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Mischantus: the future of green energy?

Have you ever heard of mischantus? Behind this name with its unusual spelling lies a plant with enormous potential in terms of heating, mulching, insulation for the home and many other virtues. Unfortunately, mischantus is still little known, but could nevertheless represent the future of energy. Find out everything you need to know about this plant.

Description and cultivation of mischantus

Mischantus is a plant with a long stem, similar to a reed or a sugar cane. It is known to be very durable, even at very low temperatures. It grows naturally on the Asian continent, more precisely in Japan, and was introduced to Europe around 1935 in Denmark. It was only in 1990 that it was imported to France.

Mischantus grows very easily and is cultivated without difficulty. It is very dense, between 12 and 000 plants per hectare. It can reach 15 meters in height and can survive even without watering on stony or sandy soil.

The different possible uses of mischantus

Mischantus is a very versatile plant that can be used in many areas.

·      Heating

This is the main use of mischantus. This plant is a very good ecological alternative to wood given that its calorific value far exceeds that of the latter. In fact, the figures indicate 4 kWh/tonne, compared to 700 kWh/tonne for wood. The humidity level of mischantus is also lower.

The only real disadvantage with this biomass is that usual wood boilers are not necessarily suitable for it. You need a device capable of raising the temperature higher and its high silicon content causes the chimneys to be blocked. Finally, it produces more ash compared to wood.

·      Mulching

Mischantus is rich in silicon. When mischantus is used as mulch, this characteristic is very advantageous for plants, since the silicon helps retain humidity for longer and preserves microbial life in the soil.

Rose bushes, for example, benefit very well from using mischantus as mulch. Their stems and thorns are more resistant. Additionally, mischantus has a neutral pH, which is suitable for any plants you grow.

·      A dietary supplement for cattle

Using mischantus as a dietary supplement for cattle allows them to better ingest fodder and optimize the rationing of their food. English cattle breeders are increasingly including this plant in the feed of oxen and cows, which helps improve the quality of the milk produced.

What are the main benefits of growing mischantus?

Mischantus is not only a versatile plant, but its cultivation is also advantageous in many ways.

·      Use of very few inputs

It is a plant that is very easy to cultivate and grows almost by itself. The use of inputs is only necessary during the first year of planting, with a quantity of 5 kg per hectare maximum.

·      Floor protection

Using very few inputs helps preserve the soil. Its long roots also protect the soil from erosion and mischantus recycles nitrogen easily, which naturally fertilizes the soil without adding any other additional agents.

·      Ability to purify water

The very dense roots of mischantus have the capacity to absorb heavy metals and chemical agents. Therefore, if you plant it in an area where the water has been contaminated, mischantus will be able to purify the water and make it usable.