Special Issue "Energy and Environmental Evaluation of Biofuel and Forage Processing and Utilization Technologies"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Algirdas Jasinskas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Vytautas Magnus University, Agriculture Academy, Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Safety, Studentu 15A, LT-53362, Akademija, Kaunas distr., Lithuania
Interests: Renewable and sustainable energy; energy plants; agrobiomass and residues; woody biomass; solid biofuels; pressed biomass; biofuel properties; burning; harmful emissions; evaluation of technologies
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An important purpose of this Special Issue is the presentation of new and actual research results of biofuel and forage processing and utilization technologies and technique. It is also important to evaluate these technologies from an energy and environmental point of view.

Main subject areas of this issue:

  • System analysis methods, including life cycle assessment and management
  • Sustainable chemistry
  • Sustainable utilization of resources such as land, water, atmosphere and other biological resources
  • New and renewable sources of energy
  • Sustainable energy preservation and regeneration methods
  • Land and aquatic ecosystems maintenance and biodiversity preservation
  • Effects of global climate change on development and sustainability

This Special Issue will present the results of research on plant growing, preparation, use for forage, and energy conversion processes of various herbaceous and woody plants, including the short rotation plants; the physical-mechanical, chemical and thermal characteristics of chopped and pressed plants and their residues; will investigate and determine the ash content and possibilities of ash utilization for plant fertilization, ash chemical composition and ash melting temperatures; will present the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and emissions of harmful pollutants (CO2, CO, NOx and CxHy) when plant biomass is prepared and used for energy conversion processes – incineration, gasification and pyrolysis; will carry out the full technologies of lifecycle assessment; and will present the results of energy and environmental evaluation of technologies, taking into account the economic and social aspects, and the sustainable development of people and their living quality.

This Special Issue will present state-of-the-art results for its intended purpose and will complement scientific information published in other scientific publications and journals.

Prof. Dr. Algirdas Jasinskas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 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

  • Biosystems engineering
  • sustainable development
  • forage production
  • soil processing
  • solid biofuel
  • energy plants
  • herbaceous plants
  • silage
  • agricultural residues
  • properties
  • chemical composition
  • calorific value
  • ash
  • life cycle assessment
  • emissions
  • social aspects
  • economy

