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We are developing solutions to today's energy issues.

FREQUENTLY ASKED PRODUCT QUESTIONS

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When did you start selling your first energy crop products?

We launched our seed brand Blade Energy Crops in the fall of 2008.

I hear negative things about ethanol; how are energy crops different?

Most of the news coverage about ethanol is directed at ethanol made from corn starch, and unfortunately, a lot of it is inaccurate or uses outdated information. See Ethanol Myths. Biofuels made from new sources, such as dedicated energy crops, have numerous economic and environmental advantages. For instance, these crops require fewer passes through the field, and can yield more fuel per acre. (back to top)

Where can I plant energy crops?

The crops themselves are widely adapted and we encourage growers to learn more about them through local extension agents and universities. Economics will likely dictate that commercial crops need to be planted near a biorefinery. (back to top)

Why choose Ceres products over others?

We are developing crops and cultivars with bioenergy production in mind. By applying our proprietary technology to plant breeding and crop biotechnology, we can increase biomass yields and introduce other traits that will make growing and processing biomass into fuel, power and chemicals more efficient. (back to top)

Are all energy crops perennials?

No. For instance, sorghum is planted annually in the U.S. It has very high biomass yields and low input requirements, and has been identified by the government and university researchers as an energy crop. (back to top)

What happens if ethanol is replaced with another biofuel, like biobutanol?

Dedicated energy crops can be fermented or processed into any number of biofuels, including biobutanol, biogas, and other fuel molecules. Yield density and composition of biomass — traits that we can optimize through breeding and biotechnology — play an important role regardless of the end product. (back to top)

How do biomass fuel yields compare to ethanol from corn starch?

Today’s technology can produce about 80 gallons of ethanol from every ton of biomass, with 100 gallons per ton projected in the future. Corn ethanol plants can produce about 2.75 gallons of ethanol from each bushel. (back to top)

What about the future?

The corn seed industry says average national yields of 300 bushels per acre are possible. Combined with refining improvements and the use of corn stover (averaging 4 tons per acre), that would yield about 1,300 gallons of ethanol per acre (900 from the corn grain and 400 from the stover). However, even when this goal is reached, energy crops will remain the more productive alternative. By the time we reach 300bu/acre for corn, energy crop yields will also have improved substantially – we believe up to 20 tons per acre. At the same conversion ratio of 100 gallons per ton, a 20-ton per acre energy crop will yield 2,000 gallons. (back to top)

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Sign up here to get on our mailing list for product news and other information. (back to top)

 

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