IBERS secure funding for biofuel development

A GOVERNMENT grant of £6.4 million has given a massive boost to the development of a promising biofuel crop: Miscanthus.

This will build on previous research completed by IBERS, and looks to develop an integrated breeding programme developing new varieties of the Asian grass suitable for commercialisation.

Dr. John Clifton-Brown, the project leader at IBERS said: “Miscanthus’ excellent physiological characteristics put it amongst the most promising plant species for the production of lignocellulosic biomass in the UK and beyond. Targets for improvement include not only increased yield and quality, but also seed based varieties and faster establishment rates that will provide yield increases at lower costs.”

The funding for the research has been provided by the Dept. of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and will see Aberystwyth’s IBERS department link up with a team from the University of Aberdeen, Ceres Inc., a seed crop company, the National Farmers Union, Blankney Estates growers, enzyme providers Biocatalysts and the energy company E.ON.