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Global Warming-Resistant Biofuel: Agave

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The same delightful plant that fuels regrettable spring break decisions could also be a major source of energy in the 21st century. New research reveals that the agave plant has comparably higher energy yields than corn and, even more intriguing, becomes more productive as climate change increases CO2 levels. “Agave is not only an exciting new bioenergy crop, but its economically and environmentally sustainable production could prove to successfully stimulate economies in Africa, Australia, and Mexico, if political and legislative challenges are overcome,” reports ScienceDaily.

Moreover, unlike the price increases of corn due to ethanol use, margarita addicts may not need to fear a spike in tequila prices, as the biofuel could be harvested in parallel with agave’s food products. “Abandoned Agave plantations in Mexico and Africa that previously supported the natural fiber market could be reclaimed as bioenergy cropland,” the report continues.

This is especially exciting given the instability in climate caused by global warming. “Rainfall will probably be more variable in the future. This is not problem for
most agaves,” writes lead author, E. Garcia-Moya, Professor of Botany at the Colegio de Postgraduados en Ciencias Agricolas in Texcoco, Mexico.

So, in the near future, agave could entertain your guests, sweeten your iced tea, and power the designated driver to take eco-friendly partiers back home.

Follow Gregory Ferenstein on Twitter or email him.

[Image by brewbooks]

 

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