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Biogas production from crop residues on a farm-scale level in Sweden: scale, choice of substrate and utilisation rate most important parameters for financial feasibility

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Anaerobic digestion would enable the energy potential of agricultural crop residues such as ley crops and sugar beet tops to be harnessed in Sweden. In the present study, the financial prospects of single-stage fed-batch high-solids digestion on three different scales, 51, 67, and 201 kW, were calculated on the basis of experimental results and observations. In addition to scale, the effects of methane yield and fertiliser recovery (compared to green manuring) was investigated by testing different substrate mixtures. The biogas was disposed as heat, combined heat and power, or as vehicle fuel. Besides the positive effect of scale, the results indicate the importance of choosing substrates with a high methane yield and high nitrogen content, and the necessity of fully utilising both the capacity of the equipment installed and the energy carriers produced. Net unit costs of 5.3 and 8.1 €ct/kWh were achieved (201 kW), heat and vehicle fuel, respectively.

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The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida/SAREC) (project SWE-2003–021), the Energy Supply Committee of Southern Sweden (DESS), and the Swedish Energy Agency (STEM) kindly funded the study.

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Correspondence to L. M. Svensson.

Additional information

Parts of this work originally presented at the 4th international symposium on Anaerobic Digestion of Solid Waste, Copenhagen 2005.

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Svensson, L.M., Christensson, K. & Björnsson, L. Biogas production from crop residues on a farm-scale level in Sweden: scale, choice of substrate and utilisation rate most important parameters for financial feasibility. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 29, 137–142 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00449-006-0064-1

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  • High-solids anaerobic digestion
  • Farm-scale
  • Crop residues
  • Economy
  • Organic farming