Straw Should be Used as Alternative Energy Source, German Researchers Argue

Straw from agriculture could help address Germany’s future energy needs, a new study published in the journal Applied Energy suggests.

Straw from agriculture could help address Germany’s future energy needs, a new study published in the journal Applied Energy suggests.

Led by researchers from the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, Thueringian Regional Institute for Agriculture (TLL) and German Biomass Research Center, the report found that of the 30 million tons of cereal straw produced nationally every year, between 8-13 million could be used sustainably for energy or fuel production. This could in turn provide between 1.7-2.8 million households with electricity and 2.8-4.5 million with heating, the researchers estimate.

According to the study, Germany underwent an increase in winter wheat, rye and winter barley production from 1950 to 2000, at which point it plateaued. In all, the researchers determined that 30 megatons (one megaton equals 1 million tons) of cereal straw were produced annually in 1999, 2003 and 2007; however, since not all parts of the straw can be used, and because much of it is employed as bedding for livestock, only about half of this is available in the end. Furthermore, a portion of the straw must be left scattered on the land in order to prevent nutrients from being permanently extracted.

Based on a number of calculations and tests, the scientists determined that either 8, 10 or 13 megatons of straw can be used every year without resulting in any disadvantage either to other forms of utilization or to the soil.

Read the full story here.

 

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

One response to “Straw Should be Used as Alternative Energy Source, German Researchers Argue”

  1. gabbie2013 says :

    Reblogged this on Gabbie 2013 blog.

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