Straw for Energy Production

Technology - Environment - Economy



co nd


The Centre for Biomass Technology



Straw for Energy Production has been prepared in 1998 by The Centre for Biomass Technology ( on behalf of the Danish Energy Agency. The publication can be found on the web site: The paper edition can be ordered through the Danish Energy Agency or The Centre for Biomass Technology at the following addresses:

• • • •

Danish Energy Agency Danish Technological Institute dk-TEKNIK Research Centre Bygholm

44 Amaliegade Teknologiparken 15 Gladsaxe Møllevej 17 Schüttesvej

DK-1256 Copenhagen K DK-8000 Aarhus C DK-2860 Søborg DK-8700 Horsens

Tel +45 33 92 67 00 Tel +45 89 43 89 43 Tel +45 39 55 59 99 Tel +45 75 60 22 11

Fax +45 33 11 47 43 Fax +45 89 43 85 43 Fax +45 39 69 60 02 Fax +45 75 62 48 80


Lars Nikolaisen (Editor) Carsten Nielsen Mogens G. Larsen Villy Nielsen Uwe Zielke Jens Kristian Kristensen Birgitte Holm-Christensen Lars Nikolaisen, Danish Technological Institute and M. Carrebye, SK Energi BioPress Trøjborg Bogtryk. Printed on 100% recycled paper 87-90074-20-3

Cover photo: Layout: Printed by: ISBN:

Straw for Energy Production Technology - Environment - Economy
Second Edition

The Centre for Biomass Technology 1998

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Danish Energy Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Straw as Energy Resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Annual Energy Crops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Handling of Straw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Boiler Plants for Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Neighbour Heating. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 District Heating Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 CHP- and Power Plants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Gasification and Pyrolysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Other Technologies for Electric Power Generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Residual Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Further Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Table of References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 List of Manufacturers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Survey of Straw-Fired Plants in Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

This publication illustrates how Denmark has succeeded in utilising straw, a former surplus product, for an environmentally desirable and CO2 neutral energy production. It further illustrates the recent Danish advances in the field of using straw as an energy option with respect to both technology, environment, and economy. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, the emission of greenhouse gases was an issue of great concern. For the first time ever, legally binding emission reduction target levels of greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations were established. Total emissions must be reduced by 5.2% by 2012, and the European Union has undertaken the major reduction of 8% compared to the 1990 level. One of the tools for a reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases is to increase the renewable energy share of total energy production. Today, only 6% of the European Union’s energy consumption is covered by renewable energy, but that will change over the next years. The EU Commission Renewable Energy White Paper that was published in December 1997, prescribes a doubling of the share of renewable energy by 2010. Biomass is the sector that is to be developed most and most rapidly. By 2010, it should contribute by 74% of the total EU consumption of renewable energy. Energy 21, the governmental plan for a sustainable energy development in Denmark, also gives renewable energy high priority. In a long-term perspective, it is the intention to develop an energy system in which a steadily growing part of the energy consumption is covered by renewable energy. This presupposes that a constant and gradual adaptation takes place concurrently with the technological and financial potentialities. The Danish government is aiming towards an enlargement of 1% per annum on average. This means that the renewable energy share increases to 35% in 2030. The enlargement will primarily be in the form of an increased use of energy based on biomass and wind energy, and biomass will therefore contribute considerable to Denmark’s energy production in the next decades. There are great potentialities for the use of biomass - both in Denmark and internationally, and the experience gained in Denmark so far is already extensive. We have made great achievements both in respect of individual energy supply and collective energy supply systems. Denmark’s strongholds are particularly in the fields of collective energy supply and decentralised combined heat and power (CHP) supplies, areas of great potentialities for the Danish energy industry - also in the export market.

Svend Auken Minister for the Environment and Energy

Danish Energy Policy

1. Danish Energy Policy
Danish energy policy is in a constant process of change. The government’s Energy Action Plan of 1996, Energi 21, is the forth in a series of plans that all have or have had as their objective to optimise the Danish energy sector to the present national and international conditions in the field of energy. tain the existing objective of Energi 2000 to the effect that Denmark must reduce its CO emission by 20% by the end of 2005 compared to the 1988 level, and that the emission by the end of 2000 shall be stabilised under the 1990 level. In addition, international climate change negotiators will advocate that the industrialised countries by 2030 halve their emissions of CO compared to the 1990 level. At the UN Climate Change Conference in Kyoto in 1997, the EU reduction was fixed at 8% by the end of 2012 compared to the 1990 level. Energi 21 estimates that renewable energy covers 10% of the country’s total energy consumption in 2000. This is equal to 75 peta joule (PJ) and the increase is primarily a consequence of the centralised power plants’ increased use of straw and wood chips (see the section on the Biomass Agreement). An increased use of biomass and landfill gas also contributes to achieving the objective of 75 PJ. Thus the initiatives in the field of biomass are directed towards the following subsidiary targets of Energi 21:

The Four Energy Plans
The objective of the first energy plan, Danish Energy Policy 1976 (Dansk Energipolitik 1976), was to safeguard Denmark against supply crises like the energy crisis of 1973 /74. The second energy plan, Energiplan 81, attached increased importance to socio-economic and environmental considerations, thereby continuing the efforts of reducing the dependence on the importation of fuels. Through the 1980s, the oil and gas fields in the North Sea were heavily extended, and also the nation-wide natural gas net was established. The first subsidy schemes for the utilisation of straw and wood chips were implemented via increasing taxes on fossil fuels (oil and coal), thereby making it possible to make biomass competitive as a fuel. See Figure 1. The first CHP plants based on straw were constructed, and the number of straw-fired district heating plants and farm plants gathered momentum. The third energy plan in the series is the action plan Energi 2000 of 1990. This plan is an ambitious attempt to increase the use of environmentally desirable fuels. At the same time, the objective of a sustainable development of the energy sector is introduced. In Energi 2000, the environmentally desirable fuels are defined as natural gas, solar heat, wind, biomass (straw, wood, liquid manure, and household waste). The use of biomass is based on the fact that it is CO neutral, that it saves foreign currency, that it creates Danish jobs, and that it utilises waste products from agriculture, forestry, households, and trade and industry. The ambitious objective of Energi 2000 is that compared to the year 1988, Denmark shall achieve the following aims by 2005:

Energy 21 shall contribute to a sustainable development of the Danish society. The energy sector shall continue being a financially, vigorously, and technologically efficient sector that forms part of a dynamic development of society.

• Increase the consumption of renewable energy by 100% • Reduce the consumption of coal by 45% • Reduce the consumption of oil by 40% • Reduce the CO emission by not less than 20% • Reduce the SO emission by 60% • Reduce the NON emission by 50%
The objectives are achieved by means of a wide range of activities: Energy savings, tax on CO emissions, conversion to the use of environmentally desirable fuels by CHP generation, subsidised schemes for the construction and operation of district heating systems, financial support for the establishing of biofuel boilers in rural districts etc. The forth and last energy plan is Energi 21/ref.1/ that was introduced in 1996. According to Energi 21, it is planned that the “household” with its resources shall have a central role. The energy sector is still dominated by our consumption of depletable, fossil energy sources, and the emissions resulting from the consumption and energy production burden the atmosphere and the environment. The important clue of Energi 21 is to main-

• Increased use of straw and wood chips at centralised power plants. • Increased enlargement of decentralised CHP generation based on straw, wood chips, biogas and landfill gas. • Conversion, to the greatest possible extent, of 350 block heating units above 250 kW in rural districts from fossil fuels to biofuels. • Right to establish biofuel plants that were former reserved for natural gas. • Accomplishing of a demonstration and development scheme that can illustrate future use of energy crops (including cereal grain, rape etc.) in the energy supply. • Accomplishing of a minor pilot project for the purpose of demonstrating the basis of the production and the use of liquid biofuels.
Figure 2 illustrates the distribution of the individual renewable energy sources. It shows, e.g., that the full utilisation of straw and wood chips is planned to be achieved already in 2000, and the use of energy crops (annual or perennial) begins in 2005 and increases until the year 2030 when the energy crops are planned to be approx. 45 PJ that is equal to approx. 3,000,000 tonnes of straw.

