The Feasibility of Using Cattails from Constructed Wetlands to Produce Bioethanol

  • Katherine Suda
  • Abolghasem Shahbazi
  • Yebo Li
Conference paper


This project investigates the feasibility of harvesting the cattails in the constructed wetlands of the North Carolina A&T Farm to be converted into ethanol. Using the cattails to produce renewable energy will add value to the land as well as reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by replacing petroleum products. Pretreatment of the dried cattails with dilute NaOH was followed by solid-liquid separation and enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation of the solids. Two trials gave an average conversion efficiency of 43.4% for the pretreated solids alone which, in conjunction with the crop yield for the cattails, would give up to 4,012 L ethanol/ha, a favorable comparison with corn stover’s 1,665 L/ha at a 60% conversion rate. Given the high potential – 9,680 L/ha at 60% conversion efficiency for solid and liquid streams – and the social and environmental benefits gained by adding value to the waste management system and reducing carbon emissions otherwise made by gasoline, it is recommended that further studies be made using cattails as a feedstock for bioethanol.


Enzymatic Hydrolysis Corn Stover High Pressure Liquid Chromatography Ethanol Yield Life Cycle Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Many thanks are extended to Kevin Jenkins and Crystal Biddle for their research assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Suda
    • 1
  • Abolghasem Shahbazi
    • 1
  • Yebo Li
    • 1
  1. 1.North Carolina A & T State UniversityGreensboroUSA

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