Hexas Biomass

Our initial non-wood biomass is called Xano Grass™ and was developed from ecotypes of giant reed. Xano Grass™ is perennial, fast growing, yields 25-35 dry tons of biomass per acre year-over-year, is highly pest resistant, grows in different climates and soil types, tolerates drought, and has low ecological demand. Xano Grass™ can substitute or supplement wood and fossil fuel in multiple applications. Learn more about the benefits and uses of Xano Grass.

Hexas’ Xano Grass™ is a type of perennial grass approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as bioenergy crop that meets the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS). The EPA has determined that renewable fuels made from Xano Grass™ meet the life cycle greenhouse gas reduction requirements for renewable cellulosic biofuel under the RFS Program. According to the EPA, Xano Grass™ yields three (3) times as much cellulosic ethanol per acre as corn. In biofuel applications, e.g., ethanol, biogas, and biodiesel, Xano Grass™ produces lower greenhouse gas emissions throughout its economic life cycle than other EPA approve biomass crops.

Xano Grass™ is composed of 31% cellulose, 35% hemicellulose, and 18% lignin.

Xano Grass™ burns at about 8,000 BTU/pound in direct combustion. When torrefied, Xano Grass™ burns at 10,400 BTU/pound and has significantly higher energy densities than other bioenergy crops such as switchgrass (7,741 BTU/lb.), wheat straw (7,978 BTU/lb.), and hybrid poplar (8,178 BTU/lb.).

Xano Grass™ is a sterile perennial grass that does not produce viable seeds. It propagates via its rhizomes and stem portion of its stalk. Xano Grass™ is expensive to produce at commercial volumes using standard propagation techniques. Hexas’ proprietary propagation system allows us to rapidly propagate plantations of Xano Grass™ plants for very low costs and to maximize biomass yield to meet commercial scale production requirements. Our Xano Grass™ production costs are less than the production costs for other bioenergy crops, including sugar cane, for example, as Xano Grass™ has low water and fertilizer requirements and does not require pesticide use, among other advantages.

Xano Grass™ is a premier carbon credit crop as it sequesters up to 8.5 tons of carbon per acre annually. Xano Grass™ sequesters carbon by absorbing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. This carbon is stored by the rhizome below ground and the soil. Other forms of biomass, such as forests or non-food crops (i.e., switchgrass and sugarcane), sequester carbon but fail to measure to up the carbon sequestration capabilities of Xano Grass™. Xano Grass™ also is a nitrogen fixer.

Hexas uses and promotes the use of environmentally conscious farming-lifecycle techniques to produce feedstock from Xano Grass™ and other non-wood biomass feedstocks. To reduce transportation costs to customers’ facilities and minimize our carbon footprint, Hexas grows Xano Grass™ near customers’ production facilities. Hexas can grow our Xano Grass™ in nearly all soil types, including on high salinity and marginal land. Hexas’ has ecotypes of Xano Grass™ that are cold tolerant and produce more biomass that other ecotypes of giant reed.