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Energies 2018, 11(11), 3016; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113016

Crop Characteristics of Aquatic Macrophytes for Use as a Substrate in Anaerobic Digestion Plants—A Study from Germany

1
Centre for Environmental Biotechnology, UFZ—Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
2
German Biomass Research Centre—DBFZ, Torgauer Straße 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 2 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10 Years Energies - Horizon 2028)
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Abstract

Several thousand metric tonnes of aquatic biomass are removed from water bodies every year, so that these waters can continue to be used for ship and boat traffic and for leisure activities. The mowed material is generally disposed off without any further use. Therefore, the crop properties of samples from 39 weed control measures all over Germany were examined to assess the suitability of aquatic plant biomass as a substrate for anaerobic digestion systems. Analysis of the crop samples consisted of the identification of plant species and the evaluation of sediment contents and concentrations of macroelements. The methane yield was determined for selected aquatic plants. Analysis revealed a carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N) of between 10 and 20 in 74% of samples. The concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous in the samples were comparable to grass silages. With regard to heavy metal concentrations, the threshold values for biowaste for nickel, zinc, and cadmium were exceeded in three samples. There were no significant seasonal differences in substrate characteristics and qualities. The specific methane yields of individual aquatic plants were between 142 and 372 LCH4/kg volatile solids (VS). The results of this study showed that aquatic macrophytes can be used as substrates in anaerobic digestion plants without any restrictions. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquatic macrophytes; substrate; anaerobic digestion; crop characteristics; biogas; methane; aquatic biomass aquatic macrophytes; substrate; anaerobic digestion; crop characteristics; biogas; methane; aquatic biomass
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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Moeller, L.; Bauer, A.; Wedwitschka, H.; Stinner, W.; Zehnsdorf, A. Crop Characteristics of Aquatic Macrophytes for Use as a Substrate in Anaerobic Digestion Plants—A Study from Germany. Energies 2018, 11, 3016.

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