IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa is experimenting with the growing of miscanthus, a grass native to Asia that has a variety of uses, including animal bedding, liquid biofuels and combustion for electricity.
The school on Wednesday planted 15 acres on a pilot field on a farm south of Iowa City. The grass will be ready to harvest after the first frost and the plant has dried down.
The school plans to follow the progress of the perennial grass, and potentially plant an additional 2,500 acres by 2016.
The grass will be part of the school's biomass fuel project, which aims to achieve 40 percent renewable energy by 2020. UI expects to eventually produce up to 25,000 tons per year of biomass fuel through the grass.