Giant King Grass: The New Biomass for Green Energy

Giant King Grass is a fast growing, high yield, hybrid grass that is neither genetically modified nor invasive. It grows in a variety of soil conditions and does not compete with food crops. Giant King Grass is perennial and can be harvested several times per year.

Giant King Grass Data

  • Energy: 18.4 MJ/dry kg= 4400 kcal/kg=7900 BTU/lb (GCV)
  • Biogas: 539-758 liters/dry kg; 51-57% methane
  • Biofuels: Glucan 43%; Xylan 22%; Arabinan 3% Lignin 17%
  • Cellulosic ethanol: 326-333 liters/dry mt (78.5-80 gal/US ton)
  • Cellulosic ethanol: 33,000 liters/hectare (3500 gal/acre)
Giant King Grass at six months (12 ft tall)

Giant King Grass at six months (12 ft tall)

Giant King Grass is best grown in tropical and subtropical regions with more than 100 days of sunshine per year, and more than 32 inches (800 mm) of rain per year (or irrigation). The fertilizer requirements are modest and no pesticide is required in the current cultivation.

Giant King Grass is very fast growing. It is a short rotation crop that can be harvested in the first year, compared to miscanthus ,switchgrass, bamboo and other crops that have much lower yields, and cannot be harvested until their second, third or fourth year of growth. Once Giant King Grass is planted, it can be harvested at 3 feet tall (1m) for biogas production after 40 days, and subsequent harvests are every 25 to 30 days. For other applications such as pellets or biofuels, it is harvested at 13 feet tall (4 m) after 195 days and subsequently every 120 days. The high rate of growth of Giant King Grass can provide a continual supply of biomass year-round.

Giant King Grass at six months

Giant King Grass at six months

The yield of Giant King Grass in a tropical area with a 12 month growing season is 167 tons per acre (375 metric tons per hectare) of fresh grass at approximately 70% moisture. The dry mass yield is 45 tons per acre (100 metric tons per hectare).

The energy content of Giant King Grass is excellent at 7900 BTU per bone dry pound (4400 kcal per kilogram or 18.4 MJ per kilogram). The proximate, elemental, and ash analysis shows that the properties of Giant King Grass are very close to corn straw (Stover) which is the rest of the corn plant after the ear of corn is harvested. Biogas production from Giant King Grass is also excellent.

With competitive energy characteristics combined with multiple harvests per year, the energy output, or energy yield, of Giant King Grass per acre per year is three to four times greater than other grasses. As a result, Giant King Grass cultivation offers material productivity benefits and therefore lower cost biomass feedstock for energy production, biofuels and biomaterials.

Acreage and Plantings

Manual harvesting of Giant King Grass in China

Manual harvesting of Giant King Grass in China

VIASPACE Green Energy has 279 acres (100 hectares) under cultivation in Guangdong Province, China. This acreage serves as a nursery to provide sufficient seedlings to plant more than 10,000 acres of new crops per year to support large biomass projects, including manufacturing biomass pellets for replacing coal in electricity generating power plants, producing biofuels and biogas, and producing other green-energy products.

VIASPACE Green Energy's acreage and operations also support commercial production of the Company's first green energy product, Green Log fireplace and campfire logs manufactured from Giant King Grass.