• Reduce energy consumption by 15% • Increase the consumption of natural gas by 170%

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Straw for Energy Production

Danish Energy Policy EU Influence
EU Commission Renewable Energy White Paper 1997/ref. 28/ fixes an increase in the EU use of renewable energy from 6% to 12% up to the year 2010. It is estimated that the biomass sector will be the fastest growing sector within the renewable energy technologies. The use of agricultural land is closely connected to the EU agricultural policy. In the most recent EU proposal in respect of future agricultural policies, it is estimated that the legal obligation to fallow land will be abolished, and there will be one rate for subsidies no matter the choice of crop. That will affect the farmers’ management also with regard to growing energy crops on land voluntarily left fallow. version to environmentally desirable fuels to selected municipalities and owners of plants. In addition, “Letters of General Preconditions” that describe the prospect of voluntary converting from coal and oil to more environmentally desirable fuels were circulated to all Danish municipalities. The conversion was immediately implemented. Phase 1 was during the period from 1990-1994 and included the conversion of a number of coaland natural gas-fired district heating plants that should be converted from natural gas to decentralised CHP plants. Phase 2 was during the period from 1994-1996 and included the remaining coal- and natural gas-fired district heating plants that are converted to natural gas-fired, decentralised CHP plants. In addition, minor district heating plants outside of the large district heating nets are converted to biofuels. Phase 3 began in 1996 and is not yet accomplished. It was estimated that small, gas-fired district heating plants be converted to natural gasfired, decentralised CHP plants and that the remaining district heating plants be converted to biofuels. See also the section on the Biomass Agreement and the adaptation of progress of the phase. of conversion to more environmentally desirable fuels. The target was that the Minister of Energy could then counteract the consumers being charged higher heating prices due to the conversion. The three acts are Act Nos. 2, 3 and 4/1992 and the titles are:

The Heat Supply Act
For the purposes of implementing the activities suggested in Energi 2000/ref. 5/, the Heat Supply Act of June 13, 1990, was passed by the Danish parliament “Folketinget”. This Act gave the Minister of Energy wide powers to control the choice of fuel in block heating units, district heating plants and decentralised CHP plants. This was carried into effect by means of the so-called “Letters of Specific and General Preconditions” that were circulated to municipalities and owners of plants in three staggered phases. The “Letters of Specific Preconditions” describe in details the conØre/kWh 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Gas oil Fuel oil Natural gas

The CO Acts
The Heat Supply Act was followed by three new acts offering the prospective of receiving grants for the process

• “State-Subsidised Promotion of Decentralised Combined Heat and Power and Utilisation of Biomass Fuels Act”. Under this act, it is possible to receive subsidies up to 50% for the construction works. In practice, the subsidies given have been in the range of 20-30% of the cost of construction. In 1997, the scheme was prolonged until 2000. • “State-Subsidised Electrical Power Generation Act”. A subsidy of DKK 0.10/kWh is given for electrical power generation based on natural gas and DKK 0.27/kWh for electrical power generation based on straw and wood chips. The scheme has no time limit. However, on January 1, 1997, an Executive Order was put into force which, e.g., requires an 80% overall efficiency of the biomass plant in order for it to receive the maximum subsidy. • “State-Subsidised Completion of District Heating Nets”. Under this act, up to 50% of the cost of construction could be subsidised. The scheme expired at the end of 1997.

The Scheme for Renewable Energy and the Biomass Committee
In 1991, the Minister of Energy set up the “Committee for Biomass for Energy Purposes” as an advisory body. The committee has, e.g., drafted two 3-year development programmes. The ”Bioenergy development programme” (Bioenergi Udviklingsprogram (BUP95))/ref.35/ is a 3-year development programme for the period of 1995-97 describing activities for the promotion of the technological development of biomass-based plants. In the programme, e.g., the following activities are recommended:


Wood Wood Chips Straw pellets CO2 tax

Price without tax

Energy tax

Figure 1: Fuel prices at the beginning of 1998 for heating purposes including taxes but exclusive of VAT. Coal and oil for electrical power generation are not taxed. The natural gas price for electrical power generation is 13 øre/kWh. The consumers are billed for the tax imposed on electrical power.

• The development of CHP technologies on the basis of straw and wood chips as fuels. The technologies are steam, gasification, and Stirling engine. • District heating plants should focus on fuels flexibility and an environmentally desirable handling of fuels. • Environmentally desirable boiler plants should be developed for private houses.

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Danish Energy Policy
• Energy crops should be investigated with a view to the growing, handling and use of them.
The Danish Energy Agency’s scheme titled “Development Scheme for Renewable Energy” supports projects for the promotion of biomass in the energy supply and uses, e.g., “BUP-95” as background material when considering applications.
PJ/per annum 250
Wind energy Geothermic energy


Ambient heat Solar heat

Biogas Waste Energy crops

The Biomass Agreement
In order to safeguard the achievement of the targets laid down in Energi 2000, the government, the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, and the Socialist People’s Party entered into an agreement on June 14, 1993 on an increased use of biomass in the energy supply with a special view to use at the centralised power plants. The main points of the agreement are as follows: 1. A gradual increase in the use of biomass at power plants should take place resulting in a consumption by 2000 amounting to 1.2 million tonnes of straw and 0.2 million tonnes of wood chips annually equal to 19.5 PJ. 2. Eleven towns in natural gas districts that have not converted to natural gas-fired CHP within Phase 1 or Phase 2 may make a choice between biofuels and natural gas as fuels. It is possible to wait until 2000 in order to, e.g., await the development and commercialisation of technologies in the field of biomass. 3. Phase-2 towns outside the natural gas area may postpone converting until 1998 if they choose biomassbased CHP. 4. Six towns in Phase 3 may postpone converting to biomass-based CHP until 2000. 5. Approx. 60 small towns in Phase 3 should be converted to biomassbased district heating by the end of 1998. The agreement has resulted in Sønderjyllands Højspændingsværk (electricity utility) constructing a biomassbased power plant in Aabenraa with a


Wood Straw








Figure 2: The Energy 21 proposal for the use of renewable energy sources up to 2030. consumption of 120,000 tonnes of straw and 30,000 tonnes of wood chips annually. Sjællandske Kraftværker (Electricity Utility Group) has constructed a straw- and wood chipsfired CHP plant at Masnedø, and a plant at Maribo is being planned. On July 1, 1997, the political parties to the Biomass Agreement drafted a supplementary agreement with the intention to improve the possibilities of adapting biomass to the energy supply. The supplementary agreement implies, in principle, that

• seven towns in Phase 3 may continue the present district heating supply until a conversion to biomass-based CHP is technically and financially appropriate.

Political Harmony
It is characteristic that since the middle of the 1980s, changing governments, parliamentary majority, and ministers of energy have persisted in the importance of an active energy policy thereby increasingly weighting the resource-based and environmentally acceptable line. The conversion to the use of renewable energy sources may seem very costly, but with the knowledge gained so far in the field of global circulation and the greenhouse effect, it is imperative. Denmark has a leading position in the field of several renewable energies, and it is the target of Energi 21 that this position be maintained.

