Kudzu Ethanol Plant Startup in Tennesee, Cows Will Love It



Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) was introduced to the United States twenty-five years before the turn of the twentieth century, and is currently found naturalized throughout the southeastern states 125 years later. It is said that there is not a county in the southern US that lacks kudzu. The deep tap root of the kudzu vine can help hold the soil in place and allows the plant to prosper during dry spells, as opposed to corn, whose growth is dependent on sufficient rain fall and irrigation water. If the ethanol corn growers end up in a summer drought, this could definitely hurt ethanol production.


Corn has to be irrigated for growth and uses large quantities of water.

The Amazing Story of Kudzu

Kudzu was introduced from Japan into the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, where it was promoted as a forage crop and an ornamental plant. From 1935 to the early 1950s the Soil Conservation Service encouraged farmers in the southeastern United States to plant kudzu to reduce soil erosion as above, and the Civilian Conservation Corps planted it widely for many years.

However, it would soon be discovered that the southeastern US has near-perfect conditions for kudzu to grow out of control — hot, humid summers, frequent rainfall, temperate winters with few hard freezes (kudzu cannot tolerate low freezing temperatures that bring the frost line down through its entire root system, a rare occurrence in this region), and no natural predators. As such, the once-promoted plant was named a pest weed by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1953.

Check this out if you really want to see the spread of kudzu on houses and buildings in the south.


So what does Kudzu have to do with ethanol? Simply, due to the starch (sugar) content, kudzu can be used to replace corn to make ethanol. Will kudzu take the place of food ingredients being used to make ethanol? A resounding “Yes!” is stated by Mr. Doug Mizell, co-founder of Agro*Gas Industries in Cleveland, Tennessee. Mizell and company co-founder, Tom Monahan, have dubbed the kudzu-based-ethanol, “Kudzunol.” Kudzu is an obvious resource: “There’s 7.2 million acres of kudzu in the south that’s absolutely good to no one,” said Mizell. “It grows a foot a day, 60 feet a season and can be harvested twice a year and not even hurt the stand.”

All the kudzu plant is used after harvesting, no part goes wasted.


“All the leftovers from the harvested kudzu are pulled in, and we can break that cellulose down and make ethanol from it,” said Mizell. “It’s not tied to the commodities market, so the price won’t raise and lower in relation to the stock markets.”


Kudzu is a vine and it’s not like hay, wheat or soybeans when harvesting. If Mr. Mizell and Mr. Monahan can work out a fairly economical way to harvest the kudzu, there is plenty of the stuff around during the summer months to harvest. One question, what do these gentlemen use the rest of the year during the late fall and winter months to replace kudzu when it is dormant?

Agro*Gas plans to break ground on an ethanol producing plant in McMinn County or a surrounding county by end of the year and hopefully begin production in 2009.

The plant will be environmentally friendly and funded by private dollars. What? Private dollars and people who want to make a difference without the federal government. We wish these gentlemen the best in their new venture.

View another tv interview on Kudzunol


Kudzu is the kind of stock the U.S. needs to be working with because it is a weed, not a food product that will be diminished from our food supply. The U.S. Congress needs to take a hard look at where the bio-fuels subsidies need to be spent, then this technology which, uses a weed and not a food product, should be considered. I would take a hard look at supporting ethanol as a fuel if this technology stands on its own merit. As I have always said, when you have a commodity product competing with America’s food supply, the production of corn ethanol is not the answer. Go Green Kudzu!

One challenging issue for all the bio-fuel producers and America. If oil keeps rising in price as predicted, it doesn’t matter how great the technology, there will come a time when the energy costs will cost more than the production of the product. What will happen then?

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125 Responses to Kudzu Ethanol Plant Startup in Tennesee, Cows Will Love It

  1. Jeff June 11, 2008 at 9:43 pm #

    Sweet!! About time it’s useful.

  2. gazelder lufetarg June 11, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    Harvest is the BIG issue! It is a vine. Needless to say pulling it out of trees is not going to be very feasible. Harvesting even in flat fields might be problematic since it needs to be either cut into a retrievable mass or “wound” up in some manner. It is also seasonal as mentioned. It does grow fast but it can be a terror if you decide to change “crops.” I also don’t see it being shipped distances for processing and most likely can’t be stored like corn. Besides, if it was that great we’d already have kudzu booze.

  3. Rhoid June 11, 2008 at 11:14 pm #

    Go Green Kudzu!!

    Go Green With Kudzunol!
    We can’t fight it, so lets exploit it’s tenaciousness.

  4. Bobby June 11, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    I live in Charlotte, and all I have to say is “finally”. This stuff is everywhere, and it never stops growing, it’s like a super plant. If you plant kudzu it will grow, it’s the ultimate renewable.

  5. roger June 11, 2008 at 11:49 pm #

    We must then look at purple loose strife and using it also .

  6. Fran June 12, 2008 at 12:27 am #

    Interesting. Do you know how efficient kudzu is in terms of being able to produce energy? I understand, for example, that sugar cane is very good at making a conversion while corn is not as good. Where does kudzu compare?

  7. Jean-Paul Gagnon June 12, 2008 at 12:54 am #

    Can anyone tell me the megawatt expenditure required to produce ethanol from Kudzu?

    Great thanks

  8. hempStalk June 12, 2008 at 7:08 am #

    Legalize HEMP

  9. Charlotte Fairchild June 12, 2008 at 10:38 am #

    Hey, check out http://www.kudzus.blogspot.com or google kudzu kwestions. If you check out kudzu recipes, you will find 180,000 sites. Dr. Kerry Britton, US Forrest Service told me that scientists were telling her that in the 1958 famine, 30 million people starved, conservatively, and that the kudzu hasn’t recovered. China has less kudzu than the US. They had kudzu for millions of years, and we have had it 125? It is related to snow peas and is a superplant. Think of all the poor people who never get fresh greens. There it is, but they don’t know. And how does it compare nutritionally with corn? No pesticides, no fertilizers, no irrigation, and it is high in protein and nutrition and we are going to eat corn and use our best food for driving. It was planted during the Great Depression and also the Dust Bowl. Now how many people in our country starved? NO stats, probably. That is like asking how many homeless people are in the US.

  10. get educated hempStalk June 12, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    yes legalize hemp so that all the ignorant hippies can open up their own hemp biofuel farms. They can then realize that hemp is a poor source of simple sugars need for easy ethanol production, is an inferior source of cellulose for cellulosic ethanol when compared to most native prairie grasses and that hemp oil, while amazing and useful, isn’t produced in sufficient quantities by the plant in order for it to be used as a fuel source or as an industrial lubricant.

