Tequila's Agave Plant Ideal to Make Ethanol

Yet another plant is suggested as a savior for our fuel hungry future. Agave is a succulent, normally used to produce the alcoholic drink tequila. Its use to make this drink is no coincidence - agave is rich in sugar. It is ideal for making ethanol.

Australia is looking for a plant that will grow in arid areas. Sugarcane will grow on marginal land but not in semi-desert regions. Agave will grow where it hardly ever rains, so it will not take fertile land away from food growers. A pilot test farm has been established at Ayr in Queensland.

Agave is a winner. It gives back five times more energy than is used to produce it. And it makes less greenhouse gas than the manufacture of sugar cane ethanol.

Corn is widely used at present to make ethanol. The quality, however, is variable. Ethanol from agave is superior. Another benefit is that the woody by-product from the plant can be used in making the motor vehicle fuel.
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