Agave, the desert plant most commonly known for producing the notorious tequila drink in Mexico, shows promise to expand its purpose beyond producing a party starter to become an efficient and environment-friendly biofuel.
After analyzing agave’s ability to produce bioethanol, scientists from the University of Sydney have realized that the high-sugar succulent promises some major advantages over existing sources of bioethanol such as sugarcane and corn.
Being a desert plant, agave can grow in semi-arid areas without irrigation, making it extremely water-efficient, and it also does not compete with food crops or put a demand on limited fertilizer supplies.
Agave uses 69 percent less water than sugarcane and 46 percent less water than corn for the same yield. This makes agave an economic and environmental winner for biofuel production in the years to come.