Special Issue "Selected Papers from 26th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition (EUBCE 2018)"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Environment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. David Baxter
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Former European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Interests: bioenergy; bioliquids; heat and electricity; power; climate change; socio-economic impact; biomass conversion
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Conference (EUBCE), 26th edition held in Copenhagen in 2018, is one of the world’s leading R&D conferences combined with an international exhibition. EUBCE represents the leading platform for the collection, exchange and dissemination of scientific know-how in the field of biomass and its utilisation.

The 2018 Conference Programme addressed topics from biomass production, its conversion to bioliquids and biofuels for heat and electricity, transport and biobased products, covering all aspects of each value chain, from supply and logistics to conversion technologies, from industrial application of research results to impacts on the environment, from market and trade aspects to policy strategies, not least to the role of biomass as a source in integrated energy systems.

Dr. David Baxter
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biomass feedstocks
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry 
  • Organic waste 
  • Bioenergy
  • Energy carriers 
  • Biofuels 
  • Biorefinery 
  • Bioeconomy 
  • Climate change 
  • Sustainability 
  • Impacts

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Evaluation of New Harvesting Methods to Reduce Weeds on Arable Fields and Collect a New Feedstock
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1688; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091688 - 05 May 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
During harvesting, grain, straw, and chaff with weed seeds are separated. The chaff is returned to the fields, resulting in weed problems in the subsequent crops. We estimated the fraction of weed seeds a combine harvester could potentially harvest and used various methods [...] Read more.
During harvesting, grain, straw, and chaff with weed seeds are separated. The chaff is returned to the fields, resulting in weed problems in the subsequent crops. We estimated the fraction of weed seeds a combine harvester could potentially harvest and used various methods to collect the chaff and treat it with heat to kill weed seeds or reduce weed seed germination. Chaff with weed seeds was placed on top of the straw and afterwards baled with the straw as a method to remove weed seeds from the field. We exposed chaff with weed seeds to exhaust gas with various temperatures and durations to study whether this heating method could be used to reduce the input of viable weed seeds to the soil during harvesting. By collecting the shed weed seeds during the growing season, we estimated that a combine harvester could potentially harvest 41%, 11%, and 100% of the seeds produced in the growing season by Bromus hordeaceus, Cirsium arvense, and Galium aparine, respectively. When the chaff was placed on top of the straw, 45% of the weed seeds stayed in the chaff fraction on top of the straw swath after one day, 35% got into the straw swath, and 20% past through the swath to the ground. Therefore, baling straw with chaff placed on the top only had a limited effect on reducing weed seed infestation. The study showed that thermal weed seed control during harvesting could potentially be applicable and incorporated in an integrated weed management approach. Full article
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Article
Multi-Indicator Assessment of Innovative Small-Scale Biomethane Technologies in Europe
Energies 2019, 12(7), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12071321 - 06 Apr 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
Innovative small-scale biogas plants, including upgrading solutions to affordable biomethane, are necessary to tap into the spatially distributed potentials of organic waste. This research identified and assessed novel small-scale technologies before market-entry maturity in the key process steps of the biomethane chain. We [...] Read more.
Innovative small-scale biogas plants, including upgrading solutions to affordable biomethane, are necessary to tap into the spatially distributed potentials of organic waste. This research identified and assessed novel small-scale technologies before market-entry maturity in the key process steps of the biomethane chain. We assessed technical, economic, and ecological indicators, and compared them to larger-scale references. The assessment included 7 pre-treatment, 13 digester, and 11 upgrading systems all at the small scale. We collected recently available data for Europe (2016–2018) for small-scale technologies (<200 m3; raw biogas per hour). In the literature we did not find such a comprehensive assessment of actual European small-scale innovative non-market-ready technologies for the production of biomethane. Several conclusions were drawn for each of the individual process steps in the biomethane chain, e.g., the economic indicator calculated for the upgrading technologies shows that the upgrading costs, for some of them, are already close to the larger-scale reference (about 1.5 €ct/kWh raw biogas). Furthermore, biomethane production is absolutely context-specific, which dramatically limits the traditional way to evaluate technologies. Hence, new ways of integration of the technologies plays a major role on their future R&D. Full article
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Article
Short-Term Nitrogen Uptake of Barley from Differently Processed Biogas Digestate in Pot Experiments
Energies 2019, 12(4), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040696 - 21 Feb 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
The use of biogas digestate as fertilizer is limited by the farm nutrient balance. Mechanical separation and drying of digestate increases its transport worthiness as well as the economic feasibility of nutrient export. This study compares the fertilizer effect of four treatments of [...] Read more.