• the centralised power plants are freer to choose among straw, wood chips, and willow chips, since there will be transformed 1.0 million tonnes of straw, 0.2 million tonnes of wood chips, and for the remainder, there will be freedom of choice, though, in a way so that the total amount makes out 19.5 PJ. • biomass-based CHP plants are permitted in natural gas areas. • the municipalities shall give priority to CHP based on biogas, landfill gas, and other gasified biomass.

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Straw as Energy Resource

2. Straw as Energy Resource
Straw is a by-product resulting from the growing of commercial crops, primarily cereal grain. Straw from rape and other seed-producing crops is also included in the total production. Agriculture’s choice of crops - and thus also the amount of the production of straw - depends in the first instance on agronomy, i.e., the science of cultivation of land, soil management, and crop production, and on financial matters affecting the management of the entire agricultural area.
Winter wheat (2.850)

Peas (150) Rape (350) Oat etc. (140) Winter rye (365) Spring barley (1.650) Winter barley (575)

Figure 3: Straw harvest in 1996. Of the total of approx. 6 million tonnes of straw that can be gathered in, wheat and barley make out more than 80% /ref.30/. (Thousands of tonnes). The annual straw production is influenced by the framework stipulated by the EU agricultural policies, including developments in cereal prices, the fallow of land etc. The straw quality and the amount of straw that can be gathered in, are also influenced by the weather during growing and harvest. In 1996, the Danish area with cereal grain amounted to 1.55 million ha /ref. 25/. The cereal grain yield was 9.17 million tonnes of cereal grain, and the amount of straw was 6 million tonnes. The straw production in a year with average harvest is estimated at 6.3 million tonnes, but may vary up to 30% due to climatic conditions during the period of growing and gathering in.

agriculture. In addition, an amount agreed upon according to crop delivery contract is sold to district heating plants and power plants for energy production. The straw left after deductions for these applications, is for the major part chaffed and ploughed back and is thereby used for soil amelioration. Thus this is a straw surplus which - with the annually weatherdependent variations - makes out a potential fuel reserve. Of a total straw harvest of 6 million tonnes, an amount of approx. 15% was used for energy purposes in 1996. In 1997-98, it is estimated that the consumption of straw at power plants and CHP plants will rise to approx. 400,000 tonnes. Based on the Biomass Agreement of June 14, 1993, the Electricity Utility Group ELSAM and ELKRAFT Power Company Ltd in co-operation with the Farmers’ Union, specialists from relevant research institutes, and the Danish Energy Agency carried through an investigation of the existing and future amounts of straw /ref. 6/. The purpose of that was to establish an assessment of what amounts will be available in the future for a development of the straw-based electrical power and heat generation in Denmark. This investigation operates with

Feed (1.900)

Farm-scale boilers (420) District heating (290) CHP plants (165) Power plants (75)

Straw surplus (1.775) Other (775) Not possible to gather in (600)

Figure 4: Of a total straw harvest of 6 million tonnes, an amount of approx. 15% was used for energy purposes in 1996 /ref. 25 and 29/. “Other” is bedding, clamps etc. (Thousands of tonnes). three different scenarios including a range of possible developments in the theoretically accessible surplus that is possible to gather in as a consequence of a transformation of the agricultural production, larger livestock, change in environmental and agrarian political matters etc. The investigation concludes that, in theory, sufficient amounts of straw will be available. However in years with extremely poor harvest, straw may be in short supply.

Straw Applications
Of the total straw production, only a minor part is used for energy purposes. The major part is used in agriculture’s own production, i.e., as bedding in livestock housing systems etc. Also a considerable amount of straw is used for heating, grain drying etc. in

Straw is a waste product from cereal grain production. The picture shows the combine harvester chaff cutter having chaffed the straw so that it can be ploughed back. The area behind the combine harvester is fallow land.

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photo: biopress/torben skøtt

Straw as Energy Resource
kg CO2 /GJ 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0 Coal Gas oil Natural gas Waste 0 Straw 0 Wood 95 74 57
to the fertility of the earth, a maintenance of this fertility requires a current application of crop remains or other organic matter. Though the optimal or critical levels for the carbon content of the earth is not known. Experiments carried out since 1920 at the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences Askov Experimental Station have shown that the carbon content of the earth has dropped no matter whether commercial fertiliser (NPK) or animal manure is applied. As is the case with liquid manure, sludge and other crop remains, ploughed back straw may contribute to increasing the carbon content of cultivated land on a long view as is the case also with grass after grain crops. The gain by removing straw from the field for energy purposes is that it substitutes fossil fuels. Most of the carbon in the ploughed back straw is released in the form of CO , and altogether less CO is emitted to the atmosphere if straw is removed for the purpose of substituting fossil fuels.

Figure 5: Fuel emissions. Burning coal emits, e.g., 95 kg CO per GJ coal, while the biofuels are CO neutral. The CO values are average values for the fuel types mentioned /ref.58/.

Straw Market
Trading in straw for energy purposes among producers and the energy sector is in principle determined by crop delivery contracts for several years, concluded between the individual straw producer or an association of straw producers and the purchaser. The purchasers are straw-fired district heating plants and CHP plants that by entering into long-term crop delivery contracts for straw make sure that they can perform their duty to supply heat and energy to the consumers. Not all straw is traded according to crop delivery contracts. By purchasing straw in the spot market, e.g., at machine pools, or at the places of other middlemen, the plants may often achieve an advantageous price for part of their annual consumption of straw. The crop delivery contract for straw may include the following terms and conditions:

• Provisions concerning the regulation of the basic price • Provisions concerning arbitration

Straw as a Fuel
The most important argument for using straw for energy purposes is that this fuel is CO neutral and therefore does not contribute to increasing the CO content of the atmosphere, thereby resulting in an aggravation of the greenhouse effect. Straw used for fuel purposes usually contains 14-20% water that vaporises during burning. The dry
Grey straw 10-20 > 70 3 43 5.2 38 0.2 0.41 0.13 18.7 15 950 - 1100 Wood chips 40 > 70 0.6-1.5 50 6 43 0,02 0.3 0.05 19.4 10.4 1000 - 1400 Coal 12 25 12 59 3.5 7.3 0.08 1 0.8 32 25 1100 - 1400 Natural gas 0 100 0 75 24 0.9 0.9 0 48 48

Plough Back of Straw
Land that has been cultivated for several years has a lower carbon content than has uncultivated land. Thus when cultivating land, carbon is removed from the soil in the form of CO being released to the atmosphere. The carbon content is of importance
Unit Water content Volatile components Ash Carbon Hydrogen Oxygen Chloride Nitrogen Sulphur Calorific Value, Water/Ash-Free Calorific value, actual Ash softening temperature % % % % % % % % % MJ/kg MJ/kg ºC

Yellow straw 10-20 > 70 4 42 5 37 0.75 0.35 0.16 18.2 14.4 800 - 1000

• Term of contract and notice of termination • The amount of straw agreed upon, including provisions in the event of increase/decrease in the consumption of straw, non-delivery due to decrease in crop yield etc. • Terms of delivery, including the type of bale, the dimensions and weight of bales, water content, and other grade determinations • Basic price and the regulation of price in proportion to water content and time of delivery

Table 1: Fuel data at a typically occurring water content/ref. 11 and 32/. In /ref. 33/, leaching experiment on barley straw has been carried out. The result showed that after 150 mm rain, the chloride content had dropped from 0.49% to below 0.05%, and for potassium from 1.18% to 0.22%. At the same time, the straw had turned grey. Straw may turn grey (colonies of funguses) due to night dew and hot weather without leaching taking place.

