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Fibre crops for energy production and energy saving


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Schäfer, Winfried (2012) Fibre crops for energy production and energy saving. In: Rivza, Peteris (Ed.) Renewable energy and energy efficiency. Proceedings of the international scientific conference , Latvia University of Agriculture, Jelgava, Jelgava, 7-12.

PDF - Presentation - English


The photosynthesis process generates beside carbon hydrates also complex chemical compounds. The artificial synthesis of such compounds is often impossible or may require high energy input compared with their heating value. In other words, the entropy of energy crops is low compared with that of fossil fuels. This fact is usually neglected in energy analysis of bio fuels resulting in questionable political decisions concerning renewable energy. This paper demonstrates that the energy saving and the GHG mitigation potential of fibre crops may be enhanced using them first used as raw material for commercial products before processing to fuel at the end of their lifetime. For example reed canary grass may be used for paper production and after recycling the used paper can be processed to insulation material in buildings before thermal use. Such a chain of usage trades off both, the low entropy as raw material for pulp and the heat value of the carbon hydrates. A calculation model is presented to estimate the reduction of CO2 equivalents of the following two options: Alternative A: Production of reed canary grass + processing to fuel for heating. Alternative B: Production of reed canary grass + processing to paper + recycling of paper + processing to insulation material + installation of insulation material in buildings + recycling of insulation material + processing for heating. The results show that alternative B is outclassing alternative A. Pulp made of reed canary grass for paper and insulation material saves between ten and hundred times or more energy compared with the energy yield of burning. However, fossil fuels render a higher energy return on investment and are for the time being more competitive than both options.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Fibre crops, energy crops, GHG mitigation, reed canary grass
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Assessment of impacts and risks
Food systems > Recycling, balancing and resource management
Crop husbandry
Research affiliation: Finland > Luke Natural Resources Institute > Agricultural Engineering
Related Links:http://www2.llu.lv/energija/conference/
Deposited By: Schäfer, Dr. Winfried Christian
ID Code:21040
Deposited On:23 Nov 2012 16:50
Last Modified:23 Nov 2012 16:50
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:The proceedings are prepared within the framework of the EFS Project "Attraction of human resources to the research of the renewable energy sources", Contract No. 2009/0225/1DP/
Thes paper was produced as a result of the ENPOS – Energy positive farm project within The Central Baltic INTERREG IV A Programme 2007-2013 that funds cross-border cooperation projects with a focus on environment, economic growth, as well as attractive and dynamic societies. The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the author. It does not represent the opinion of the European Communities. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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