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Use of Potatoes as a Binder in Flax Heating Pellets
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10481; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410481 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 364
Abstract
This article focuses on an examination of the possibility of using potatoes as a binder in the production of heating pellets from flax stalks. This research was carried out in the form of an experimental production, laboratory analyses, and combustion tests of pellets [...] Read more.
This article focuses on an examination of the possibility of using potatoes as a binder in the production of heating pellets from flax stalks. This research was carried out in the form of an experimental production, laboratory analyses, and combustion tests of pellets with the Biltstar variety of flax stalks. The production was carried out using an MGL 200 pelletizing line. Adéla potatoes were used as a binder at a dose of 10%. The results were compared to the control variant without the addition of potatoes. Potatoes had a positive effect on the mechanical properties of the pellets as well as on carbon monoxide emissions. A positive effect of the addition of potatoes was recorded by an increase in specific weight (599.2 kg/m3 for the potato-free variant and 1092.3 kg/m3 for the variant with potatoes) and a significant increase in mechanical durability (4.39% for the potato-free variant and 0.71% for the variant with potatoes). The biggest difference was measured in carbon monoxide emissions (13,082 mg/m3N for the potato-free mg/m3N ariant and 5186 mg/m3N for the variant with potatoes). The values were converted to a reference oxygen content of 10%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Changes in Soil Organic Carbon, Energy Consumption and Environmental Impact Using Bio-Products in the Production of Winter Wheat and Oilseed Rape
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8246; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198246 - 07 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 379
Abstract
Agricultural management, environmentally friendly technologies, chemical, organic and bio-based substances used, as well as meteorological factors, have a significant impact on the fluctuations of soil organic carbon (SOC). The aim of this research was to analyze the effect of different biopreparations on the [...] Read more.
Agricultural management, environmentally friendly technologies, chemical, organic and bio-based substances used, as well as meteorological factors, have a significant impact on the fluctuations of soil organic carbon (SOC). The aim of this research was to analyze the effect of different biopreparations on the changes of SOC content and the winter wheat and winter oilseed rape yields by assessing the energy consumption efficiency and the environmental impacts. The experimental research was conducted from 2017 to 2019 in three different treatments, in two of which were used either a molasses and magnesium sulphate based-biopreparation (T1) or a bacteria-based biopreparation (T2), while treatment T3 was applied as a control where no biopreparations were used. The dynamics of SOC content were analyzed at two depths: 0–10 and 10–20 cm. For the analysis of energy efficiency indicators and environmental impacts, the greenhouse gas (GHG) and energy consumption conversion equivalents were used. A summary of the results showed that both types of biopreparations had a positive effect on the changes of SOC content, which was especially evident in the deeper layers at 10–20 cm depth, where, irrespective of the crop type, a more significant increase of the SOC content was observed every year of the experiment compared to the control treatment. Biopreparations had a significant effect in increasing the winter wheat and winter oilseed rape yield. The best energy efficiency ratio was observed in winter wheat (4.84) and winter oilseed rape (5.11) in treatment T1. The results of the environmental impact assessment showed that the lowest GHG emissions were recorded in the winter wheat production in treatment T1 at 108.7–149.1 kg CO2eq Mg−1, while the highest were observed in oilseed rape production in the control treatment T3 at 343.4 kg CO2eq Mg−1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Dependence of Cocksfoot Productivity of Liming and Nitrogen Application and the Assessment of Qualitative Parameters and Environmental Impact Using Biomass for Biofuels
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8208; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198208 - 05 Oct 2020
Viewed by 492
Abstract
In order to evaluate the liming and nitrogen efficiency of cocksfoot (Dactylisglomerata L.) productivity, a field experiment was performed in Western Lithuania’s naturally acidic Retisol area (55°43′ N, 21°27′ E). Based on seven years of research data, dry mass (DM) yield (including [...] Read more.
In order to evaluate the liming and nitrogen efficiency of cocksfoot (Dactylisglomerata L.) productivity, a field experiment was performed in Western Lithuania’s naturally acidic Retisol area (55°43′ N, 21°27′ E). Based on seven years of research data, dry mass (DM) yield (including first and second cuttings) reliably varied depending on the growing year, from 4.57 to 7.34 t ha−1. The most significant and positive impact on DM yield was obtained by the application of higher liming (6.0 t ha−1 CaCO3) and nitrogen (120 kg ha−1) rates. Liming utilization efficiency (LUE) was affected by the year of growth (although not always significantly), with a 6.0 t ha−1 CaCO3 liming rate and nitrogen fertilization. Nitrogen utilization efficiency (NUE) varied depending on the growing year and N fertilization rate. One of the most effective solutions for improving cocksfoot biomass is to prepare pressed granulated biofuel, which is potentially a good quality raw material for the direct combustion process. The execution and evaluation of technological parameters and properties of produced pellets revealed that cocksfoot pellet humidity reached 10.0% ± 0.6%, whereas pellet density was sufficiently high, and reached 983.8 ± 22.9 kgm−3 DM. The lower calorific value of cocksfoot pellets reached 17.7 MJkg−1. Ash content after pellet burning was relatively high, reaching 7.0–7.6%. Pellet ash melting temperatures were sufficiently high, with ash softening temperature (ST) reaching 1065 °C. Determined emissions of harmful gases from the burning of cocksfoot pellets (CO2, CO, SO2, NOx and unburnt hydrocarbons CxHy) did not exceed the permissible limits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Technical, Environmental, and Qualitative Assessment of the Oak Waste Processing and Its Usage for Energy Conversion
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8113; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198113 - 01 Oct 2020
Viewed by 369
Abstract
The article analyses and evaluates the possibilities of using oak bark, oak leaves, and their mixtures for biofuel. The preparation of this waste for the burning process (milling, granulation) has been investigated and the results have been presented together with the analysis of [...] Read more.
The article analyses and evaluates the possibilities of using oak bark, oak leaves, and their mixtures for biofuel. The preparation of this waste for the burning process (milling, granulation) has been investigated and the results have been presented together with the analysis of the prepared granules’ properties—humidity, density, strength, elemental composition, ash content, caloric value, and others. The moisture content of the oak waste granules ranged from 8.1% to 12.5%, and the granules’ density ranged from 975.8 to 1122.2 kg m−3 DM (dry matter). The amount of oak ash found was very high (from 10.4% to 14.7%)—about 10 times higher than that of wood waste granules. The calorific value determined after burning the oak bark and leaves pellets was sufficiently high, ranging from 17.3 to 17.7 MJ kg−1. This thermal value of oak waste granules was close to the calorific value of the herbaceous plant species and some types of wood waste. The environmental impact of burning the granules of oak waste was also assessed. The harmful emissions of carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and unburnt hydrocarbons into the environment were found to be below the permissible limits for the incineration of oak waste granules. The highest CO gas concentration, determined when burning the oak leaves, was 1187.70 mg m−3, and the lowest NOx concentration, determined when burning the oak bark and leaf mixture granules, was 341.2 mg m−3. The coefficient of energy efficiency R of the granulated oak leaves biofuel, when the oak waste biomass moisture content was reduced by 10%, reached 3.64. It was very similar to the results of previous studies of various types of granulated straw biofuel (3.5–3.7). The research results presented show that, given that the main parameters of oak waste meet the basic requirements of solid biofuel, oak bark, leaves, and their mixture can be recommended to be used as solid biofuels. Full article
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