Forbaceous Plants as a Potential Feedstock for Cellulosic Ethanol Production
In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the United States has moved to produce transportation fuel from biomass instead of petroleum. Choosing the best source of this biomass is a decision involving many factors. One source which looks promising in its sustainability of production and greenhouse gas sequestration is the mixed species prairie.1 However a major component of this feedstock, forbaceous plants, have been indicated previously to be detrimental to overall yields of fermentable sugars.2 In this study we explored this further by examining the composition of plants and the some aspects that could result in these lower yields when compared to grasses and other graminoid species. Four representative forbs were chosen which are representative of taxonomic diversity, are widely distributed and are weedy but not invasive.