Perpectives and paradigms

Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 1559-1566

First online:

Why not harvest existing invaders for bioethanol?

  • Lauren D. QuinnAffiliated withEnergy Biosciences Institute, University of Illinois Email author 
  • , A. Bryan EndresAffiliated withEnergy Biosciences Institute, University of IllinoisDepartment of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois
  • , Thomas B. VoigtAffiliated withEnergy Biosciences Institute, University of IllinoisDepartment of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois

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Some ecologists and environmentalists have asked whether existing plant invaders could be used as sources of lignocellulosic ethanol, as an alternative to the introduction of potentially invasive non-native energy crops. Although the idea is tempting and could theoretically motivate the control or eradication of large invasive populations, we recognize that a number of major economic, logistic, and legal barriers currently prevent adoption of this plan. Here, we enumerate these barriers in detail, but conclude with an idealistic vision for the role of invasive biomass in the bioenergy industry.


Bioenergy Biofuel Biomass Biorefinery Ethanol Invasive Weed