Reed Canary Grass

Elaine Jensen, Kerrie Farrar, John Valentine, Iain S. Donnison, Michael D. Casler, John M. Finnan, Richard Lord, Cecilia Palmborg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (SciVal)


The perennial reed canary grass (RCG) offers considerable potential as a bioenergy crop, including on marginal land. It can be harvested for combustion, anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, gasification, and cellulosic ethanol production, and therefore also has potential for bioplastic production. It is a widely adapted temperate grass that is broadly tolerant of many stresses including flooding, drought, freezing, and grazing. RCG is found in a wide array of habitats, including wetlands, riparian zones, stream banks, irrigation channels, but also drier areas such as roadsides, forest margins, pastures, and disturbed areas, and has shown potential in diverse phytoremediation studies. RCG has a number of attributes that combine to make it a unique crop with an important role to play in the mix of energy crops grown in multiple geographies. This chapter reviews the many uses of RCG in the developing bioeconomy, highlighting the potential of this native European and North American crop in the future delivery of sustainable fossil fuel alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerennial Grasses for Bioenergy and Bioproducts
Subtitle of host publicationProduction, Uses, Sustainability and Markets for Giant Reed, Miscanthus, Switchgrass, Reed Canary Grass and Bamboo
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780128129005
ISBN (Print)9780128129012
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2018


  • Biogas
  • Biomass
  • Lignocellulosic
  • Phalaris arundinacea
  • Reed canary grass


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