  11. Jeff F. June 12, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    Interesting news… most importantly – “no part goes wasted.”

  12. Pam June 12, 2008 at 8:33 pm #

    It sounds great! Even a chance for the unemployed who are willing to work – they could cut kudzu from the roadsides and sell it or just have the government pay them for the labor and the government could sell the product.

  13. Mike Hilliard June 12, 2008 at 10:34 pm #

    Where can I sell mine? anyone have any ideas?

  14. James W. June 13, 2008 at 4:26 am #

    Legalize hemp? How can you legalize something that’s already legalized?

  15. get educated June 13, 2008 at 3:17 pm #

    owning and selling hemp in the US is legal, but you are not allowed to freely grow it

  16. Doug Mizell June 13, 2008 at 7:38 pm #

    Hi everyone

    My name is Doug Mizell (co-founder of Agro*Gas Industries, LLC in Cleveland, Tennessee). Thanks for your support of our company’s efforts to create renewable fuels from “Zero Valued Feedstocks” Our Mission Statement is to NEVER make FUEL from FOOD or FEED. We are in development of harvesting equipment as we speak through a Chattanooga company called GREENWAY LOGISTICS. We will use a multitude of feedstocks other than seasonal Agri-waste and kudzu alone. We are cotracting with several fortune 500 companies to utilize their industrial waste streams to make fuel. In addition to that the AG Community can be tapped for agri-waste after the food crop has been harvested. Even the present recalled tomatoe crop could be made into fuel if were made available to us.Processes from our ethanol production will compliment the growth of algae and we can make bio-diesel from the algae at a fanominal rate . Our processes and techniques produce only salable bi-products and NO hazardous waste of any kind. For more info on Agro*Gas you can google search: (Doug Mizell kudzu) and find numerous articles from around the country.

    Thanks to All

  17. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    @Doug Mizell:
    Doug it was a real pleasure getting to talk to you and I look forward to our visit and interview in a few days.
    I know you will have a lot of information for chemicallygreen to pass on to our readers. Again, thanks for the phone call. Go KUDZILLA.
    Best regards

  18. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    @Jeff: Jeff thanks for the comments. Will be updates on the kudzu project in future drafts. Keep a lookout for the drafts.

  19. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    @gazelder lufetarg: thank you for your comments. I agree with you about the harvesting of kudzu. However, there is so much kudzu around, I am sure someone will figure out how to harvest the kudzu in a practical and economical way. Please take a look at Doug Mizell’s comment on his company is working with a company in Chattanooga, Tn. to develop the harvesting equipment. Look for future updates on this subject in this blog.

  20. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 12:42 pm #

    @Rhoid: thank you for your comments. There will be future information on kudzanol posted on this blog. Keep watching for the update.

  21. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    @Bobby: Thank you for your comments. Yes, kudzu seems to be the everlasting renewable for ethanol production. No fertilizer, no watering (plant thrives in hot humid areas with minimal rain) and grows like crazy. Enough of the stuff is available to use and it will grow back. Go Kudzu.

  22. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    @Roger: Thank you for your comments. I printed down some information on the Purple Loosstrife, Lythrum salicaria L. (Lythraceae) and will pass along to Doug Mizell to investigate the possible use of this plant in ethanol production. I will let you know the results.

  23. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    @Fran: Thank you for your comments. I will pursue this question with Doug Mizell and get you an answer.

  24. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    @Jean-Paul Gagnon: Thank you for your comments. I will find out the amount of energy needed to produce ethanol from kudzu. Watch the blog for future updates and your answer.

  25. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    @hempStalk: thank you for your comments. Hemp does not give good results (you get less ethanol) for ethanol production due to lower sugar content.

  26. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    @JeffF: thank you for your comments. Being able to use all the kudzu plant would be a plus. Spare no kudzu.

  27. chemicallygreen.com June 14, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    @Pam: thank you for your comments. What is so neat about
    Doug MIzell and this new venture with kudzu, being used to produce ethanol, is keeping the government out of the loop. If government gets involved, then sooner or later, the project will get screwed up. Doug is working on a company building the harvesting equipment and having workers cut the clippings on the side of the road might be to costly. If the harvested kudzu was sold back to the government and then re-sold again to ethanol producers, then this would add extra cost. These projects need to be automated to keep costs as low as possible. More costs added, ethanol will cost more. I believe the goal for producing ethanol TO BE USED AS A FUEL, would be to have a product that would be affordable, overall less cost than gasoline and E85. Go Green Kudzu

  28. dingdong June 15, 2008 at 1:59 am #

    I am not certain but am told Kudzu control can be done with goats. Kudzu will die if cut very close to the ground and goats graze their food at ground level

  29. Valerie Coskrey June 15, 2008 at 6:47 pm #

    Just a thought on harvesting: What if the the kudzu was grown on a trellis like an umbrella or inverted J. Then the hanging strands could be cut frequently. A wisteria plant trimmed from its gazebo canopy is what gave me the idea.

  30. Valerie Coskrey June 15, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    Another comment: does kudzu make enough oil to be a biofuel oil?

  31. Wade June 16, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    I spent all weekend tearing this stuff up from my backyard. While I want to save the planet, if God, aliens, or giant octopuses came down and eradicated this stuff, I’d be OK with global warming….

  32. kron June 16, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    Seems like a pipe dream, but time will tell.

    Are they planning on collecting from the wild, or planting it? If planted it will displace crop production and still affect the food supply.

    Also, they speak of using the starch, then they are talking about cellulose. I know that ultimately they are both built from glucose, but the processing is very different.

  33. silencer June 16, 2008 at 7:53 pm #

    It is probably cheaper and easier to use dollar bills to make ethanol, instead of corn, a highly ineffective plant.
    The US government only does it so it can subsidize corn growers.

  34. Charlotte Fairchild June 17, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    Thanks chemicallygreen. I think you are the only one to check out my post. A lot of people checked out my blog when I mentioned kudzu as a food to plants for a future or pfaf. If we begin using cogon grass for ethanol, it might help our country a whole lot more than kudzu. The links on my site could help you, Doug, with your Go Green Kudzu. Especially http://www.kokudzu
    I am going to go drink some kudzu juice, with its 60 medicinal uses.

