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Energies 2012, 5(9), 3198-3217; doi:10.3390/en5093198
Article

Energy from Agricultural and Animal Farming Residues: Potential at a Local Scale

1,2,*  and 1
Received: 31 May 2012; in revised form: 11 August 2012 / Accepted: 16 August 2012 / Published: 28 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels 2012)
Download PDF [3014 KB, uploaded 28 August 2012]
Abstract: Animal wastes from high-density farming have severe impacts on the nitrogen cycle. According to current regulations, the disposal of manure on cropland is constrained by nitrogen content in the agricultural soils. On the contrary, anaerobic digestion (AD) of these wastes can produce energy and a digestate, which is easier to handle than manure and can be applied for agronomic uses. When herbaceous crops are co-digested with manure to increase the efficiency of biogas production, the nitrogen content in the digestate further increases, unless these larger plants are equipped with nitrogen stripping technologies. We propose a model to compare larger (cooperative) and smaller (single parcel) AD conversion plants. The whole process is modeled: from the collection of manures, to the cultivation of energy crops, to the disposal of the digestate. The model maximizes the energy produced on the basis of available biomass, road network, local heat demand and local availability of land for digestate disposal. Results are the optimal size and location of the plants, their technology and collection basins. The environmental performances of such plants are also evaluated. The study has been applied to the province of Forlì-Cesena, an Italian district where animal farming is particularly relevant.
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; manure management; optimal planning; environmental impact anaerobic digestion; manure management; optimal planning; environmental impact
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fiorese, G.; Guariso, G. Energy from Agricultural and Animal Farming Residues: Potential at a Local Scale. Energies 2012, 5, 3198-3217.

AMA Style

Fiorese G, Guariso G. Energy from Agricultural and Animal Farming Residues: Potential at a Local Scale. Energies. 2012; 5(9):3198-3217.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fiorese, Giulia; Guariso, Giorgio. 2012. "Energy from Agricultural and Animal Farming Residues: Potential at a Local Scale." Energies 5, no. 9: 3198-3217.


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