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Straw as Energy Resource
matter left consists of less than 50% carbon, 6% hydrogen, 42% oxygen, and small amounts of nitrogen, sulphur, silicon and other minerals, e.g., alkali (sodium and potassium) and chloride. Combustion takes places in 4 phases. During phase 1, the free water vaporises. In phase 2, the pyrolysis (gasification) occurs, during which combustible gases are produced depending on the temperature. There will always be a certain content of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H ), methane (CH"), and other hydrocarbons. Phase 3 is the combustion of gases. If sufficient oxygen is supplied, a complete combustion occurs where the residual products are carbon dioxide (CO ) and water. Where the oxygen supply is insufficient, carbon monoxide, soot (finely divided carbon), tar, and unburnt hydrocarbons are produced. During phase 4, the charcoal burns. By complete combustion, carbon dioxide is produced. By reduced supply of oxygen, monoxide is produced. Finally, there is only ash that consists of incombustible inorganic matter. By incomplete combustion, the ash may also contain unburnt straw residues. The air that is supplied in excess of that theoretically required for complete combustion is called excess air. A certain amount of excess air is necessary in order to secure sufficient air all over the area where the gases are to burn although the gas/air mixture is never quite uniform. The ratio between the air supplied and that theoretically required is called the excess air ratio (lambda). air supplied l = air required Through boiler walls and fire tubes, the major proportion of the combustion heat is absorbed by the water in the boiler, while the remainder disappears through the chimney as a mixture of carbon dioxide, vapour, and small amounts of carbon monoxide and other gases, e.g., tar and compounds of chlorine. In addition, the flue gas contains small particles of ash and alkaline salts. The presence of chlorine and alkali in the flue gas is problematic, since these matters undergo chemical reactions into sodium chloride and potassium chloride that are extremely corrosive in respect of the steel of boiler and tubes, particularly at high temperatures. The ash is not without problems either, since its softening temperature is relatively low in proportion to other fuels, beginning at 800-850°C. How-

Percentage in dry flue gas 25 20 15 10 5 0 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 Lambda 2.0 2.2 2.4

Figure 6: Ideal combustion of straw is performed by excess air of between 1.4 and 1.6. As an example, 7.5% oxygen is measured in the flue gas. The curve illustrates the presence of approx. 13% carbon dioxide with excess air being 1.5% .

Carbon dioxide CO2

Oxygen O2

ever, it has even been demonstrated that the ash may become viscid already at 600°C /ref. 31/. This is of importance, in particular, at power plants where a high steam temperature is desired in order to achieve a great efficiency. This requires a high superheater temperature, thereby risking extensive deposits on the superheater tubes. Where a combination of straw and coal is used as a fuel, the presence of alkaline matter in the ash indicates that - contrary to pure carbon ash - it cannot be used as a filler in building materials, but must be dumped at controlled disposal site.

Straw Pellets
Experiments have been carried out on the use of straw pellets, i.e., comminuted straw that has been pressed into pellets of a diameter of 8 or 10 mm/ref. 13/. The experiments showed that straw pellets can be used as a fuel in large boilers, whereas ash and particularly slagging problems make straw pellets less suitable for use in small boiler plants. Straw pellets can be pressed with molasses as a binding agent thereby admixing an antislagging agent, e.g., kaolin, in order to make them more stable during transport and in order to counteract the

Straw pellets of a diameter of 10 mm mixed with molasses and kaolin and the resulting ash content of 8-10%. Kaolin prevents the ash from forming clinker. Molasses makes the pellets stable during transport

Straw for Energy Production

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photo: lars nikolaisen

Straw as Energy Resource
tendency of the ash to become viscid and form clinker. The calorific value of the pellets is 16.3 MJ/kg at 8% water, and the volume weight is 4 times larger than that of straw baled into big bales, i.e., approx. 550 kg/m!. in connection with turning, baling, gathering in, and costs of storage and transport to heating plant. In addition to that, lost fertiliser value, insurance, and the producer’s risk covering, i.e., due to shrinkage caused by bad weather conditions during the period of harvest and shrinkage during storage. A term that is now and then used is the “socio-economic straw price”. That is a price that is cleaned for direct and indirect taxes so that it reflects the actual cost of producing it. The socio-economic price is used, e.g., for a comparison between prices of various domestic and imported fuels and is more a planning tool than a price calculation for use in the day-today trading. This price is fixed by the Danish Energy Agency and was reported in 1994 to be DKK 240/tonne delivered on the plant. Of this amount, DKK 43/tonne accounted for the cost of transport and DKK 197/tonne accounted for other cost of production.

Baling (31)

Turning (8) Manure value (11) Profit (0) Risk (13)

Washing of Straw
It has been known for a long time that straw that has been lying in the field and has been exposed to rain has a reduced content of the corrosive matter, chlorine and potassium. Contrary to “yellow” straw, this “grey” straw is more lenient to the boiler, since part of the matter that corrodes boiler wall and tubes has been removed. Grey straw also has a somewhat higher calorific value than yellow straw. In order to reduce the corrosive effect of straw upon the boiler plant, the ELSAM - Electricity Utility Group of Jutland-Funen implemented in the spring of 1996 experiments on the removal of the unwanted components by boiling the straw at 160°C. Later it was demonstrated that chlorine and potassium can also be washed out at lower temperatures. At present, it is considered most economical to wash the straw at 50-60°C. So far, straw washing has only been tested at small plants. According to ELSAM, a plant that can treat 125-150,000 tonnes of straw per annum will most probably cost about DKK 200 million/ref. 26/. The energy losses caused by washing, drying and the leaching of organic matter make out approx. 8% of the calorific value of the straw. This cost is offset though by the prolonged life of the boilers, because corrosion problems are avoided. Washing of straw is also expected to give advantages in respect of the subsequent application of the fly ash, since straw ash that does not contain alkaline salts and other impurities can be used as a filler in building materials.

Other (4) Insurance (4)

Gathering in (7)

Storage (22)

Figure 7: In April 1997, The National Department of Farm Buildings and Machinery calculated the cost price of straw for energy purposes at DKK 466.00 per tonne. Add to this the costs of transport to plant /ref.27/. (In p.s.). ers. With demands by the large electrical power producers steadily increasing over the recent year due to the Biomass Agreement, the market has been characterised by a certain increase in prices. Thus the cost price is not only an expression of the cost of producing the straw and the profit, but it is also part of the parties’ strategy in respect of performing the Biomass Agreement. Consequently, price fluctuations in the range of DKK 360 to DKK 500 per tonne are seen. In 1997, the “span in price“ between the producers of straw and the power plants’ purchasers of straw was above DKK 80 per tonne, i.e. DKK 466 and DKK 380, respectively. Tenders for straw were invited by district heating plants east of the Great Belt in 1997 and 1998 with a tender result of DKK 350400/tonne delivered to the plant. West of the Great Belt, the straw price according to the most recent crop delivery contracts for straw has been in the range of DKK 320-370/ tonne, also delivered to the plant. The producer’s straw price includes in addition to return on investment and depreciation on the machinery used in connection with the gathering in of straw and a range of other elements, e.g., wages and cost of fuel

Transport Energy
Admittedly, the great number of trucks transporting straw to plants or transport over great distances emit CO to the atmosphere caused by the engines of the trucks. A truck travels 2-3 km on one litre of diesel oil, thereby emitting 2.7 kg CO . Therefore, the CO emission can be estimated at approx. 1 kg per km travelled. A truck load of straw with a calorific value of 14.5 GJ/tonne weighs 11-12 tonnes and represents an amount of energy of approx. 170 GJ. Since the CO emission from coal is approx. 100 kg/GJ, then the straw corresponds to a CO emission of approx. 17 tonnes subject to coal being burnt instead of straw. That means that the truck should travel 17,000 km with a load of straw in order to emit the same amount of CO that is saved by using the truck load of straw as a fuel instead of coal. It can also be expressed by saying that the CO saving is reduced by approx. 0.6% per 100 km transport distance travelled.

