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Giant King Grass: The New Biomass for Green Energy


Giant King Grass is a fast growing, high yield, hybrid grass that is neither genetically modified nor invasive. It grows in a variety of soil conditions and does not compete with food crops. Giant King Grass is perennial and can be harvested several times per year.

Giant King Grass at six months (12 ft tall)

Giant King Grass at six months (12 ft tall)

Giant King Grass is best grown in tropical and subtropical regions with more than 100 days of sunshine per year, and more than 32 inches (800 mm) of rain per year (or irrigation). The fertilizer requirements are modest and no pesticide is required in the current cultivation. Drip irrigation using surface drip tape. Flood irrigation, sprinklers or water cannons are alternatives.

Giant King Grass is very fast growing. It is a short rotation crop that can be harvested in the first year, compared to other crops that have much lower yields, and cannot be harvested until their second, third or fourth year of growth. Once Giant King Grass is established, it can be harvested at 3-5 feet tall for biogas production every 45 to 60 days. For other applications such as power plant fuel, pellets or biofuels, it is harvested at 13-16 feet tall (4-5 m) every 150-180 days. The high rate of growth of Giant King Grass can provide a continual supply of biomass year-round.

Giant King Grass at six months

Giant King Grass at six months

The yield of Giant King Grass in a tropical area with a 12 month growing season is 167 tons per acre (375 metric tons per hectare) of fresh grass at approximately 70-75% moisture.

The energy content of Giant King Grass is excellent at 7900 BTU per bone dry pound (4400 kcal per kilogram or 18.4 MJ per kilogram). The proximate, elemental, and ash analysis shows that the properties of Giant King Grass are very close to corn straw (Stover) which is the rest of the corn plant after the ear of corn is harvested. Biogas production from Giant King Grass is also excellent.

With competitive energy characteristics combined with multiple harvests per year, the energy output, or energy yield, of Giant King Grass per acre per year is much higher than other grasses. As a result, Giant King Grass cultivation offers material productivity benefits and therefore lower cost biomass feedstock for energy production, biofuels and biomaterials.

Manual harvesting of Giant King Grass in China

Manual harvesting of Giant King Grass in China

Giant King Grass is growing in the United States, Virgin Islands, China, Thailand, Myanmar and other areas.