Waste products as a potential liquid energy source

At the end of June, the German Biomass Research Centre (Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum – DBFZ) and the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology presented the results of the "Biowaste to Liquid" project. In the project, waste from harvesting and other biogenic waste products were pyrolyzed in order to convert them into an energy source for use in electricity and heat production or for chemicals and fuels. The researchers tested the pyrolysis oils resulting from the thermo-chemical transformation of various materials to determine their technical and economic usefulness.The use of biogenic waste products has a very high greenhouse gas reduction potential. But the study also found that the use of waste is uneconomical without subsidies. Engine tests determined that using liquid pyrolysis products in existing systems requires product processing and engine modifications. Usage in a small decentralized gas turbine was also tested; this offers an interesting alternative.On the basis of the results of the DBFZ's potentials study, detailed profiles were established for a number of very suitable biogenic waste products which have not been used so far, including bark, different types of straw, waste from the wood industry and even driftwood from the Rhine and flotsam from the Baltic Sea (see databank BioProcDB).

Katharina Ertmer

Further information:

Energetic use of biomass



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