The use of biogas digestate as fertilizer is limited by the farm nutrient balance. Mechanical separation and drying of digestate increases its transport worthiness as well as the economic feasibility of nutrient export. This study compares the fertilizer effect of four treatments of digestate originating from two biogas plants: untreated digestate, liquid and solid fraction of separated digestate and dried solid fraction of separated digestate. Pot experiments with barley were performed with two fertilization levels for different digestate variants. Above-ground biomass yield, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) content in biomass and plant uptake efficiency were highlighted. The results showed that all variants have higher above-ground biomass yield than the control. Due to the reduced amount of easily available N, short-term N uptake of barley from solid fractions of digestate was low. The treatments with the dried solid fraction at low fertilization level showed up to 59% lower N removal from soil and, at high fertilization level, up to 83% lower N removal compared to the respective fresh solid fraction (100%). Depending on the feedstock of biogas plants and processing of digestate, N availability varied and influenced the short-term N uptake. It is recommended that digestate processing should be combined with ammonia recovery to prevent N losses to the environment. Full article
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Article
Techno-Economic and Life Cycle Impacts Analysis of Direct Methanation of Glycerol to Bio-Synthetic Natural Gas at a Biodiesel Refinery
Energies 2019, 12(4), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040678 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
An economic and environmental feasibility study were carried out on the thermochemical conversion of glycerol to medium methane content biological synthetic natural gas (bio-SNG). A plant that processed 497 kg·h−1 of glycerol to bio-SNG was modelled as an on-site addition to a [...] Read more.
An economic and environmental feasibility study were carried out on the thermochemical conversion of glycerol to medium methane content biological synthetic natural gas (bio-SNG). A plant that processed 497 kg·h−1 of glycerol to bio-SNG was modelled as an on-site addition to a soybean biodiesel plant based in Missouri (USA) that produced 30 million litres of soybean biodiesel per year. Assuming the glycerol contained only 80 wt% free glycerol, the bio-SNG could substitute up to 24% of the natural gas at the soybean biodiesel plant. The discounted cash flow analysis showed it was possible to generate positive NPVs and achieve internal rates of return within the hurdle rate (12%) for biomass gasification technologies. From the environmental analysis it was found that the bio-SNG could reduce global warming potential by 28% when compared to conventional natural gas in the USA and translates to roughly 7% reduction in biodiesel natural gas emissions, if the maximum 24% of natural gas were to be substituted by bio-SNG. The work highlights the potential to divert waste glycerol to an onsite energy vector at soybean biodiesel plants with minimal change to the main biodiesel production process and potential reductions to soybean biodiesel global warming potential. Full article
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Article
The Influence of Residence Time during Hydrothermal Carbonisation of Miscanthus on Bio-Coal Combustion Chemistry
Energies 2019, 12(3), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12030523 - 07 Feb 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1387
Abstract
Miscanthus was treated by hydrothermal carbonisation in a 2-L batch reactor at 200 °C and 250 °C with residence times ranging between 0 and 24 h to understand the impact of residence time has on the resulting bio-coal combustion chemistry. Increasing the residence [...] Read more.