  35. chemicallygreen.com June 17, 2008 at 11:07 am #

    @DingDong: Thanks for the comments. Kudzu can be controlled by goats as long as they are fenced in. I have seen goats clean out a kudzu patch, but the patch did grow back. If you are talking about kudzu control on road sides and big areas of infestation, this could be dangerous for the goats.

  36. chemicallygreen.com June 17, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    @hempStalk: Thanks for your comment. When you figure out how to legalize hemp, let me know.

  37. chemicallygreen.com June 17, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    @Charlotte Fairchild: thank you for your comments. Appreciate you input and will have a future draft on: interview with Doug Mizell and updated information on kudzu ethanol.

  38. chemicallygreen.com June 17, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    @geteducated: thanks for the comments. I certainly agree with your position and statements to hempStalk.

  39. chemicallygreen.com June 19, 2008 at 9:33 am #

    @Valerie Coskrey: Thank you for your comments. It seems that it would take an awful lot of trellis to grow
    enough kudzu to produce massive amounts of ethanol.

  40. chemicallygreen.com June 19, 2008 at 10:28 am #

    @Valerie Coskey: Thanks again for your comments. Kudzu would be mainly used to make ethanol. I do not know about how much kudzu oil would be produced in processing, if any. However, will find out and pass information on to you. Be sure to watch for our updated draft coming soon on Kudzu ethanol after our interview with Doug Mizell.

  41. chemicallygreen.com June 19, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    @Wade: thank you for your comments. A lot of people feel the same way you do about kudzu. They hate it. After all it is the plant that ate the South.

  42. chemicallygreen.com June 19, 2008 at 6:00 pm #

    @Kron: Thanks for the comments. Kudzu has shown great promise for being a good main ingredient for making ethanol. Doug Mizell said no food products will be used in their operation. Look for an updated draft in this blog on kudzu ethanol. There is acreage not used for food products that kudzu might be grown on. Will let you know the plan in the near future. Watch for the update on Chemically Green. As you stated, “time will tell”

  43. chemicallygreen.com June 19, 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    @Silencer: Thanks for the comments. Corn is definitely a poor product to produce corn ethanol. The alcohol lobbists have blown smoke on our politicians and its looks like there will be little change in the subsidy money going to corn alcohol producers and farmers anytime soon.

  44. Valerie Wooden June 28, 2008 at 5:54 am #

    I am glad to read of the potential use of Kudzu for producing ethanol. Over twenty years ago, I read a book discussing the many uses of Kudzu: food, antibacterial, medicinal herb for aches and alcoholism, starch for prized confections, honey from the flowers (I have had it; it tastes like strawberries), using the vines to create baskets, separating the vines into filaments, then into threads, then to cloth to create the “cloth of three generations”; the Japanese used it to create cloth more durable than silk. Livestock fed with the leaves and roots can often go to market in 2/3 of the time; hogs can be used to contain the vines and roots as they often dig into the soil to reach the prized root structure. Rather that killing it with chemicals, I hope more will look at the Kudzu vine as a hearty, durable alternative to corn-derived ethanol, and introduce it carefully into areas which would normally lie fallow. The nutrients that the plant can reintroduce into the soil, may make it an alternative to other rotation crops.

  45. chemicallygreen.com June 28, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    @Valerie Wooden: Thanks for your comment. As oil and gasoline prices keep rising, Americans are going to have to realize that there will people who are willing to sacrifice and will come up with answers to America’s addiction to oil. It will take time and kudzu offers a solution to make ethanol without affecting our food costs. Corn ethanol, without government kick backs, has not worked out and how are you going to harvest this year’s corn crop when it is completed flooded and it may 2-3 weeks before the water levels drop. The corn has been destroyed. In a recent report, the USDA stated “that corn ethanol had only affected gasoline prices by $.04 cents per gallon. Uh, this is going backwards.

    Be sure to watch for the interview coming up shortly with Mr. Doug Mizell of Agro*Gas Industries LLC, A lot of people’s questions will be answered about using kudzu to make ethanol. Americans can do this without big government helping out.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

  46. Charlotte Fairchild June 30, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    The book mentioned about all the diverse uses of kudzu was probably by William Shurtleff, called the Book of Kudzu. It is out of print but available.

  47. chemicallygreen.com June 30, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    @Charlotte Fairchild: Thank you for your comments and the information about the book on kudzu.

  48. -Dr Bob Moore, algal biotechnologist, South Australia July 11, 2008 at 6:21 am #

    I’m all for it Dougey, after having read the article.
    I’ll let my coleagues know about it too.

  49. chemicallygreen.com July 15, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    @Game Changer: The Kudzu Farm: Thanks for your comments and reporting of this post on your blog.

  50. chemicallygreen.com July 15, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    @Dr. Bob Moore, Algal Biotechnologist: Bob thanks for your comments and your email. Please contact us in the future and let us know how your research is coming along. Wish you great success in your research and look forward to hearing from you.

  51. chemicallygreen.com July 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    @Johnny Manley:
    Thank you very much for your kind comments. I agree, a lot of people want to ask questions that are not very important to the core information presented. The U.S. Congress has got to re-open the corn ethanol debate and take the kickback moneys for corn ethanol and start pumping some of these dollars into biofuels made via non-food products. This is the reason Chemically Green is supporting the non-corn, non-soy biofuels. The biofuels will need to be produced on a regional basis and sold to local distributors. This process will need to be done in all the states, not just the mid-west to help maintain low shipping costs. How much does it cost to ship a full tanker load of E85 or 10% ethanol/90 gasoline from the mid-west to Atlanta, Georgia? Be sure to watch for the video interview with Doug Mizell: Why Kudzu? which will be posted to CG on
    Wednesday, 7/16/08. You will find this a very informal but informative interview. Go Kudzunol and Biofuels.

  52. chemicallygreen.com July 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm #

    @Johnny Manley: I also wanted to say that many companies are working on biofuels (no food products used) that are using there own money and might not want government help. My hat if off to these folks and if we can help them in any way to get their message out, please let CG know. We would like to feature their company on a future post.

  53. Jean-Paul Gagnon July 15, 2008 at 9:30 pm #

    To Johnny Manley: It’s unfortunate that you have targeted an honest question as some form of anti-environmental stance. To reassure you, I am an avid environmentalist and a PhD researcher quite interested in the applications of non-food derived gas alternatives. Knowing the answers to the cost-burdens of producing ethanol is important, as you can imagine, to creating a realistic technological proposal for governments and industry. Such is why I asked.

