On the Radio: University of Iowa’s Miscanthus Grass Planting


Photo by QUOI Media; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers new strategies used by the University of Iowa as they make strides towards their renewable energy goals. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

 

The planting of Miscanthus grass is getting the University of Iowa one step closer to reaching its Vision 2020 renewable energy goal.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The University of Iowa plans to produce 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources. The UI planted 16 acres of Miscanthus grass in late June on privately owned land in Louisa County. Miscanthus is a fast-growing grass which the UI plans to burn as fuel in its power plant.

According to Ferman Milster, principal engineer for the University of Iowa office of Sustainability, the Miscanthus would be an alternate fuel to other standard sources, such as coal. Other advantages include its ability to grow on marginal farmland, its filtering properties which improve water quality, and its potential to become a new cash crop for farmers.

The University currently produces approximately 13 percent of its energy from oat hulls and woodchips.

To learn more about the University of Iowa’s Vision 2020 goal and renewable energy, visit iowanenvironmentalfocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor

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