Miscanthus was treated by hydrothermal carbonisation in a 2-L batch reactor at 200 °C and 250 °C with residence times ranging between 0 and 24 h to understand the impact of residence time has on the resulting bio-coal combustion chemistry. Increasing the residence time results in dehydration of the bio-coal and increased repolymerisation; however, temperature has the greatest influence on bio-coal properties. After 24 h at 200 °C, bio-coal has similar properties to that of the 250 °C + 0 h bio-coal. After 1 h at 250 °C, the cellulose present in the raw biomass appears to be largely removed. The removal of cellulose and the associated dehydration and repolymerisation results in bio-coal having a ‘coal like’ combustion profile, which exhibits a decreasing reactivity with increasing residence time. At 200 °C + 0 h, 75% of the alkali metal is removed, increasing to 86% with increasing residence time. Further extraction is seen at 250 °C. Phosphorus and sulphur appear to undergo substantial extraction at 200 °C + 0 h but then are reincorporated with increasing residence time. The calcium content increases in the bio-coal with increasing residence time at 200 °C but then reduces after 1 h at 250 °C. Increasing temperature and residence time has been shown to decrease the fuels’ fouling and slagging propensity. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Productivity and Economic Viability of Combined Food and Energy (CFE) Production System in Denmark
Energies 2019, 12(1), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12010166 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
Agro-ecosystems for integrated food, fodder, and biomass production can contribute to achieving European Union goals to increase renewable energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The study objective was to evaluate the productivity and economic returns from a combined food and energy (CFE) [...] Read more.
Agro-ecosystems for integrated food, fodder, and biomass production can contribute to achieving European Union goals to increase renewable energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The study objective was to evaluate the productivity and economic returns from a combined food and energy (CFE) system compared to sole winter wheat and sole short rotation woody crop (SRWC) production. Two excel-based models viz. Yield-SAFE and Farm-SAFE, were used to simulate agronomic productivity and economic assessment respectively. Yield-SAFE was calibrated and validated with measured data from CFE from 1996–2016. When compared over temporal scale of 21 years, CFE systems with 150–200 m alley width had the highest net present value (NPV) followed by 100 m, 50 m, sole winter wheat and sole SRWC, indicating higher profitability of CFE systems. Sensitivity analysis of NPV with ±10% yield fluctuations, and with 0–10% discount rate, demonstrated that CFE systems was more profitable than sole crops, indicating higher resilience in CFE systems. LER in CFE ranged from 1.14–1.34 indicative of higher productivity of CFE systems compared to component monocultures. Hence, the study has demonstrated that the productivity and the economic viability of CFE systems, were higher than sole crops, for informed decision making by farm managers and policy makers to contribute to renewable energy biomass production and to mitigate the impending adverse climate change effects on agricultural production. Full article
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Article
Expected Global Warming Impacts on the Spatial Distribution and Productivity for 2050 of Five Species of Trees Used in the Wood Energy Supply Chain in France
Energies 2018, 11(12), 3372; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11123372 - 02 Dec 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1324
Abstract
The development of collective and industrial energy systems, based on wood biomass, knows a significant increase since the end of the 90’s in France, with more than 6000 power plants and heating plants developed currently. Because these systems are built for a minimal [...] Read more.
The development of collective and industrial energy systems, based on wood biomass, knows a significant increase since the end of the 90’s in France, with more than 6000 power plants and heating plants developed currently. Because these systems are built for a minimal duration of 30 years, it is relevant to assess the availability of wood resources according to the potential impacts of global warming on five tree species mainly used in such a supply chain. The assessment of the potential spatial distribution of the suitable areas of these trees in 2050, by using the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) RCP6.0 scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway), shows an average decrease of 22% of the plots in comparison with the current situation. The results also point out that mountain areas would maintain a high probability of the development of four tree species. The assessment of the Net Primary Productivity (NPP) underlines a potential decrease for 93% of the plots in 2050, and an increase of this parameter in mountain areas. According to these assumptions, the proposed ecosystem based methodology can be considered as a prospective approach to support stakeholders’ decisions for the development of the wood energy supply chain. Full article
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