Bioenergy from permanent grassland - a review: 2. Combustion

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Prochnow, A., Heiermann, M., Plochl, M., Amon, T. and Hobbs, P. J. 2009. Bioenergy from permanent grassland - a review: 2. Combustion. Bioresource Technology. 100 (21), pp. 4945-4954.

AuthorsProchnow, A., Heiermann, M., Plochl, M., Amon, T. and Hobbs, P. J.

The aim of this review is to summarize current knowledge on suitability and sustainability of grassland biomass for combustion. In the first section grassland management for solid biofuel as well as information on harvest, postharvest and firing technology are described. An extensive grassland management system with one late cut and low level of fertilization is favored for grass as a solid biofuel. The grass harvest usually involves drying in the field and clearing with conventional farm machinery. Pelleting or briquetting improves the biofuel quality. Grass combustion is possible as stand-alone biomass-firing or co-firing with other fuels. Firing herbaceous biomass requires various specific adaptations of the different combustion technologies. In the second section economic and environmental aspects are discussed. Costs for biomass supply mainly depend on yields and harvesting technologies, while combustion costs are influenced by the size and technical design of the plant. Market prices for grass and possible subsidies for land use are crucial for profitability. Regarding biogeochemical cycles a specific feature of combustion is the fact that none of the biomass carbon and nitrogen removed at harvest is available for return to the grassland. These exports can be compensated for by fixation from the air given legumes in the vegetation and sufficient biomass production. Greenhouse gas emissions can be considerably reduced by grass combustion. Solid biofuel production has a potential for predominantly positive impacts on biodiversity due to the extensive grassland management.

Keywordsbioenergy; combustion; grassland; perennial energy grasses
Year of Publication2009
JournalBioresource Technology
Journal citation100 (21), pp. 4945-4954
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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