Commercialization of Miscanthus
The diversity of elephant grass also reflects, first of all, the almost unlimited opportunities to commercialize miscanthus. Every gardener knows about bark mulch. Some of them like it, some of them just cannot stand its smell. In this case, miscanthus is a favorable, domestic, and, as a bonus, very attractive substitution for conventional bark mulch. This mulch is extremely resistant, and, as compared to bark mulch, it needs much lower expenses. Besides, chopped miscanthus can be also used as an insulating material or admixture to construction materials (there are some good examples thereof in Switzerland), as moulded parts in automotive industry or in gardening.
For sure, the largest part of miscanthus is currently burnt for heating. Whether loose, as pellets or briquettes, elephant grass is acknowledged more and more as wood substitution directly from the field. High values of silicon and chlorine that, along with their tending to slagging, often created problems for conventional furnaces in the past, wil more and more often removed or technically better solved by furnace builders. As an admixture of 30-50 %, miscanthus has already been used really well in the past, furnaces for clean heating are offered, according to their statements, by companies, such as Hargassner, Heizomat, Froehling, ETA, Biokompakt, or Guntamatik.
Another perfect possibility to use miscanthus is using it as litter for horses or small animals. Adding a small amount of oil decreases dust development often reported at the beginning. Miscanthus straw is more absorbent than normal straw, and it can also, which is supposingly the largest benefit, be distributed on the field as a fertilizer, after being used as heating medium.
In the video attached, we show you two miscanthus usage “Best Practice Examples” from Upper Austria:
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Source: Our own experience, workshops and presentations, as well as LKOE