  54. Jean-Paul Gagnon July 16, 2008 at 7:52 pm #

    To Mr. Manley: No worries, I figured that it was just a case of misunderstanding. I should really try to convey my senses a bit better online in forums, etc. It’s hard sometimes when you are really busy and can only drop a quick line.

    I am interested primarily in the use of non-food based alternatives to oil on federal levels or integrated micro-managed productions in regional localities. My PhD is in political science, I am researching ways to improve democracy, but my undergraduate had a minor in environmental science and I’m really interested in the future implications of a green economy for developing countries. If Kudzu could be combined with other endemic fuel availabilities in a country then it could definitely help reduce the cost of producing energy and maybe free up some surplus income for people living a subsistence lifestyle. Who knows…it’s all really just to help further the human condition and protect the fascinating natural systems of our world.

    I would have to see what your paper is on in terms of collaboration, but I would definitely like to take a look.

    Hope your MBA is progressing well,

    – Jean-Paul

  55. J Calvin Withrow September 15, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    i live in cleveland would like to join your team in producing our couhtry an alternative fuel.please cohtact.

  56. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com September 15, 2008 at 6:07 pm #

    @ J Calvin Withrow: Thanks for the comment. You will have to send me an email with your phone number and address so I can contact you. Please go to the contact page and send me your info so I can contact you.

  57. Charlotte Fairchild September 15, 2008 at 9:15 pm #

    I just posted a kudzu crock pot chocolate cake with flax meal instead of eggs, and a frosting on the bottom. http://www.kudzus.blogspot.com

  58. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com September 16, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    @Charlotte Fairchild: Thanks for the update and save me a piece of cake. I have a person that would like to discuss kudzu with you. I will forward your site to them.

  59. bryon December 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    I am having trouble finding the enzyme that breaks down kuzdu starch to sugar before I distill it. Anybody know a cheap source ? This is for a school project , not a business .

  60. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com December 8, 2008 at 10:16 am #

    @bryon: Thanks for your comments.
    Bryon, I recommend you contact Doug Mizell at Agro*Gas Industries LLC. You can reach Doug at; 423-716-4357.
    Currently, specialty enzymes are being formulated by enzyme companies for biomass such as kudzu. Hope this helps and good luck on your project.

  61. Claire Bailey December 16, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    So how do we invest in this?

  62. J Manley December 16, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    @Claire Bailey: At what level are you considering investing?

  63. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com December 16, 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    @Claire Bailey: At what level are you considering investing?
    If you are interested in investing, Chemically Green suggests you contact Doug Mizell via email:

    PLease be sure to check out Chemically Green’s latest post on: Kudzunol, will it finally become a reality.
    Being published this afternoon.

  64. J Manley December 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    @ChemicallyGreen.com (Doug) – I have been trying to get some Kudzu to experiment with it here in SE Texas and perhaps other drier areas since it doesn’t require as much water as corn. I am interested in learning more about CG’s interest in Kudzu producers creating raw material for the Kudzunol plant(s). Also, what other non-food ag products can be leveraged. Teh Kroger grovery chain is providing E85 at the pump. I would really like to see the Kudzunol logo repalce the corn cob on those pumps.

  65. J Manley December 16, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    Please pardon the typos, I must have gotten excited!

    The Kroger grocery chain…
    Kudzunol logo replace…

  66. LCaughman December 17, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    I know it’s been over 6 months since you made the comment but I wanted to go ahead and make a reply for the benefit of other readers as well.
    What I am referring to is the part where you said
    “Are they planning on collecting from the wild, or planting it? If planted it will displace crop production and still affect the food supply.”
    While they may start out harvesting from the wild, I’m certain they will begin planning on planting crops for future harvest. In that plan, they could use the farms that the government pays to keep unused so that there isn’t a surplus that throws off the commodity market and therefore kudzo farming would not hurt the market either.

  67. J Manley December 18, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    @LCaughman – I would submit that land that is currently not used for farming (marginally suitable or unsuitable) could be utilized for Kudzu as well.

    Do you know a source for obtaining live Kudzu samples?

  68. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com December 18, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    @JManley: thanks for the comments. Currently, kudzu that is already growing on lands will be utilized. There maybe plans in the future for growing kudzu on farms that has marginally or unsuitable land.

    How much live samples of kudzu to you need? Please go to the Chemically Green contact page and send me an email with your address and we will get a dialog started.

  69. Charlotte Fairchild December 18, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    Google has 2 million sites for kudzu food.

  70. J. Manley December 18, 2008 at 8:14 pm #

    Well, minor setback for transporting Kudzu here:
    (but not from here…)
    Kudzu is regulated by the Texas Administrative Code, Title 4, Part 1, Chapter 19, Subchapter T, rule 19.3:
    “(b) Unless permitted by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife Code §66.007 or by the Texas Department of Agriculture, a person commits an offense under the Texas Agriculture Code, §71.152, if the person sells, distributes or imports into the state the plants listed in subsection (a) of this section in any live form.

  71. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com December 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    @J.Manley. Thanks for your interest and comments on kudzu ethanol.
    Jay, keep up the good work. Where there is a will, there is a way. Is kudzu listed on the list of plants that cannot be imported into the state of Texas?

  72. Robert Obrochta December 25, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    I like the whole concept of using kudzu for ethanol production. I would like to know if special yeasts are required to ferment the mash. Where does one obtain the recipe and the yeast? I thought that Hydrilla(noxious fresh water weed) should be tried as a free fermentable to make ethanol about 40 years ago but had no way of trying it. I also think that a viable industry could be made producing home stills for ethanol production if that is possible. Inform me please. thanks

  73. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com December 26, 2008 at 12:29 pm #

    @RobertObrochata: Thanks for the comments. There are special yeast and enzymes being developed for fermentation and if you contact one of these companies, they will design an enzyme mixture for you. Currently, we are not using these products for fermentation of the kudzu.

  74. Dan December 29, 2008 at 7:01 am #


  75. Perry A. Chapdelaine, Sr. January 9, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    My wife and I visited Doug Mizell, and we were quite impressed with his foresight and forthrightness. We’re looking forward to his great success — and yes! Doug does recognize the many obstacles. Hat’s off to Doug and his crew!!

  76. J Manley January 9, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    @Chemically Green: Yes, Kudzu cannot be imported (sold, distributed, or imported) “into the state.” However, I have found that there are native stands in the Columbus, Colorado River area. The quandary I am considering now is that Kudzu is “cow-friendly”, but what about Jatropha Curcas? the seeds are poisonous to humans, but what about bovines? Farmers may consider raising Kudzu in cow pastures, but if the cows must be segregated from the Jatropha we have a different set of issues.

