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Agro waste ‘headache’ could yield energy profit

wheatAn EU programme aims to reduce the problem of agricultural waste by developing a way to convert it into energy via anaerobic digestion.

The AGROBIOGAS (“An integrated approach for biogas production with agricultural waste”) project, backed by €2.1 million in EU funding, set its sights on developing anaerobic digestion (AD) technology, which offers an effective way to treat agricultural waste while being a realistic option for farmers.

The large amount of agricultural waste generated in the EU each year is a headache for farmers, who are obliged to get rid of it. The treatments they use tend to be cheap but inadequate. An alternative treatment is the use of biogas via AD, which uses microorganisms to break down the material in the absence of oxygen. The biogas treatment effectively produces energy while preventing pollution.

According to the AGROBIOGAS partners, decentralising AD by using co-digestion with other organic residue could boost the efficiency of AD with agricultural waste. Using a co-digestion design would give farmers the chance to treat their agricultural waste and other organic materials at the same time. But they could also make money by treating and managing organic waste from other sources, as well as using or selling its outputs — for example, electricity.

The AGROBIOGAS consortium includes partners from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Slovakia and Sweden.

1 Comment

  • Ravi Soparkar
    Posted June 7, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Coverting agro waste efficiently in to energy solution would be great advantage to farmers and rural community in developing countries. Information like daily capacity. energy output, space and cost involved would be deciding factors.

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