proceedings
Grass Energy Symposium (2008)
Grass Biomass Supporting Organizations
Meach Cove Farms (Shelburne, Vermont)
VT Grass Energy Partnership
Resource Efficient Agricultural Production (REAP) Canada
Grass Energy Working Group, St. Lawrence County, NY
Grass Energy Businesses
Beneterra Agritech, LLC: A Biomass Energy Company
Grass Combustion & Use
Catskill Grass Bioenergy Project (Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Delaware County)
Hudson Valley Grass Energy (RC&D Council)
Biomass and Renewable Fuel Development Utilizing Pelletized Grasses: A Project of PA Fuels for Schools and Beyond