That Shot of Tequila May Come With a Biofuel Chaser

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Researchers have discovered that the Agave plant, used in making tequila, may be an excellent source of biofuels, with two agave species producing yields of biofuels that far surpassed the yields from biofuel feedstocks such as corn, wheat, soybean, and sorghum. Reporting in the journal Global Change Biology Bioenergy, scientists said that 14 studies confirmed the high biofuel potential of Agave.

The fuel can be harvested from the remains of the plant after it has been used to make tequila, or can be grown on abandoned Agave plantations in Mexico and Africa. In either case, researchers say that large amounts of Agave biofuel could be grown without the need to produce the crop on lands that could be used to grow food — a major drawback of biofuels such as corn and soybeans.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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