Turning corn stover into bio-oil and a soil-boosting product could be more financially and environmentally rewarding than using the harvest residue as feedstock for cellulosic ethanol, scientists from the Agricultural Research Service reported. The study, made in partnership with the National Corn Growers Association, found that through fast pyrolysis, corn stover could yield oil that retains 70% of the energy input and is up to 16 times denser than the feedstock. Using the same process, about 18% of the corn stover could be converted to bio-char, a soil enricher that can isolate carbon.

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