NexSteppe launches new crop for biogas producers

NexSteppe, a US feedstock provider for the bio-based industries, has announced the launch of a new product line.

The new product line is called Metano Alto.

Metano Alto Industrial Sorghums are bred to deliver both high crop yields in the field and high biogas and biomethane yields in a digester.

”We are seeing a significant level of interest from our customers in biogas sorghum crops, particularly in places like Europe where greening and fertilizer laws are encouraging crop diversity and lower fertiliser use,” said  Anna Rath, NexSteppe CEO. “Metano Alto is deliberately designed to target these customer needs and catalyse significant growth in biogas markets.”

According to NexSteppe, one specific German policy benefitting industrial sorghum is the EEG 2017.

This programme links bioenergy production incentives to an increasingly diversified crop portfolio. Biogas producers seeking to maintain full programme eligibility must limit the mass percentage of supply from maize. This “corn cap” lowers from 50% in 2017 to 44% by 2022.

Feedstock mix

According to NexSteppe, its Metano Alto makes it easy for producers to integrate industrial sorghum as an increasing portion of their feedstock mix to retain support while improving economics for their growers.

Current Metano Alto customers highlight significant advantages of this crop for biogas production. “Our growers love the low input and low establishment costs, as well as Metano Alto’s drought and heat tolerance” says Jason M. Blake, Vice President of Business Development for Europe, North America and Africa. “With equal methane yields to maize, our growers are very happy with the value Metano Alto can provide as either a primary or a secondary biogas crop.”

In a statement, the company said: “NexSteppe breeders select Metano Alto hybrids via a multi-tiered approach that integrates field performance, chemical composition, and biogas performance analysis. Hybrids which demonstrate both high biomass yield and strong performance in the digestor are advanced in order to identify commercial Metano Alto hybrids with maximized methane generated per hectare of land.

“NexSteppe also analyzes the composition of the hybrids to determine which factors lead to highest methane production to inform the future breeding pipeline. NexSteppe is confident that their Metano Alto Industrial Sorghum product line will unlock new market growth for both growers and biogas producers in the future.”

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Bioenergy Insight. 

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