Straw Price
The market price of straw for energy purposes is still being intensely negotiated among suppliers and purchas-

Page 12

Straw for Energy Production

Annual Energy Crops

3. Annual Energy Crops
Biomass that is grown for the purpose of energy production contrary to, e.g., straw that is a residual product/by-product from cereal production is called energy crops. Annual energy crops may be cereal grain or rape alone or cereal grain/ rape and straw harvested together, e.g., by swathing. Perennial energy crops may be willow, elephant grass, and reed canary grass. Burning of cereal grain in boiler plants larger than 250 kW is prohibited. This appears from the Danish Energy Agency Follow Directions in connection with the Heat Supply Act of June 13, 1990. The prohibition is laid down in a letter of September 13, 1990/ref. 24/ that has been circulated to all municipalities, and it says in the letter that it is not allowed to either wholly or partly burn fish oil, surplus butter, cereal grain etc. The prohibition may be rooted in ethical considerations in respect of burning food in a starving world. The provisions do not apply to plants below 250 kW. This means that a farmer with own farm-scale boiler may legally burn cereal grain or rape. However, it must be a crop deriving from the ordinary agricultural production. If the crop has been grown on fallow land, then according to the EU Directions, it must not be used for own heating purposes, nor be “traded” with the neighbour if he is a grain grower, too.

Triticale left in swaths without having been combined. The swath is too wide for the big baler and should be raked before baling. The raking results in grain losses. The stiff, unthreshed triticale stalks are difficult to bale into big bales. The picture is from the test at Djursland. sume. Rape can only be used as cofiring in small amounts together with, e.g., cereal grain or wood pellets, e.g. because the boiler firing system is adapted to fuel with less energy content (the lower calorific value of rape is approx. 24 MJ/kg at approx. 10% water). Usually pure rape firing results in so much energy being fed that the boiler bottom “is covered with” oil, resulting in danger of fire and malfunction. About ten boilers for cereal grain firing have been type approved by the Test Laboratory for small Biofuel Boilers (see Section 5). Then the boilers can be state-subsidised and they are of a good standard in terms of the combustion of cereal grain. Certain other boilers may also be suitable for burning cereal grain, but the efficiency and emission through the chimney has not been documented, and it cannot be recommended to burn cereal grain in a boiler that is not designed to it.

Full-scale Tests on Cereal Grain Burning
During the period from 1995-97, fullscale tests on the burning of cereal grain were carried out at 5 locations, i.e., Bornholm, Lolland, Langeland, Djursland, and Haunstrup near Herning. The individual heating and CHP plants had filed applications to the Danish Energy Agency for an exemp-

Cereal Grain and Rape for Small Boilers
It is difficult to estimate how much cereal grain and rape small boilers con-

Plant Holeby Tullebølle Lohals Haunstrup Rudkøbing Studstrup 1 Grenå Bornholm





Plant type D. H./grate D. H./whole bales D. H./sliced bales D. H./stoker Steam/grate Steam/pulverised fuel Steam/fluidized bed Steam/spreader stoker

Fuels Wheat and triticale in big bales Triticale in big bales Triticale in big bales Rye grains Triticale in big bales Triticale in big bales Triticale in big bales Wheat grains

Tonnes 394 169 51 222 380 1100 2000 781

3.1 1.6 1.4 0.5 7 0 60 35

0 0 0 0 2.3 150 18.6 16

Table 2: Survey of plants carrying out combustion tests in 1995-96. D. H. = District Heating.

Straw for Energy Production

Page 13

photo: jørgen hinge

Annual Energy Crops
NO concentration (ppm) in flue gas at 10% oxygen 400 Wheat straw 320 240 160 80 0 16:00 Triticale
• Emissions and efficiencies are more or less the same for energy grain (cereal grain and straw) as for wheat straw. However, a marked rise in the NO emission could be seen at few of the plants, since the protein content of the grain during burning releases nitrogen (N) /ref. 7, 8, 36, and 37/.

Energy Crop Programme 1997-2000
In 1997, a large demonstration programme was implemented concerning the production and use of energy crops. It is a 4-year programme and shall pave the way for a large-scale consumption of energy crops after the year 2005. In Energy 21, it is estimated that the consumption of energy crops rises from 0 tonnes in 2005 to almost 3 million tonnes in 2030 (see Figure 2). The purpose of the project is to develop and demonstrate an optimal operating economy and an environmentally sound production of energy crops. The greatest importance has been attached to the use of rye, triticale and afforestation. Of other fuels that form part of the programme can be mentioned willow, elephant grass, reed canary grass, and hemp. The programme includes subsidiary programmes consisting of:







November 15 and 16, 1995
Figure 8: At Holeby Halmvarmeværk (straw-fired heating plant), a heavy increase in the NO emission is seen by firing with cereal grain. At the same time, a halving of the CO emission was measured. tion from the prohibition of burning cereal grain, and EU-approved crop delivery contracts for the supply of cereal crops from fallow land areas were concluded between the farmers and the plants. During the growing and harvesting period, large-scale registration of the application of fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides, harvesting technique (swath forming mower), baling into big bales and storage on the farm was made. Unthreshed grains and straw were used except for Bornholm and Haunstrup. Table 2 shows the plants that carried out combustion tests during 1995-96. During the heating season of 1996-97, the plants Holeby, Haunstrup, Studstrup 1, Grenaa, and Østkraft (Bornholm) participated. In summary, it can be concluded that the tests demonstrated:

• that rye and triticale are better than wheat due to reduced grain losses and reduced requirement for the application of fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides. • Particularly in dry seasons, the straw is suitable for swathing, but the stiff straw/stalks may be difficult to bale into homogeneous big bales. In wet crop years, there is a great risk of sprouting of the crop left in swaths. • The heating plants had problems in lifting the heavy energy grain bales (600-700 kg).

• • • • • • • • •

Establishing and growing Harvesting, storage, and transport Importance of choice of species Fuel characterising and combustion tests Impact on the aquatic environment Flora and fauna conditions Landscape visualising Carbon balance of the earth Financial analyses

The programme is carried through by seven research institutions and one electrical power producer /ref. 38/.

Page 14

Straw for Energy Production

Handling of Straw

4. Handling of Straw

The loader tractor ready to load the truck and trailer up with 24 big bales. In this case, the bales are transported directly to Grenaa Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant) where they are unloaded, 12 bales at a time, by an automatic crane. Large-scale straw handling for energy purposes has developed into an independent discipline in agriculture with attachments in which particularly large farms and machine pools invest. After combine harvesting, the straw is left on the earth in swaths. The straw should be removed as quickly as possible so that the treatment of the soil preparation can begin thereby establishing next year’s crop. The thickness of the straw swath has increased considerable over the recent years, because the combine harvester swath width has been considerably increased. This is an immediate advantage in respect of the baling capacity, but it may be problematic to dry the straw after rainfall. The following calculation is based on a straw yield of 3 tonnes per ha, a field size of 4 ha, and a transport distance of 1,000 m from the field to the farmer’s storage. Big bales are currently delivered from the storage to district heating plants etc. during the year depending on crop delivery contracts. Straw that has not been baled into big bales is used primarily in the farmer’s farm-scale boiler.

