Giant reed: A competitive energy crop in comparison with miscanthus

Xumeng Ge, Fuqing Xu, Juliana Vasco-Correa, Yebo Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Arundo donax L. (giant reed) is a perennial rhizomatous grass and a promising energy crop due to its high biomass yield, adaptation to different types of soils and weather conditions, lower tillage requirement than traditional crops, and phytoremediation properties. This review is a comprehensive comparison of giant reed with miscanthus, a well-known energy crop, in terms of biomass production and conversion to bioenergy and bioproducts. Compared with miscanthus, giant reed has higher biomass yield and can adapt to a broader range of environments, but it requires more energy input for planting. Giant reed has a higher invasive potential than Miscanthus×giganteus, necessitating ecological control, such as preventing cultivation sites from flooding, strict nutrient management in surrounding areas, and removal of giant reed from riparian ecosystems adjacent to fire prone shrub lands. Generally, giant reed showed comparable yields to miscanthus in bioenergy production, but achieved better performance than miscanthus in production of particle boards, paper, and xylo-oligosaccharides. Suggested future research on giant reed includes testing multiple harvests per year, assessing environmental benefits and reducing potential hazards, evaluating advanced pretreatment technologies, integrating processes for producing different bioenergy/bioproducts, and investigating effects of management practices on the production of fuels and products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-362
Number of pages13
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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