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Anaerobic digestion of whole-crop winter wheat silage for renewable energy production

Anaerobic digestion of whole-crop winter wheat silage for renewable energy production
Anaerobic digestion of whole-crop winter wheat silage for renewable energy production
With biogas production expanding across Europe in response to renewable energy incentives, a wider variety of crops need to be considered as feedstock. Maize, the most commonly used crop at present, is not ideal in cooler, wetter regions, where higher energy yields per hectare might be achieved with other cereals. Winter wheat is a possible candidate because, under these conditions, it has a good biomass yield, can be ensiled, and can be used as a whole crop material. The results showed that, when harvested at the medium milk stage, the specific methane yield was 0.32 m3 CH4 kg–1 volatile solids added, equal to 73% of the measured calorific value. Using crop yield values for the north of England, a net energy yield of 146–155 GJ ha–1 year–1 could be achieved after taking into account both direct and indirect energy consumption in cultivation, processing through anaerobic digestion, and spreading digestate back to the land. The process showed some limitations, however: the relatively low density of the substrate made it difficult to mix the digester, and there was a buildup of soluble chemical oxygen demand, which represented a loss in methane potential and may also have led to biofoaming. The high nitrogen content of the wheat initially caused problems, but these could be overcome by acclimatization. A combination of these factors is likely to limit the loading that can be applied to the digester when using winter wheat as a substrate
0887-0624
2357-2364
Rincon, Barbara
d2c44d44-66e6-4310-80b3-c71da463f147
Heaven, Sonia
f25f74b6-97bd-4a18-b33b-a63084718571
Banks, Charles J.
5c6c8c4b-5b25-4e37-9058-50fa8d2e926f
Zhang, Yue
69b11d32-d555-46e4-a333-88eee4628ae7
Rincon, Barbara
d2c44d44-66e6-4310-80b3-c71da463f147
Heaven, Sonia
f25f74b6-97bd-4a18-b33b-a63084718571
Banks, Charles J.
5c6c8c4b-5b25-4e37-9058-50fa8d2e926f
Zhang, Yue
69b11d32-d555-46e4-a333-88eee4628ae7

Rincon, Barbara, Heaven, Sonia, Banks, Charles J. and Zhang, Yue (2012) Anaerobic digestion of whole-crop winter wheat silage for renewable energy production. Energy & Fuels, 26 (4), 2357-2364. (doi:10.1021/ef201985x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

With biogas production expanding across Europe in response to renewable energy incentives, a wider variety of crops need to be considered as feedstock. Maize, the most commonly used crop at present, is not ideal in cooler, wetter regions, where higher energy yields per hectare might be achieved with other cereals. Winter wheat is a possible candidate because, under these conditions, it has a good biomass yield, can be ensiled, and can be used as a whole crop material. The results showed that, when harvested at the medium milk stage, the specific methane yield was 0.32 m3 CH4 kg–1 volatile solids added, equal to 73% of the measured calorific value. Using crop yield values for the north of England, a net energy yield of 146–155 GJ ha–1 year–1 could be achieved after taking into account both direct and indirect energy consumption in cultivation, processing through anaerobic digestion, and spreading digestate back to the land. The process showed some limitations, however: the relatively low density of the substrate made it difficult to mix the digester, and there was a buildup of soluble chemical oxygen demand, which represented a loss in methane potential and may also have led to biofoaming. The high nitrogen content of the wheat initially caused problems, but these could be overcome by acclimatization. A combination of these factors is likely to limit the loading that can be applied to the digester when using winter wheat as a substrate

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Published date: 19 March 2012
Organisations: Centre for Environmental Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 338960
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/338960
ISSN: 0887-0624
PURE UUID: 2d3fe293-1cef-4b93-9c28-34db4b7f9de7
ORCID for Sonia Heaven: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7798-4683
ORCID for Yue Zhang: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5068-2260

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 May 2012 11:08
Last modified: 17 Mar 2020 01:25

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