Pennsylvania project uses mine lands for biofuel crops

By | November 11, 2009
A Penn State University project seeks to determine if abandoned and active mine lands can be reclaimed and used to grow biofuel crops such as switchgrass and other warm-season grass species. Pennsylvania has about 180,000 acres of abandoned mine land, plus active mine land, that is not currently being used for food, feed or fiber. The project will evaluate the effectiveness of soil amendments, determine whether the land can support biomass crops, and if the crops are cost effective. The project includes evaluating the use of excess manure from livestock operations and paper mill sludge as reclamation techniques and evaluating sustained production potential and management requirements.