Members of the plant family Lemnaceae (duckweeds) are not only interesting because they represent the smallest flowering plants; they possess also the fastest rates of producing biomass. As aquatic plants, duckweed production is not in competition with other agricultural crops that require fertile land while the cultivation of duckweeds does not contribute to further eutrophication of surface water. Instead, they can be cultivated on municipal or agricultural waste water and remove the nutrients during their propagation and growth. Duckweeds can thus be used for cleaning of waste water and the resulting biomass can be valuable starting material for animal feeds and the production of biofuels. Research focusing on these goals has begun to transfer from research laboratories to pilot plants in different parts of the world, e.g. in New Jersey and North Carolina, USA; Chengdu, P. R. China; and Armidale, Australia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)