Bioenergy from permanent grassland - a review: 1. Biogas

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Prochnow, A., Heiermann, M., Plochl, M., Linke, B., Idler, C., Amon, T. and Hobbs, P. J. 2009. Bioenergy from permanent grassland - a review: 1. Biogas. Bioresource Technology. 100 (21), pp. 4931-4944.

AuthorsProchnow, A., Heiermann, M., Plochl, M., Linke, B., Idler, C., Amon, T. and Hobbs, P. J.

Grassland biomass is suitable in numerous ways for producing energy. It is well established as feedstock for biogas production. The aim of this review is to summarize current knowledge on suitability and sustainability of grassland biomass for anaerobic digestion. In the first section grassland management for biogas feedstock as well as specifics of harvest, postharvest and digestion technology are described. Methane yields from grass are influenced by many factors. While the effects of some parameters such as grass species, cutting period and management intensity can be regarded as well known, other parameters such as preservation and processing still need investigation. In the second section economic aspects and environmental impacts are discussed. Profitability can be achieved depending on grass silage supply costs and the concept of anaerobic digestion and energy use. Grassland biomass for biogas production competes with other feedstock and other forms of grassland use, in particular animal husbandry. In developed countries a growing production of milk and meat is achieved with decreasing ruminant numbers, resulting in an increasing amount of surplus grassland with a remarkable bioenergy potential. In emerging and developing countries a rapidly rising demand for and production of milk and meat induce growing pressure on grasslands, so that their use for animal feed presumably will take priority over use for bioenergy. Grasslands provide a variety of essential environmental benefits such as carbon storage, habitat function, preservation of ground and surface water quality. When producing biogas from grassland these benefits will remain or even grow, providing appropriate grassland management is implemented. In particular, greenhouse gas emissions can be considerably reduced.

Keywordsgrassland; bioenergy; anaerobix digestion; biogas
Year of Publication2009
JournalBioresource Technology
Journal citation100 (21), pp. 4931-4944
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderEuropean Union
Funder project or codeNorth Wyke Research (NWR)
European Biogas Initiative to improve the yield of agricultural biogas plant (AGRO-BIOGAS)
Project: 6623
Publisher's version
Copyright license
Publisher copyright
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Jul 2009
Publication process dates
Accepted26 May 2009
PublisherElsevier Sci Ltd

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