    Also, there is a biodiesel refinery here in Houston using a soy/corn blend and offering it at the pump for $2.39/gallon. “Houston Biodiesel educates about, retails, wholesales, and promotes the use of clean, renewable, non-toxic, domestically produced biodiesel in diesel engines. We are NOT a producer! We sell quality biodiesel that exceeds (ASTM) D-6751 specifications.” Houstonbiodiesel.com

    I feel more engines are convertible to ethanol than diesel and provide better performance characteristics. However, as biodiesel becomes more available, more diesels may be developed for smaller vehicles.

  77. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com January 9, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    @JManley: Thanks for your follow up comments and interest in biofuels. Jatropha is being grown on wastelands and land that would not support corn or other substrates for fuels and I don’t think farmers would be running cattle in Jatropha growing areas.

    What are exactly your plans for producing a biofuel in your area?

    Jatropha, if started from seeds, will take 2-3 years to produce fruit. Jatropha is currently being evaluated and grown in your state. I do not know the companies.
    Biodiesel is being processed to take the place of conventional petroleum diesel.

    It is true, more cars are getting flex fuel engines for ethanol/gasoline blends, but older cars will not be able to run E85 ethanol. Another problem with E85 is availability of fuel and pricing in many areas. I recently purchased gas in South Carolina and there was an E85 pump and the price was the same for gas vs E85, $1.63/gallon. Most people would buy the gasoline with 10% ethanol blended in than buy the E85 because of mileage per gallon. Ethanol’s mpg is not so good.

    Also, Americans are not buying the small cars. In December suvs and pickup trucks were the number one selling vehicles in the U.S. Sales of hybrids and small cars dropped like a rock. Toyota Prius sales were down 48% and there is a glut of imported cars setting in the U.S. ports. Check out the current CG post about this subject.

    Also, if gas prices continue to stay under $2.00/gallon, most people are going to buy gasoline because of the cost and the current economic situation and 3 more ethanol plants were shut down this week and one plant put in mothballs.
    Hope this information has been helpful and if CG can be of any further service, please contact us.

  78. J Manley January 9, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    @Chemically Green: You’re welcome! Thank you for your pioneering efforts as well.

    “Jatropha is being grown on wastelands and land that would not support corn or other substrates for fuels and I don’t think farmers would be running cattle in Jatropha growing areas. What are exactly your plans for producing a biofuel in your area?”

    Land that is essentially unused or dormant could support Jatropha “orchards” providing the lessor with alternative income and the lessee biofuel feedstocks. Same idea with Kudzu.

    ” but older cars will not be able to run E85 ethanol.”

    I respectfully disagree, I am running a 1968 427cid Chevrolet on Ethanol and Drag racers have been using methanol for decades. Complete fuel systems are available to convert any gasoline vehicle ever built to safely and reliably run ethanol. They are simply not “EPA” (Big Oil) approved for retrofit.

    You do have a valid point that older fuel system seals, fuel pump & carburetor diaphragms and other natural rubber parts are not compatible and must be upgraded, like the FlexFuel vehicles are now using from the factory. The fuel system must also be recalibrated for the 40% increase in fuel volume required by ethanol which as you point out, reduces the mileage significantly and ergo, the cost savings.

    However, there is research on an enrichment “gas” that increases the efficiency of the ethanol about 40%. Now we are competitive with gasoline again. Actually, I can run the 11.25:1 CR in my big block with supercharging on ethanol (105 octane) where I can’t with today’s poor-grade, dirty gasoline (octane 93).

    A complete ethanol fuel system could cost as little as:
    Tank adapter – $75.00
    Braided fuel lines and fittings – $200.00
    Alcohol Fuel Pump – $100.00
    Ethanol calibrated carburetor – $700.00

    Upgrade to Digital Fuel Injection – ~$3,500.00 more but you get the ability to switch between ethanol and gasoline (Flex). “Gas” enrichment systems to improve efficiency add about another $100 to $200.

    I am researching a market for vehicles that dispense with expensive, non-functional features such as interior and exterior trim plastics, delicate upholstery and other expensive, luxury appointments like air bags and backup cameras. Build the car like a race vehicle, a spartan but highly-effective, lightweight, energy-absorbing chassis with a green-powered combustion engine. No, it’s not for the Lexus and Mercedes crowd. It’s for people who need to get from “A” to “B” inexpensively and in some cases, very quickly, using renewable, eco-friendly fuels and want to pay cash for a vehicle, instead of 5 to 6 years of interest.

    Envision a hybrid between a Harley Sportster or a Jeep, and an AC Cobra or a Wrightspeed Electric with a blown alcohol, “gas”-enriched or a biodiesel engine instead of electric power.

    Thanks for your support!

  79. brian nolan January 10, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    I would like to know how to get started in making it.And can you make diesel out of it.

  80. J Manley January 13, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    @Brian Nolan: Which “it” are you referring to Brian? Kudzunol or biodiesel. Kudzunol is ethanol made from Kudzu. Of course there are other feedstocks for ethanol, e.g. corn.

    Biodiesel has a variety of feedstocks as well including used food fryer grease (ewww!), rapeseed, oil palm, and jatropha curcas.

    You cannot make biodiesel out of ethanol, but you can make biodiesel using ethanol. Diesel engines run extremely high compression and the fuel is far less volatile in it’s atmospheric state than gasoline or ethanol. [Bio]Diesel is essentially an oil pressurized (injectors) and compressed (cylinders) to the point of combustion. Ignition is accomplished and controlled through injector timing.

    Ethanol, methanol, gasoline, etc. are very aromatic and volatile, require far less compression, and a timed spark (ignition). Ethanol and methanol perform better with high compression (11:1 and higher) and can even be run in supercharged engines with those compression ratios (E.g. blown, alcohol drag racers). The downside is that it takes 40% more alcohol by volume than gasoline. However, there is research to provide a “gas” enrichment to overcome that.

    There are a lot of online sites providing instructions on distilling ethanol from feedstocks (similar to bootlegging stills). Biodiesel is made by pressing the feedstock (E.g. jatropha seeds) and “transesterification.”

    Biodiesel production is the act of producing the biofuel, biodiesel, through either transesterification or alcoholysis. The process involves reacting vegetable oils or animal fats catalytically with a short-chain aliphatic alcohols (typically methanol or ethanol).

    Interesting… yes?

