One of the many positives of Miscanthus is its ability to be used to make Renewable Diesel Fuel (RDF), a direct and complete substitute for fossil fuel diesel. With the RDF production process being significantly carbon negative – because about 15% of the dry matter that goes in, ends up as permanently sequestered carbon. RDF from Miscanthus is based on New Zealand biomass which allows for direct import substitution, improving New Zealand’s fuel security and reducing NZ’s international fuel bill. Independent life cycle analysis has shown that growing Miscanthus is carbon negative to the farm gate point.
With Miscanthus, once it is established, all the landowner has to do is visit the farm once a year to watch it being harvested. Because of its perennial nature and annual harvest once the Miscanthus crop is established there is almost no cost and no personal time required. In addition to a cash return in the form of renewable diesel, it’s use will provide farmers with an effective pasture shelter, animal bedding, feed supplement and boiler fuel.
Miscanthus is commercially viable, carbon negative, environmentally friendly and regionally beneficial. It can also significantly reduce nitrogen leaching from farmland. The potential benefits to New Zealand agriculture, New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions, of replacing imported diesel or imported crude oil to make diesel are obvious, as are benefits in terms of reductions in net carbon dioxide emissions through the use of this very low carbon technology.
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