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AgroBioHeat consortium release "Straw to Energy" publication

Food & Bio Cluster Denmark, in collaboration with Danish Technological Institute (DTI) and Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), has recently released “Straw to Energy – Technologies, policy and innovation in Denmark” – the second edition of its very successful 2011 publication, updated with the latest information about utilizing straw for energy purposes.

Straw from the automated storage en route to shredding prior to boiler infeed at the straw fired line at AffaldVarme Aarhus Lisbjerg multi-fuel combined heat and power (CHP) plant outside Aarhus in Denmark.

The publication “Straw to Energy – Technologies, policy and innovation in Denmark” is part of the work done in the AgroBioHeat project, which is an EU-funded project that draws attention to the plentiful renewable biomass resources available in rural Europe that can contribute to the transition away from fossil fuels.

Denmark has been using excess cereal straw for energy production for more than 40 years and is world-leading in this area. However, Denmark is not the only European country with excess straw, which can be a part of the local fuel supply in the areas where it is grown.

The idea behind the publication is to give an overview of how straw is used for energy purposes in Denmark in order for others to be able to replicate this model. Straw is a carbon-neutral fuel, which means that no more carbon dioxide (CO2) is released when it is burnt than the plant has absorbed from the atmosphere during its growth.

This the authors say, makes straw a more climate-friendly alternative to burning fossil fuels – coal, oil, natural gas – for heating of housing, farms, greenhouses, district heating systems, or even producing electricity and high-added value products.

The authors note that straw should be used locally as it is expensive to transport, which makes it relevant in rural areas with a lot of farms and cereal crops. Straw has some chemical qualities that make it more difficult to burn than wood. Boiler producers have been working on solving these problems for many years and the technology is fully developed.

The publication includes a list of equipment providers, fuel suppliers, consultancies, and other organizations that can assist in the deployment of new value chains based on straw.

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