  81. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com January 14, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    @Brian Nolan: Thanks for your questions and comments.
    J Manley sent you information on making ethanol and biodiesel.
    Are you looking to make ethanol or if you are looking to make biodiesel, there are several companies making biodiesel in our area from soy bean oil or they are buying methyl soyate and making biodiesel from this product.
    What quantities are you taking about and are you mainly interested in biodiesel?

    Chemically Green has had a lot of people call about making biodiesel but once these folks looked into the process, they decided costs would be to high to justify making. If you buy raw materials in small quantities, this will affect your price due to higher raw material costs. Also, there are issues with by products that are produced during the process and there are hazardous chemicals involved with making the biodiesel that would require EPA hazmat training to use these chemicals. Please let CG know if we can be of any further assistance and you need any actual starting formulations.

  82. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com January 14, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    @JManley: Thanks again for all your comments. I was pretty sure that kudzu would not be allowed in your state.
    I don’t think the average car driver would want to make an ethanol conversion on their older cars and where would they buy the ethanol or E85? There are about 24 E85 service stations in Georgia and Tennessee and driving 85-120 miles (from Dalton, Ga.) to purchase E85 doesn’t warrant the ride and the cost.

    Please notice the distribution map of kudzu at the top of this post. Kudzu is growing in the eastern part of the Texas.

  83. J Manley January 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    @ Chem Green: You’re welcome! I find this topic fascinating. The DoA doesn’t allow “import” of Kudzu from other states; but, I found no legislation about transplanting and cultivating “intrastate.” I am researching a “hazardous” permit type of license to cultivate it quasi-commercially.

    True, the average driver “today” would probably not want to convert; however, the near future may present a new market of economy/performance drivers AND it can be used to process biodiesel.

    We can get E85 at virutally every Kroger (grocery) store in the Houston area. It’s as easy to get as gasoline and easier than methanol or race gas.

    Yes, I found a tourist site that described Kudzu stands in Columbus, Texas which is about 70 miles *west* of Houston. It’s probably everywhere if I can just get out and explore.

  84. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com January 15, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    @JManley: Thanks again for your comments and input. How much is E85 selling for in your state?
    The US might have to start changing over older cars to burn ethanol, but again this might be slow in becoming a fact.

    Great idea about intrastate growing of kudzu and you are already checking into this.

    I found out today that oil filled tankers are staying at sea instead of bringing oil to the US ports. They are waiting for the price of oil to increase.

    Again, America has started with bio fuels, but where will the search end up? Ethanol is not the answer for the long term, even when using cellulose as the biomass.
    Time will tell

  85. J Manley January 15, 2009 at 12:43 pm #

    @ChemicallyGreen: Again, you’re very welcome! It’s fascinating stuff!… at least to us. 🙂

    Typically the price/gal for E85 trails regular gas at about 75%. When one factors in the 40% additional volume requirement, E85 is theoretically more expensive. However, I don’t have empirical data from anyone driving a flex fuel vehicle comparing actual mileage of E10 versus E85. We know it’s different, but is it actually approaching the theoretical 40% difference? I can’t afford to build or buy a Digital Fuel Injection system capable of switching on the fly; however, I may be able to use two carbs, one engine and compare 93 octane E10 with E85 by physically switching carbs. Kludgy, but reasonably valid.

    RE: Tankers
    That’s what I believe will be the hardest part of green fuels, the ability of Big Oil to manipulate the price and impose propaganda and price wars until they can take control of the green market; but, that’s a different topic.

    RE: Biofuels toehold
    My interest started with an economical racing fuel. High Octane Racing gas is $6.00+ per gallon and so is methanol. Home brewed ethanol is 105 octane and around $2 a gallon done efficiently? Cheap racing. My point being there’s definitely a niche market for it; but I agree, it will probably be obsoleted in the mainstream by electric power and biodiesel because neither of which are “performance-oriented” which is considered synonymous with “green.” True, there are performance diesels, but they are extremely huge (mostly trucks).

    I’m thinking a small lightweight chassis with a “consumer-class” diesel like a V-6 Jeep or Mercedes type, with turbo or supercharging and perhaps “gas” enrichment.
    The Kudzunol would still be needed to help in the transesterification process of the biodiesel and of course… weekend racing.

    The real question is will Americans cotton to the idea of a biodiesel processor in the garage or backyard to fuel the family fleet? There are processors on the market that produce up to 80 gallons a day, you just need the feedstock. Ok, a few acres for Jatropha and Kudzu and perhaps one can return to the Jeffersonian freedom ideals of reducing dependence on tyrants (greedy, manipulating capitalists [Big Oil, OPEC,], credit [Big Banking] and employers) while making our air cleaner.

    A new Independence Day?

  86. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com January 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    @JManley Thanks again for the comments. We are going to have to stop meeting like this. People are talking.
    J., how many Americans have $10,000 to fork out for a 80 gallon ethanol system? I have seen the system. Some people will buy it but gas prices will have to get back to $4.00/gallon range to help pay for the initial investment.There are other complete ethanol distillation systems, but very expensive. Since, I am in the chemical business, I can make my own ethanol with our equipment, but a lot of hoops to go through and I would have to get permits from the feds to do so.

    Heck, the cars you are talking about are being produced by Ford in the EU, but the autos cannot meet current US emission requirements. If the EU is so eat up about reducing their carbon footprint(which they are having a difficult time meeting original Kyoto requirements), then maybe they are smarter than we are.

    Seems the EU is buying these cars. Hey, I am 100% for getting off of oil and having alternative fuels. Ethanol will be around but its just a band aid. Will cellulose ethanol be the answer, have to wait and see. Lot of research going on but can the distillers get enough biomass to meet our requirements. Don’t think so. So, lots of different processes will have to come on stream if we are to cut oil use dramatically in the Us.

    A niche market for ethanol used in race cars. Get’er’done, but buy a lot of product liability insurance if you sell to other racers. I am just saying when you look into a venture like making your own ethanol is one thing, but trying to break into a niche market by selling this product, its a whole different ballgame.

  87. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com January 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    @JManley: Thanks again and good luck on your business ventures. At least you are asking questions and I have enjoyed your emails.

  88. Joe Laney January 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    What will this stuf do to the car engines or the gas lines or componants? I understand that ethanol is eating up the gas lines on engines, especilly on small engines, no one mentioned it before starting to make it,I was using it untill I had to replace the fuel lines on my lawn mower, weed eater, chain saw,garden tiller,and my wood spliter. Please tell me how safe this stuff is and if it will harm any thing and what kind of millage would you get on cars using it, I lost about 4-5 miles a gal on the ethanol.