• • • • •

Small baler Round baler Medium-size baler Big baler Chaff cutter

The small baler typically has a tunnel dimension of 46 x 36 cm and a bale length of 80 cm. The weight of the bale is approx. 12 kg, and the bale density is 90-100 kg/m! /ref. 17/. Previously, is was the most widely used type of baler, but is now used only to a small extent for baling of straw for bedding and for burning in small farmscale boilers. The round baler has been in the market for approx. 25 years. The commonest type of baler bales into a width of 120 cm and a diameter of 150
Tonnes/hour 20 15 10 5 0

Low capacity Small baler Big baler

Average capacity Round baler Chaff cutter

High capacity Medium-size baler

Baling/Chaff cutting of Straw
The following baling/chaff cutters are examples of baling/cutting types used in agriculture:

Figure 9: Gross capacity by baling or chaff cutting of straw.

cm. The average bale weight is 244 kg, and the bale density is approx. 110 kg/m! /ref. 17/. There is also a type of baler designed for round bales of 150 cm width and 180 cm diameter. That was the type that was first marketed, but now it is only seldom seen. The interest for the round baler was great when it was marketed, but has declined over the last many years. The round baler is primarily used for baling of straw for feeding and bedding purposes, and for burning in straw-fired farm-scale boilers. The medium-size baler has gained a firm foothold in agriculture for the baling of straw for feeding and bedding purposes, and for burning in farm-scale boilers. It was marketed some years after the big baler, probably because the bale dimension is more suitable for agricultural purposes. The baler tunnel dimension is typically 80 x 80 cm and the bale length is 240 cm. The weight of the bale is approx. 235 kg, and the density is approx. 140 kg/m!. However, balers with other tunnel dimensions and bale lengths from 120 to 200 cm are also manufactured. The baler often is equipped with a chaff cutter, thereby increasing the bale density to approx. 165 kg/m!. Chaffed straw is a better bedding material, and this is the major reason why the baler is equipped with a chaff cutter. The big baler has been in the market for approx. 20 years. It is the only bale size that is accepted by the district heating-, CHP-, and power

Straw for Energy Production

Page 15

photo: lars nikolaisen

Handling of Straw
The baling capacity depends on the choice of technology which Figure 9 clearly illustrates. The gross capacity that includes all operations in connection with the baling is lowest when the straw is baled by a small baler and round baler, and it is highest when using a big baler /ref. 19/. The chaff cutter capacity (selfpropelled) is considerably higher than that of the round baler, but also lower than that of the big baler. The capacity of the newest and largest selfpropelled chaff cutters is considerably higher than stated here.

photo: bygholm

Transporting Straw to Storage
When transporting straw, various techniques and methods are used depending on the local conditions. Small bales are loaded in the field by hand, bale fork, bale loader, bale chute, or bale gun. Back on the farm, the bales are unloaded by hand directly into the storage or an elevator or bale conveyor. The bales can also be dumped and then by hand placed on an elevator or bale conveyor. If an elevator is used, the bales shall be stacked by hand, and if a bale conveyor is used, it can partly distribute the bales in the storage. The bale conveyor is particularly fitted for lofts. Flat cars or special V-shaped straw vehicles are used. They will contain from 75 to 250 straw bales /ref. 17/. Round bales are loaded by frontend loader, loader tractor, trencher or the like. The same machinery is used

A self-propelled chaff cutter blows the straw up on to vehicles that transport it directly to storage. plants. The baler tunnel dimension is approx. 120 x 130 cm, and the bale length is approx. 240 cm/ref. 18/. The bale length may however be adjusted from 110 to 275 cm, but for reasons of road transport, a bale length of approx. 240 cm is most suitable. The bale density has increased over the years due to the technological development of the baler. The average bale density is 139 kg/m! , and the average weight of bale is 523 kg/ref. 18/. The introduction of other baler types that conform to a width of 120 cm and a length of 240 cm, which is the most important requirements by the plants, has been tried. These balers produce a bale height of less than 130 cm. They can be equipped with a chaff cutter which means that the bale density may be increased to approx. 170 kg/m! /ref. 18/. However, these baler types have not gained ground and are therefore not widely used. The baler is used primarily for baling of straw for heating-, CHP-, and power plants and for large farm-scale boilers. Chaff cutting of straw for the use at heating-, CHP-, and power plants in bulk (without having been baled) has been tried, but it requires a reconstruction of receptacle and feeding facilities of the plants. The storage facilities on the farms also should undergo adjustments, since storage in the field without cover causes losses and decrease in value/ref. 20 and 21/. For the chaff cutting of straw from the field a towed or self-propelled chaff cutter and a cutter loader may be used. The cutter loader is equipped with a chaff cutter, and the system thus makes out an all-in-one unit that both cuts, transports and unloads the straw /ref. 17/. By using a chaff cutter, a suitable number of trailers can be used for the further transport of the chaffed straw to the destination. One of the greatest problems connected with chaffed straw is though that the volume weight by transporting is very low, i.e., 45-50 kg/m! /ref. 20 and 21/. However, by storage by loader tractor or straw blower with adjuster fan, the volume weight is 70-80 kg/m!, though.

The bales are fastened with straps, thereby securing that the load reaches the farm or the plant safely.

Page 16

Straw for Energy Production

photo: bygholm

Handling of Straw
Man-minutes per tonne 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

Round bales

Mediumsized bales

Big bales

Chaff cutter

Figure 10: Manpower required for pressing/chaff cutting of straw and transporting to storage.
Tonnes/hour 20


Big bales are loaded and unloaded by front-end loader, trencher, loader tractor, telescope loader or the like. The telescope loader is suitable for unloading, because it can reach high up when storing in stacks. The front-end loader is the commonest. Depending on the front-end loader equipment and lifting capacity, the tractor load capacity and stability, and the local conditions, one or two bales are handled at a time. The capacity is highest, when handling two bales at a time, but it is a severe load on the tractor front axle, and the stability of the tractor is decreased dramatically if not a balancing weight is mounted on the back of the tractor. Reconstructed trucks or truck trailers are widely used. The size of the load varies from 6 to 18 bales. Over long distances, the tractor is often towing two trailers so that the size of the truckload attains 24 bales per trail /ref. 17 and 19/.

manpower required for the handling of small bales is thus 72 minutes per tonne when loading unloading by hand. This is almost 3 times as much as required for the handling of round bales and 5½ times more than required for the handling of big bales, see Figure 10. By mounting a bale chute on the bailer and by loading directly on to the transporting vehicle, the manpower may be reduced, though, to approx. 45 minutes per tonne for small bales. The manpower required for chaff cutting of the straw or for the handling of medium-sized bales is the same, i.e., 17 minutes per tonne. By handling of big bales, the manpower required is only 13 minutes per tonne, though. This very drastic reduction of the manpower required and the great physical labour saving is the principal cause of small bales having been almost outdistanced by round bales, medium-sized bales, and big bales.


Manpower Required
The manpower required for the bailing and transport of the straw to the storage on the farm varies with the type of bale and technique that is used during loading, unloading, and transport. The

Delivery to Plant
During the heating season, the straw is usually delivered to the plant in accordance with a crop delivery contract. It may be a direct agreement with the farmer, an association of



Small bales

Round Mediumbales sized bales

Big bales

Chaff cutter

Figure 11: Capacity during transporting of straw to storage. for unloading in the storage. The frontend loader is the most used machine both in field and in storage. Depending on the front-end loader design, lifting capacity, and the local conditions, one or two bales are handled at a time. Most often, only one bale is handled at a time. For transport, reconstructed trucks or truck trailers are used, but also ordinary farm trailers or specially designed vehicles are used. Usually, the tractor is only towing one trailer, and it will contain from 8 to 14 bales /ref. 17/. Medium-sized bales are loaded and unloaded by front-end loader, trencher, loader tractor or the like. The front-end loader is the most used machine for both loading in the field and for unloading in the storage or at the straw stack. One or two bales are handled at a time depending on the front-end loader equipment and lifting capacity. Reconstructed trucks, truck trailers, flat cars, or specially designed vehicles are used for the transport. The size of the loads varies from 12 to 45 bales, but most often load will hold approx. 24 bales.

Straw left in swaths in the field where it is baled into bales of a weight of above 500 kg by the big baler.

