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 Fields | 2014

Energy Fields | 2014 | de

"Agricultural byproducts and their potential to defuse the food versus fuel debate"

This month, CLAAS hosted the International Biomass Symposium in Harsewinkel for the third time. Around 320 farmers, contractors and sector specialists from 12 different nations attended the event.

The symposium examined a wide range of interesting topics: Which byproducts are important from the perspective of plant breeding and the industry? What has been the experience up to now? How great is the global biomass potential? How much straw can be removed in the context of a stable humus balance? The types of agricultural products discussed, which are created during the production, harvesting or processing of agricultural raw materials, are among the most promising raw materials for future energy production and for the use of renewable materials.

The guests were welcomed by the chair of the Shareholders' Committee, Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser. One of the points she made in her speech was that, based on current production volumes, between 70 and 100 percent more biomass would need to be produced by the year 2050 in order to feed the world's population.

Arnaud Petit, Director Agricultural Products and Trade of the European Farmers Association (COPA COGECA), and the most important agricultural sector representative in Brussels, opened the symposium. In his speech, he stressed the importance of the agricultural sector for Europe, given that it generates sales of 380 billion euros per year. Petit also said that, in his opinion, there was no serious conflict at present between using agricultural products for food or for generating energy.

The speakers emphasised that, in many scenarios, straw needed to stay on the fields in order to maintain the soil quality, but said that straw could be permanently removed in many cases without any problems arising. At any rate, the harvested grain and its use for feeding people and animals was not affected. This resolves the debate over food or fuel, since both requirements can be served in equal measure.

For CLAAS, the exchange of knowledge between agriculture, industry and science formed the central objective of the event. This is because agriculture and agricultural machinery are both sunrise industries with high potential for growth. Networking and communication are playing an increasingly important role in the context of this development. As well as the presentations, the programme also included visits to various farms. For example, participants enjoyed excursions to the RWE biomass combined heat-and-power plant in Bergkamen, the HTC pilot plant at the OWL university campus in Höxter, and the Emsland bioenergy power plant (straw-fired power plant) in Emlichheim.

For further information on the programme and content of the event, please see:

NameDescriptionTypeDownload
ProgrammeProgramme – 3rd International CLAAS Biomass SymposiumPDF0.2 MB
ProceedingsProceedings – 3rd International CLAAS Biomass SymposiumPDF12.4 MB