Sugarcane and Sorghum might produce much more and boost profits in marginal lands. A new research focused on biomass, oil and improved yields.

This is the case of the project carried out by the University of Illinois and University of Florida, is financed by US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which investigated modified plantations to replace oil with sugarcane and sweet sorghum.


PETROSS sugarcane (right) is 20 percent more productive than normal sugarcane (left). PETROSS sugarcane is 17 percent taller with 43 percent more stems that are 18 percent thicker stems. Source: University of Illinois

PETROSS (Plant Engineered To Replace Oil in Sugarcane and Sweet sorghum) “is engineering sugarcane and sorghum to produce 20% oil, which equates to 13 times more biodiesel (and six-time more profit) per acre than an acre of soybeans.”

In the picture, a comparison between the growth of a normal sugarcane and PETROSS sugarcane.


The project director Stephen Long, Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at Illinois, said:

“Our research project is on a trajectory to produce sugarcane that could give the U.S. an inexhaustible and environmentally friendly oil supply that could satisfy one quarter of the nation’s fuel and provide a renewable source of jet fuel. These crops could be grown in areas of the Southeast that can no longer produce food crops, giving the region a much needed economic boost.”

Joanna Schroeder, from Energy.Agwired, added that the group continued its investigation to achieve yield increases and tolerance in adverse weather conditions.

For additional information, visit and Petross.



Another case of modified crops is presented by Paul Brown, a founding editor of Climate News Network, where he said that the UK government spends £ 1.8 million to create new seeds of Miscanthus x giganteus to be used as fuel for power plants.

Watch the video of Andy Lee Graham to display elephant grass crops:

Mr. John Clifford Brown (see in the photo on the right), the research project leader at the University of Aberystwyth, said:

“The crop will benefit the agricultural industry and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.

CROP-Dr-John-Clifton-BrownThe overall goal is to develop new systems for miscanthus-based agriculture that increase profitability, and so enable transition of today’s niche crop into a large-scale biomass supply system.

The UK needs to reduce COemissions in order to mitigate climate change, and we also need to develop our economy to take advantage of green technologies, as opposed to relying on a limited stock of fossil fuels.”

Read more about the Climate News Network article here.

The modification of Miscanthus x giganteus seeds can take advantage of the rapid growth and encourage reproduction anywhere in the world regardless of weather conditions.

These hybrids represent a new opportunity for the European market for biomass, transport costs and CO2 emissions would be reduced.