Switch Grass As A Possible Alternative Fuel

by : Dave Larsen

The answer to all of America's energy and oil needs might be as simple as a grass, switch grass to be exact. Switch grass is an amazingly easy to produce grass that can be converted to ethanol. Ethanol holds lots of promise as an alternative to gasoline.

When you look at all the benefits of switch grass, it's hard to believe that it isn't being touted more heavily. Switch grass could not only replace some fossil fuels use, it could help alleviate the damage done by years of burning fossil fuels as well.

Switch grass might be thought of as a weed by some, which probably explains its lowly status. But switch grass was elevated to a new, lofty place when President Bush brought it up in his 2006 State of the Union address.

Switch grass has many worthwhile and useful qualities. Chief among them is how easy it is to grow.

Switch grass grows abundantly in the Great Plains and is native to large parts of North America. Picture yourself driving through the Midwest, when you gaze out the window you're looking at lots of switch grass.

cattle, horses, sheep and goats all love to munch of switch grass.

Unlike most plants, switch grass is not picky about soil and conditions. It's incredibly easy to grow even in clay or sand, flood or drought. A gardener's dream plant. Remember, it "grows like a weed."

Switch grass could be a new bumper crop for American farmers, who are being financially squeezed from a million directions.

Not only that, but switch grass can be used to purify water. It's roots can take pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer out of water before it reaches the main waterways. this trait alone makes it useful.

Now as if all that weren't enough, the humble switch grass plant can even help in our efforts to clean the air. Switch grass cleans the air because it absorbs carbon dioxide, that nasty green house gas.

Many places are already experimenting with switch grass as a source for energy, either as pellets for burning or converting it to ethanol.

Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman has already brought up switch grass as a cure for international tensions over competition for fossil fuels. Noting our growing competition for fuel with China before the Counsel on Foreign Relations, Lieberman suggested lots of agricultural products like switch grass, corn and sugar can be used to create new sources of fuel to power our cars and keep our houses warm.

In a world of dependence on fossil fuels and rising gas prices, it is critical to find new sources of alternative energy. In this case, we may have to look no farther than America's "amber waves of grain."