© 2024 University of Missouri - KBIA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Test burn on grass for fuel program raises issues

Wes Agresta
Argonne National Laboratory

A project to use a giant grass for a biofuel is back on the drawing board after several problems arose during a test burn.

The grass, which is being grown in three regions in Missouri and Arkansas, is part of a federal program with MFA Oil to create a biofuel at Columbia's municipal power plant.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Sunday that a test last October didn't go well. Some of the grass pellets disintegrated and often burned too quickly.

In 2011, a subsidiary of MFA Oil received $14.6 million in federal funding under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program to pay farmers to grow the grass.

MFA Oil attributed the problems to Columbia's older power plant technology and equipment. More tests are planned.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.