With corn and soybean acreage being planted to capacity for ethanol and biodiesel, other acreage unsuited for row crop production has been targeted for renewable biofuel production from perennial grasses. The most notable is switchgrass. However, another species called miscanthus sinensis, commonly referred to as miscanthus, is a biomass crop that some researchers believe can help diversify U.S. domestic energy production.

The species in the Miscanthus genus are bulky, graceful and reed-like with well-developed seed heads on upright stems. Miscanthus sinensis is a large herbaceous perennial grass growing from 0.8 to 2.0 meters (rarely 4.0 meters) tall that forms dense clumps from underground rhizomes and has several zoological synonyms for varietal variants. It is known by the common name Chinese silver grass but also as maiden grass, zebra grass and porcupine grass. Miscanthus flourishes in subtropical and tropical regions of Africa and southern Asia, and is said to be native to eastern Asia where it grows throughout most of China, Japan and Korea.

Miscanthus is seen by some agriculturalists and bioenergy specialists as an ideal plant for producing fuel ethanol at a lower cost than corn, currently the most widespread source of the ethanol. Additionally, efficient biofuels are carbon-neutral sources of energy. Plants absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, which compensates for the carbon dioxide that is released when the biofuels are combusted. There have been reports in the popular press of miscanthus being commercially used in some European countries as a "clean, affordable, environmentally friendly energy cropping system." However, this claim was impossible to substantiate for this article.  August 2012 ...  Miscanthus

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 Links checked August 2013.