  89. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com January 21, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    @Joe Laney: Thanks for your comments. Ethanol will be harmful to older lawnmower engines and automobiles that do not have flex fuel engines.

    The gasoline blends which are currently being sold currently contain 10% ethanol and seem to be o.k. to use in any engine. The E85 blends (85% ethanol will prove to be harmful to non flex fuel engines).

    If you will check out my post on: Ethanol is a Hazardous Chemical, I have a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) listed that spells out the hazards of ethanol. Ethanol is a flammable liquid and is a lot harder to extinguish than gasoline if a fire occurs.

    Using ethanol as a fuel, you will get less gas mileage. This is a proven fact.
    Ethanol will absorb moisture out of the air and when combined with moisture forms a weak acid and this is causing the corrosion in your gas lines and will affect your auto engine if not a flex fuel model.

  90. J Manley January 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    I tried to comment, but got an error…

  91. J Manley January 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    @Joe Laney: Hi Joe, what happens when you pour gasoline into some cheap, plastic container? It melts right before your eyes. Gasoline is well known for it volatility dangers and carcinogenic potential.

    Now, take the rubbing alcohol you have under the bathroom sink (the stuff you use on cotton balls to clean or disinfect a wound perhaps or pour in your kids ears to prevent infections) and pour it on natural rubber. It does the exact same thing as the gas did on the cheap plastic, no difference. Ethanol is as safe as the stuff you put in your ears or on scratches, disinfect before an injection at the doctor. It just dissolves natural rubber, no biggie; unless you have natural rubber o-rings or lines in your fuel system (mowers, edgers, et al). Use viton instead.

  92. J Manley January 21, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Ethanol, methanol (or even isopropyl) will do absolutely nothing to the fuel lines (steel or aluminum) in the car in spite of the propaganda you may have read. The problem with steel lines is that alcohol (ethanol, methanol, isopropyl, et al) are HYGROSCOPIC, meaning they are constantly absorbing or attracting moisture from the air. IF you don’t have a sealed fuel system, you get lots of water in the system and RUST and or aluminum oxidation inside the steel lines and carburetor or fuel injection components. The fuel system must be a closed system with alcohols. Drag racers use very small quantities of methanol from sealed containers for racing.

  93. J Manley January 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    Of course you lost “mileage”. It takes 40% more alcohol by volume than gasoline on the same engine. This is the FlexFuel propaganda. If and engine is tuned for gasoline and you adjust ONLY the volume, you will use 40% more ethanol than gas. The CORRECT method is to optimize the engine for alcohol by increasing the static and/or dynamic compression ratios.

    To increase static compression you must physically modify the engine ( combinations of pistons, crankshaft, rods, heads, etc. not all would have to be changed). Dynamic compression can be changed by aftermarket, bolt-on superchargers or turbochargers.

    Alcohol loves compression and produces FAR MORE energy when properly “squeezed.” Check out any drag races and look for Blown Top Alcohol class cars. FlexFuel was an effort to discredit ethanol because of this (IMHO).

  94. J Manley January 21, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    Also there is a method of “gas” enrichment to overcome this 40% hickey on mileage; however, the gas has a detrimental effect on hardened steel during combustion (change materials, aluminum, alloy…) and more research is needed to determine how it reacts to high-compression engines. Also, it confuses the computer and it thinks the engine is running too lean so it fattens the mixture ruining the mileage. A better computer is required as well or a custom injection system. Most of this is beyond the scope of what “normal” folks want to or can do. However, motorsports enthusiasts have been doing it for years. Hey, isn’t that how all this got started anyway?

    Hope this helps.

  95. Miles February 1, 2009 at 3:36 am #

    J Manley, if you still are monitoring this site, write me at milescaughey@hotmail.com.

  96. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com February 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm #

    @Miles: Thanks for your comment. Miles, if Chemically Green can be of any assistance for you, please contact us. Just following up.

  97. Miles February 5, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    Mr Manley and ALL others,

    I just stumbled on this site looking for Fuel Injection info for my project car. While in Iraq in 2006 I figured I’d use the 105 octane in E-85 and build the cheapest high compression engine I could. I picked an ole 400 small block Chevy, bored out 60 thous, put in flat top pistons, thin head gaskets, and shaved some small 58cc heads with small vales with a RV pulling cam. It has a 500 cfm 4412 Holley 2bl jetted for E-85, and a high compression geared starter.
    It starts real easy even though it has a cranking compression rate of 270 psi at 500 ft and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I built this for economy, not speed.
    It idles great and runs even better. It is in a 79 Trans Am and has a Muncie four speed. I only got to run 2 mpg tests before getting sent to Afghanistan.
    It got 18 mpgs and I only timed the engine by turning the distributor by ear and checking it by performance.

    When I get back to Kentucky I plan on putting in a T5 world class 5 speed with overdrive, variable timing MSD system to go with the MSD HEI distributor, and make some Mickey mouse way to heat up the intake manifold. After that I plan on dropping it in a 62 Chevy II 2dr I got that weighs in at 2600 instead of 3800 that my Trans Am weighs. Also, hopefully it’ll keep me from going to jail for modifying the pollution control stuff. I hope to get at least 30 mps.

    After this, I plan on installing a Multi-Port or maybe a Throttle body FI to increase fuel efficiency and am seeking info or suggestions. I have a small farm with cattle and plan to make my own ethanol and feed the mash to my cows.

    Any suggestions to increase efficiency of this engine in my quest for America to be Energy Independent would be highly appreciated. Also, as a back yard shade tree mechanic willing to share what little info I done figured out so far.

    Thanks, Miles Caughey milescaughey@hotmail.

  98. josh June 2, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    so how do you make it.

  99. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com June 3, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    @Josh: Thanks for your comments. Very carefully.

  100. charlotte fairchild June 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm #

    It is just as easy as any moon shine is to make. Probably on a much larger scale. http://www.kokudzu.com can help with harvesting. Chemicallygreen, do you know how to make kudzu ethanol?

  101. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com June 8, 2009 at 9:08 am #

    @charlotte fairchild: Thanks for your comments. Yes, I do know how ethanol is made from kudzu.

    Somewhat simple process with a few tricks to have a clean solution without all the fibrous filaments remaining in the final solution before distillation. Are you asking me to tell you how to make ethanol from kudzu?

