Traditional crop varieties are adapted to low inputs of fertilizers,
pesticides, and water. The authors tested
the suitability of traditional maize varieties as solid biofuel, cultivating traditional maize varieties without pesticides and
irrigation and then measuring the heating value, the ash content, and the elemental
composition. Results show that plants harvested at
maturity, 150 days after sowing, have about 10 % more biomass and
20–30 % less ash, N, K, and Cl than plants harvested 115 days after
sowing. Traditional maize varieties can
produce an energy of 15–23 · 104 MJ/ha.
These findings demonstrate that traditional maize cultivation can be
optimized to increase the efficiency of biomass production and to reduce
the environmental impact.