Straw for Energy Production

Page 17

photo: sønderjyllands højspændingsværk

Handling of Straw
A tractor with front-end loader places 2 big bales on the tractor trail at a time. The vehicle in front is a reconstructed truck body from an old truck. If the front-end loader has to wait in the field while the straw is taken home, the waiting time is used for collecting the bales into stacks that are equal to the number of bales the tractor trail will contain .

photo: bygholm

straw producers, or a contractor. This agreement includes, e.g., delivery dates, quantities to be supplied, contracted prices, and quality criteria. By farmer transport, either a tractor or a truck is used. The farmer loads and transports the straw to the plant, and the plant personnel unloads it either by forklift truck, overhead travelling crane or the like. When transporting by haulage contractor, the farmer or the haulage contractor loads the truck, the haulage contractor travels to the plant where the plant personnel unloads by forklift truck, overhead travelling crane or the like. In certain cases, there are sometimes more people involved in haulage by contractor than in transporting by the farmer which may result in waiting time for some persons, e.g., the driver. The driver often uses part of the waiting time for mounting or dismounting straps around the load. By transporting by tractor, the rate of speed is considerably lower than that required by haulage by haulage contractor, and conseman-minutes/tonne 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 Transport distance to be travelled in km
Tractor, 12 bales Tractor, 24 bales Truck, 24 bales

quently the capacity is lower. Figures 12 and 13 show the manpower required and the capacity when delivering big bales to the plant /ref. 19/. The figures clearly show that the manpower requirement increases, and the capacity decreases with increasing transport distance. It is also obvious that the manpower required is greater and the capacity lower when transporting by tractor than by haulage contractor, and that the differences increase with increasing transport distance. When transporting by truck, there are almost always loaded 12 bales on the truck and 12 bales on the truck trailer distributed in two layers. This is also seen by tractor transport, but load sizes of 16 or 20 bales is widely used, particularly for transport over short distances. Plants unloading by crane, often require that the bales are arrangement accurately on the vehicles, and that the bales should have a specified dimension and not exceed a certain
Tonnes/hour 20 15 10 5 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 Transport distance to be travelled in km
Tractor, 12 bales Tractor, 24 bales Truck, 24 bales

weight. In connection with the delivery, only big bales have been mentioned, because the plants are upgraded for this size of bales and handling technique. At a long view, also other methods ought to be analysed and large-scale tested, like e.g. straw pellets, whose volume weight is much higher.


Figure 12: Manpower required for the delivery of big bales.

Figure 13: Capacity at the delivery of big bales.

Page 18

Straw for Energy Production

Boiler Plants for farms

5. Boiler Plants for farms
The present use of straw firing in agriculture expanded heavily due to the energy crisis in the 1970s with the following subsidy schemes and easy terms concerning depreciation on straw-fired boilers. In the middle of the 1980s, approx. 14,000 straw-fired boilers had been installed. In 1997, it is estimated that there are approx. 10,000 straw-fired boilers in agriculture. The reason for the drop in numbers is that the early installed boilers were small, primitive boilers designed for batch firing that have not all of them been substituted by a straw-fired boiler. There are two types of boilers, the batch-fired and the automatically fed boilers. The batch-fired boilers are always installed in combination with a storage tank that can absorb the heat energy from one firing (1-4 bales). Thereby, the energy content of the straw is utilised better, because the boiler can operate at full boiler load. Automatically fed boilers are fed by a conveyor that, e.g., is loaded with straw approx. once every 24 hours. The conveyor feeds bales into the boiler automatically, concurrently with the consumption of heat. Over the recent 10-15 years, great technological advances have been made in respect of these boilers with a view to achieving a greater efficiency and reducing the smoke nuisance. Greatest technological advances have been in the field of batch-fired boilers, where the efficiency has increased from 35-40% in 1980 to 77-82% in 1997. This can be ascribed, in particular, to a better control of the air supply required for combustion. The smoke nuisance is reduced considerably with increased combustion quality.

“Tractor firing”. The tractor feeds a round bale into a batch-fired boiler. The boiler is located inside the house in a way that offers easy access for the tractor both for firing and for the removal of ash. to three big bales in the combustion chamber. The most widely used boiler size is a boiler for one medium-sized bale or alternatively 8-10 small bales. When disregarding firing with small bales, firing and the removal of ash are usually performed by a tractor with front-end loader.

Control of Air Supply for Combustion
Today, all batch-fired boilers are equipped with combustion air fans, where the amount of air and the distribution of air between primary and secondary air is controlled by an electronic control unit. The flue gas temperature and oxygen content are used as a control parameter. In addition, the boiler has refractory linings of firebricks round the walls of the combustion chamber in the upper part in order to secure a high combustion temperature. Measuring of the flue gas temperature secures that the boiler output is kept within certain determined limits, as, e.g., a high flue gas temperature is an expression of the boiler being overloaded, i.e., the combustion produces more heat than can be absorbed by the water in the boiler. Similarly a too low flue gas temperature is an expression of a too low boiler output. Measuring of the oxygen in the flue gas is used for adjusting the combustion excess air by opening and closing the primary and secondary air. The ideal target is an oxygen percentage in the flue gas of 6-7% which is equal to an excess air, lambda, of approx. 1.5. The oxygen content is measured continuously by an oxygen probe of

Whereas the small straw bales earlier dominated the market, most batchfired boilers are to-day designed for big bales (round bales, medium-sized bales, or big bales). The boilers are often built together with a storage tank as an all-in-one unit for outdoor location. The outdoor location highly reduces the danger of fire. The batch-fired boilers are produced in a wide range of sizes, containing from one medium-sized bale

photo: maskinfabrikken faust

Batch-fired Boilers

Batch-fired boiler for round bales or big bales located in a separate housing, thereby eliminating the danger of fire in respect of the farm buildings.

Straw for Energy Production

Page 19

photo: maskinfabrikken faust

Boiler Plants for farms
almost the same type as that used for controlling the petrol injection in modern car engines. The electronic control unit converts the signals from the probe into air-inlet-open- and shut-off impulses to the motor-driven air valve. If the oxygen percentage is too high, a small amount of primary air is allowed to enter, thereby shutting off a bit the secondary air inlet. Similarly, the primary air inlet shuts off a bit, and the inlet of secondary air opens a bit if the oxygen content decreases too much. It is important that the electronic control unit is capable of keeping the oxygen percentage constant, since fluctuations in the oxygen percentage result in too high CO values and too low boiler efficiency. Therefore ongoing developments aim at improving the straw-fired boilers by developing a very accurate and reliable control system with oxygen probe. In addition, it is also important that the air nozzles are designed and positioned so that the proper turbulence is created in the combustion zone. In order to attain a good combustion with a low CO content in the flue gas, it is also of decisive importance that the straw that is used is of a good quality. That means first and foremost that the straw should be dry before baling and be stored in a dry place. But also, the straw should be well field cured (i.e. it has been left in the field exposed to rain and has turned grey) before baling, since the too early gathered “yellow” straw normally has The gate is open to the combustion chamber of an automatically fed fire tube boiler. The straw is fed by screw stoker behind the flames, and the flue gas passes though the four tubes and further through the boiler vessel. Below on the right, the gear motor of the ash conveyor is seen.

photo: maskinfabrikken reka

poor combustible properties (see Section 2). In order for the boiler to keep a stable rate of combustion at maximum boiler load without interruptions throughout all combustion stages, all batch-fired boilers designed for straw are equipped with a storage tank. The storage tank will usually contain 60-80 litres of water per kg of straw con-

tained in the combustion chamber. This is equal to the temperature in the storage tank increasing 30-40°C at the time of firing if not simultaneously heat is drawn from the tank. The storage tank is typically a separate tank that is located on top of the boiler, but the boiler may also be built into the storage tank. Figure 15 illustrates the principle of separate tank.