  102. charlotte fairchild June 8, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    Not really asking you to tell me. I just noticed your comment to Josh on message 109. I have a blog I mentioned, and 4-H students who are conducting experiments are looking at all of these sites/blogs so I try to have a little fun as you did with Josh, but also put in a little explanation, just in case the person wants to learn. You have a great blog.

  103. Chris Henderson October 3, 2009 at 4:12 am #

    I’m not surprised to find out that other individuals believe that kudzu is a great resource for an alternative fuel. I convey my own personal studies and research on kudzu at Auburn University. It would be great to learn more about this from others who have spent countless hours studying this plant.

  104. charlotte fairchild October 4, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    Auburn has connections to http://www.kokudzu.com or org. The Experiment Station offers a 3 hour course with a certificate (Kudzu Kollege).

    Some of the biggest finds won’t be published. The Great Leap Forward in China entailed the country taking family farming implements, and more than 30,000,000 may have starved to death over a five year period because of this. China has had kudzu for millions of years, and the boll weavil doesn’t need to control kudzu in a country that uses this food resource. But this is not official knowledge from China. It was told to a scientist who told me.

  105. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com October 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    @Chris Henderson: Thanks for your comments and other comments made via Chemically Green email.

    I would like to take time and discuss with you about your research work with kudzu. We can certainly share some ideas and there is a process that Kudznol people have developed to make ethanol from kudzu. But the biggest problem is getting money to fund their operations.
    This process has its merits, but logistics will pose a problem and where you will build processing plants to harvest the kudzu to produce ethanol.

    Please email me with a phone number or email address and I will get in touch with you. Really look forward to talking to you. Maybe you might have some ideas about funding.
    Auburn and Georgia both need a football fix after this weekend, especially Georgia.

  106. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com October 11, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    @charlotte fairchild: Thanks for your latest comments.

    On one of your previous contacts, you were interested in doing some experiments with kudzu. Please forgive me for being a little coy about my comments. How may I help you with your work on kudzu or if I can be of help to you and your 4H students, please let me know. Maybe they have some projects they might want to work on and I may be of help.
    A main issue for making ethanol from kudzu is the separation of sugars from the ethanol. My understanding that some folks have tried or are looking at enzymes for this process. I cannot give any information in this area because I do not have any at this time.
    Please elaborate on the kudzu being used in China as a food source. Am I right about this based on your comments?
    Thanks for the kudzu website and look forward to hearing from you.

  107. charlotte fairchild October 11, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    Kudzu was used as a food source during the Great Leap Forward in China, but that is off the record. It isn’t documented anywhere in China. A scientist told me that scientists told her while she was there. If you ask Chinese people how they manage kudzu, they will tell you no one poisons it. It is managed by digging the roots and using them for food and arrowroot type thickeners. Juanita Baldwin, and William Shurtleff are the main sources of English research with recipes as well as assays from the US Agriculture Dept. I do not work with 4H yet. I have talked to several people.

  108. Johnny Manley October 12, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    There is another issue with Kudzu, it is classified as a noxious weed in many states and import is prohibited. I believe this was discussed already and perhaps it was suggested the laws could be repealed eventually; however, I would expect the BIG Oil lobby to vehemently oppose it. Overcoming these obstacles, I would definitely consider raising Kudzu plantations along with jatropha curcas since we can use the ethanol to produce biodiesel.

  109. WDALUSA October 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    Regarding Charlotte Fairchild’s comment “Kudzu was used as a food source during the Great Leap Forward in China, but that is off the record. It isn’t documented anywhere in China.”, the reason is that the records of the Great Leap Forward or the Great Cultural Revolution are banned by the Chinese communist regime from publishing, and Chinese scholars are discouraged from conducting any research on those periods of social upheavals. I worked in the academic circle in China before I came to North America, so I knew such rules existed from the propaganda department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s central government. Because once those records were publicized, the miserable memories of the Chinese people who were deeply suffered from the terrible leftist policies of the CCP in the 60’s would re-surface. The government knows it is not ideal to the CCP’s power and control if people keep coming across with the records in the 60’s. All the government endeavors is for people to forget those atrocious records. They have became an untouchable taboo of the CCP. The records have been removed as completely as possible from the official documents or censored from the public domains. This is why you do not see them almost anywhere in China.

  110. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com October 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    @WDALUSA: Thank you for your comments and adding to this discussion. If you have any more information you would like to add to these thoughts, please do.

  111. Jason Jackson March 5, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    There are other benefits as well, such as According to the US Dept. of Agriculture,

    “A separate study by Ziska and colleagues also found that wild kudzu—an aggressive vine species imported from Asia to control soil erosion—stands in Alabama and Georgia could produce 5 to 10 tons of carbohydrate per hectare, which would rival carbohydrate production from corn and sugar cane fields, but without the costs associated with planting, fertilizer and pesticides. This would rival carbohydrate production from corn and sugar cane fields, but without the costs associated with planting, fertilizer and pesticides.”

    Also, other plants are an option too when it comes to low, or poor quality water, and high yields, such as Arundo donax:

    “Arundo donax – 11,000 L/ha
    Corn – 4,400 L/ha
    Sugarcane – 8,800 L/ha
    Switchgrass – 4,600 L/ha”

  112. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com May 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    @Jason Jackson: Thank u for your comments. Kudzu has a lot of potential for making ethanol, but it is just not feasible due to difficulty in harvesting the plant.

  113. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com May 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Utilize Part 1 << Kiki Brown Bear: Thank u for your comments.

  114. chris August 1, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    why not try planting it in old unused parking lots put a layer of topsoil 3 feet deep and let it grow itll become root bound but if you havest it and leave a few cutings to regrow it should work.

  115. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com August 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    @christphrmurray@yahoo.com: Thanks for the comments. Where do u suggest we start and how many parking lots would be needed. Kudzu has an extremely deep root system and once the roots get establised be hard to dig up. If u destroy the roots, u also destroy the plant. U would not have to leave cuttings, cold weather would kill the leaves, but warm weather brings it to life the next summer. The kudzu program has been completely researched and the harvesting of the plant is very difficult. If Congress does not approve the ethanol subsidies this year, will be tough road for ethanol producers.

  116. jeff September 28, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    During the process do you just use the leaves or stems and leaves? I have a great idea for removing stems and leaves in a very easy way as well as removing leaves alone. I have cleared about 1 acre of it by hand in my yard but figured a way to make it much easier and would like to distill on a small bases

  117. James November 29, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    do cows eat kudzu vine?


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