Manure and energy crops for biogas production

Status and barriers

image of Manure and energy crops for biogas production

This study has evaluated the development of biogas technology in three Nordic countries and analysed the effects of using nine model energy crops in biogas plants. The study compares the global warming impacts and the energy balance for the nine crops used for heat and power production. The energy balances and impacts on greenhouse gases of the studied crops differ between the countries. In Sweden and Denmark, the same crops turned out to be the most promising in terms of energy yield and impact on greenhouse gases. In general, the same crops that score high in terms of energy yield also score high in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases. Based on the examined parameters, it can be concluded that the most promising crops are Jerusalem artichoke, beets, maize, and, in Finland, reed canary grass as well.



Energy balances

The system boundaries applied in the analyze include handling and transport of the crops and operation of biogas plants. The calculations included the production of inputs used in these processes, such as, chemical fertilizers, and vehicles and machinery used for transport and handling of raw materials. The crops included in the analyses are considered to be cultivated primarily for biogas production purposes. Hence, the energy needed and the environmental impact of cultivation and harvesting are included in the analyses. Chemical fertilizers were assumed to be used in the cultivation of crops. Digestate could be used to replace chemical fertilizers, however this study has been limited to not include the digestate use in the field. The modelling of each crop has been based on a total balance of one hectare of land


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