Energy Sorghum Offers Advantages of Perennial and Annual Bioenergy Crops

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) found that energy sorghum efficiently captures light and uses water to produce abundant biomass, like the perennial grass miscanthus. At the same time, it’s easier to establish than a perennial crop. A study published in Global Change Biology Bioenergy compared miscanthus, maize, and energy sorghum. Sorghum appears to be a “middle-road crop,” with an annual growth cycle but the ability to use much less water than maize to produce “a ton” of biomass, according to study leader Caitlin Moore. “It certainly holds promise as a crop that supports the bioenergy economy.”