Biomass

Staple foods, raw materials and energy.

Alongside food production, an entirely new sector is emerging in the agricultural industry – the production of raw materials and energy.

Biomass

Staple foods, raw materials and energy.

Alongside food production, an entirely new sector is emerging in the agricultural industry – the production of raw materials and energy.

Energy crops.

The economic viability of biogas plants also depends largely on the manufacturing costs associated with substrate production, the substrate quality and the outlay tied to the use of fermentation residues. Up to 50 percent of the costs incurred are in fact attributable to these procedural components upstream and downstream of the actual biogas production process. Accordingly, biogas plant operators should investigate in detail which substrates can be purchased and the market conditions that make this viable, and which substrates can be grown economically and ecologically on their own farm. Right from the start, maize has proven an ideal crop for biogas plants when stored as silage. The crop produces high energy yields, and many years of experience have made storage relatively straightforward. A broader crop rotation, however, may be preferable from the point of view of economics and production methods. Supplementing biogas inputs with a second crop is also recommended from the point of view of achieving a positive humus balance.

Alongside biogas production, however, crops are increasingly being cultivated for use as fuels. Miscanthus in particular is currently enjoying great popularity. This crop type is harvested in a dry state, i.e. in late winter / early spring, and in addition to fuel has a wide range of uses, including as a construction or insulating material, as animal bedding or in vegetable cultivation.

Silphium perfoliatum

Crop typeSorghumMiscanthusSzarvasi grassSilphium perfoliatum
OriginAfricaEast AsiaHungaryNorth America
Other namesKaffir corn, Sudan grass, sugar sorghumChinese silver grass, silk grassTall wheat grassCompass plant or cup plant
Annual or multi-year cropAnnualMulti-year. Can remain on one field for up to 20 years.Multi-yearMulti-year. Land use possible over a period of at least 10 years.

Possible harvesting methods (dependent on location and condition of crops)

JAGUAR + ORBIS self-propelled forage harvester with row-independent maize headerJAGUAR + ORBIS self-propelled forage harvester with row-independent maize header

JAGUAR + ORBIS or DIRECT DISC self-propelled forage harvester with row-independent maize header or direct cutterbar

JAGUAR + ORBIS self-propelled forage harvester with row-independent maize header
Cuts per yearOnceOnceIn general, twiceOnce

Usage ranges (dependent on harvesting time and thus condition of crops)

  • Human food production
  • Animal feed for cattle
  • Biogas production
  • Bioethanol production
  • Construction and insulation material
  • Animal litter
  • Combustible fuels
  • Vegetable cultivation
  • Animal feed
  • Biogas production
  • Animal feed
  • Biogas production

Vetch-rye (Source: FNR/N. Paul)

Igniscum

Miscanthus

Crop typeVetch-ryeMixed wild cropsIgniscumSida hermaphrodita
OriginEuropeEuropeJapanSouthern North America
Other namesVirginia mallow
Annual or multi-year cropAnnualIn Germany, usually left to grow in the field for five years.Multi-yearMulti-year. Land use over a period of at least 10 years possible.
Possible harvesting methods (dependent on location and condition of crops)JAGUAR + ORBIS or DIRECT DISC self-propelled forage harvester with row-independent maize header or direct cutterbarJAGUAR + ORBIS or DIRECT DISC self-propelled forage harvester with row-independent maize header or direct cutterbarJAGUAR + ORBIS self-propelled forage harvester with row-independent maize headerJAGUAR + ORBIS self-propelled forage harvester with row-independent maize header
Cuts per yearOnceOnceUp to three times per year possible, depending on locationUp to two times per year possible, depending on location

Usage ranges (dependent on harvesting time and thus condition of crops)

  • Biogas production
  • Biogas production
  • Combustible fuels
  • Biogas production
  • Combustible fuels
  • Insulating material
  • Biogas production

Virginia mallow (Sida hermaphrodita) (Source: Virginia Mallow Trial Plantation, FNR / Z. Hajkova)