Summary of Poplar Biofuels Genome Project
The DOE’s “Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol” report identifies poplar as one of the key feedstock species for cellulosic ethanol production in many regions of the country, including California. In contrast to herbaceous biofuels species such as corn, switchgrass and miscanthus, poplar has several important advantages. The primary advantages are market opportunities and storage. Poplar can be grown for multiple products including high-valued solid wood products and for pulp and paper.
This provides growers multiple market opportunities and additional incentive to produce the crop. Second, poplar is a woody perennial and can be stored “on the stump” unlike switchgrass that must be dried and stored. Poplar can be grown on a wide variety of site conditions and in some situations requires few inputs.