Variability of Switchgrass, a Dedicated Bioenergy Crop
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The utilization of switchgrass as a dedicated energy crop is well documented in the scientific community. However, there has not been any large-scale production of switchgrass as a feedstock for the production of biofuels. In this work, three different varieties of switchgrass were grown on 600 acres of land as a feedstock in the production of bioethanol in Tennessee. Samples of each variety were harvested from the various fields at an interval of eight weeks for three consecutive periods. The variability, quality and suitability of the three different varieties of switchgrass as a feedstock for the production of bioethanol were assessed using near infrared spectroscopy, standard chemical analyses, and other structural properties in a process analytical technology.