Ethanol and biodiesel are the biofuel favorites in the US right now but new research is suggesting some new contenders may be on the way. Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), a hybrid grass that can grow 13 feet high, may become a valuable renewable energy as a source of solid fuel, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) say.

In addition to being a clean, efficient and renewable fuel source, Miscanthus is easy to grow. Upon reaching maturity, Miscanthus has few needs as it outgrows weeds, requires little water and minimal fertilizer and thrives in untilled fields, Heaton said, where various wildlife species make their homes in the plant's leafy canopy and surrounding undisturbed soil.