Development of Miscanthus as a Bioenergy Crop

John Clifton-Brown, Jon McCalmont, Astley Hastings

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Growth of Miscanthus as a biofuel crop need not exacerbate ‘food vs fuel’ conflicts. Harvested Miscanthus is currently used as a biomass fuel for direct combustion at scales from domestic to industrial, but it can also be used in the production of ‘cellulosic ethanol’ and as a feedstock for anaerobic digesters. The decision to grow Miscanthus as a bioenergy crop depends on economic viability. Current work on developing seed‐based hybrids propagated by novel agronomies will reduce the cost and speed up establishment. The main motivation for the work on developing Miscanthus as a crop was to use it to produce energy, displacing fossil carbon fuels and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In comparison to arable land used for cereals, where soil organic carbon (SOC) levels will fall every year, SOC under Miscanthus plantations on arable lands will generally rise in the 0–30 cm layer to a level that is similar to grasslands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiofuels and Bioenergy
EditorsJohn Love, John A. Bryant
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781118350553
ISBN (Print)9781118350560
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2017


  • arable lands
  • bioenergy crop
  • biomass fuel
  • cellulosic ethanol
  • economic viability
  • fossil carbon fuels
  • grasslands
  • greenhouse gas mitigation
  • miscanthus breeding programme
  • soil organic carbon


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