Energy demands worldwide will not be met by fossil fuels alone in the future because there is a limited supply of sources and atmospheric pollution associated with the fossil fuel industry is no longer acceptable. Species like Agave and cacti are part of the alternatives to expand the potential of energy crops in marginal lands. There is an emerging biofuel industry that will partially offset the need for fossil fuels, but there are a number of unknown environmental and economic consequences associated with land use for bioenergy production. If bioenergy crops can provide feedstock and occupy marginal and semi-arid lands that are not ideal for food crops, there is less risk of indirect land use change that threatens sensitive ecosystems.
Plants which use crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), which include the Cacti and Agaves, are of particular interest since they can survive for many months without water and when water is available they use it with an efficiency that can be more than 10 times that of other plants, such as maize, sorghum, miscanthus and switchgrass. Large areas of the tropics and subtropics are too arid or degraded to support food crops, but Agave species may be suitable for biomass and biofuel production in these regions.
Our services with agave include some of the following:
- Project development for specific sites
- Research and development program development, implementation and evaluations.
- Agronomic advice, from plantation to harvest
- Post-harvest management and logistics optimization
- Tequila industry optimization, by-products and biomass to energy project developement
- Ethanol and electricity/heat application development
- Plant physiology optimizations