Figure 14: Automatic boiler. The straw is being shredded by a slow-speed shredder and fed via screw stoker on to the grate where the combustion takes place. The forward and backward movements of the grate pushes the ash towards the ash chute and further out with the ash conveyor. The flue gases are cooled by passing several passes where the fire tubes are surrounded by boiler water.

Page 20

Straw for Energy Production

graphic: maskinfabrikken reka

Boiler Plants for farms Control of Firing
In order to achieve a good combustion, the amount of straw fired should be adapted to the amount of combustion air that is introduced by a fan. In order to secure a constant amount of straw being fed, the newest automatic boilers are therefore equipped with oxygen-controlled screw stoker which means that the amount of straw fired is automatically adjusted to the oxygen content in the flue gas from the boiler. The oxygen content in the flue gas is recorded by means of the same type of oxygen probe that is described under batch fired boilers, and the amount of straw is thus adjusted by starting and stopping the screw stoker at short intervals. Traditionally, the aim is an oxygen content of the flue gas of approx. 7%. If the oxygen content exceeds this level considerably, the screw stoker operates uninterruptedly until the oxygen content drops to about 7%. Then the automatic step function will try to keep this oxygen percentage by stopping the screw stoker at short intervals. If the oxygen content drops to a level far below 7%, the screw stoker stops completely, until the oxygen content starts rising again. By using oxygen control at an automatic boiler, the efficiency is improved by 5-10 percentage point on a rough estimate, because the conditions for the combustion are better. Simultaneously, the CO content of the flue gas is reduced, and the smoke nuisance from the boiler is reduced.

photo: linka maskinfabrik

An automatic boiler. The chaffed straw is sucked into the lower, bright tube of the cyclone. The upper tube is the cyclone exit air. The straw is separated from the transport air in the cyclone and is dosed via a rotary valve under the cyclone down on to the screw stoker that passes the straw into the boiler. The flue gas fan is seen on the back of the boiler.

Type Testing of Small Biofuel Boilers
So far, there has been no tradition in Denmark for type testing of boilers for solid fuels - except from boilers for

Automatically Fired Boilers
The first boilers with automatic feeding device were developed in order to primarily ease the work of firing with small bales, since the originally simple batch-fired boilers could often only contain 2-4 small bales. At automatic firing, a bale conveyor of, e.g., 10-20 m length is filled with straw bales once every 24 hours. From there, the bales are slowly conveyed towards the boiler. Before the firing, the straw is being disintegrated by means of a rotating shredder/cutter. The transport system between the shredder and the boiler may be either a worm conveyor or a blower system. The most widely used system is the blower system, since it offers the greatest flexibility by positioning of the shredder in relation to the boiler, and in addition, it gives a good security against backfire/burn-back between the boiler and the shredder. However, the blower system is more energy consuming than is the worm conveyor system. The straw is fed into the boiler by a worm conveyor, often called the screw stoker. Continuous firing results in a more stable combustion in the boiler and thereby a higher efficiency and reduced smoke nuisance compared to batch-fired boilers. The boiler heat transmission is adjusted by on/off operation, controlled by a thermostat that reacts on the boiler water temperature.

Expansion tank

Storage tank


Fire tube Combustion air Fan Refractory firebricks Water-cooled door
graphic: maskinfabrikken faust


Figure 15: The principle in a batch-fired boiler. The storage tank is big enough to contain the energy generated by combustion of the straw that the combustion chamber will hold.

Straw for Energy Production

Page 21

Boiler Plants for farms
straw that have been tested at Research Centre Bygholm, Horsens, in connection with previous subsidy schemes. The market for small boilers has been uncontrolled, i.e., so far there have been no statutory requirements in respect of type testing of energy-, environmental-, or safety properties. The only statutory requirements are safety requirements that are laid down in the Directory of Labour Inspection Publication No. 42 dealing with safety systems for hotwater boilers including requirements for pressure testing. With the introduction of general subsidies for small biofuel boilers in 1995, type testing became of great immediate interest to the manufacturers. That was because the Danish Energy Agency required as a precondition for subsidies being granted that the boiler should be type approved, thereby complying with a wide range of requirements for emission and energy utilisation. The type testing was carried out at the Test Laboratory for small Biofuel Boilers in accordance with test directions setting out the guidelines for testing and the requirements to comply with in order to achieve a type approval. The directions are drafted on the basis of suggestions for a joint European standard for solid fuel systems. However, the requirements in respect of efficiency and emissions have been restricted and grouped according to firing technology (batch or automatic) and fuel type (straw or wood). The requirements are established in a joint collaboration between the manufacturers of biofuel boilers, the Test Laboratory for small Biofuel Boilers, the Danish Energy Agency, and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. The type testing can be carried out on the basis of various fuels, e.g.: Forest wood, straw, wood pellets, wood chips, cereal grain or saw dust/cuttings. The type approval does only apply for the fuel that was used during the testing. The scheme applies to automatic boilers up to 200 kW and for batch-fired boilers up to 400 kW. By raising the level to 400 kW, a reasonable combustion time is achieved for big bales. The list of type-approved boliers can be seen in /ref.39/.



CO-emission CO-emission Dust emission at 10% O ,30% at 10% O at 10% O boiler load nominal output 0.50% 0.50% 300 mg/Nm!

Firewood, pellets,cuttings, wood chips, cereal grain Firewood, pellets,cuttings, wood chips, cereal grain Straw Straw

Batch (manual)




300 mg/Nm!

Batch Automatic

0.80% 0.40%

0.80% 0.30%

600 mg/Nm! 600 mg/Nm!

Table 3: Maximum allowable CO emission and dust emission at normal output and at low boiler load during type testing. stated by the manufacturer and is an expression of the optimal point of operation when the efficiency is high and emissions low. In addition to testing at nominal output, the type testing also includes testing at low values, i.e., 30% of the nominal output. The requirements in respect of dust- and CO emissions are stated in Table 3, whereas the efficiency should at least be as that stated in Figure 16. Other important requirements are:

• Maximum allowable surface temperatures • Leakage tightness to prevent flue gas leakage in the room • Documentation, e.g., technical information, operational instructions, installation manual etc.
The subsidy scheme applies to biofuel boilers, including straw-fired boilers that are installed in areas without district heating supply. The subsidy percentage is calculated on the basis of the testing result, and the sum is calculated in proportion to the consumer’s expenses for boiler and installations. The subsidy scheme is ad-

• Securing against backfire/burn-back in storage (e.g. mechanical damper or by spraying with water)
90 85 80 75 70 65

Automatic boiler (wood, cereal grain) Batch-fired (manually fed) boiler (wood, cereal grain) Automatic boiler (straw)

Efficiency (%)

Batch-fired boiler (straw) 60 55 50 10

Testing Requirements
The values for CO emission, dust emission, and efficiency are determined by type testing as the mean value over 2 x 6 hours at nominal boiler load. The nominal load is often




80 100 Output (kW)



600 8001000

Figure 16: Efficiency minimum values depending on the type of boiler. For an automatic straw-fired boiler of 40 kW to be approved, a minimum efficiency of 67% is required.

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Straw for Energy Production

Boiler Plants for farms
ministered by the Danish Energy Agency.

Experiences and Future Developmental Requirements
Since implementing the systematic type testing in 1995, a wide range of experience has been gained in the field of small boilers. It was evident at the beginning that many manufacturers marketed boilers whose output far exceeds the requirement for typical installations. This meant that there was an obvious disparity between the supply of boilers with an output of less than 20 kW and the consumers’ actual demand. However, this has changed tremendously since then, and today most manufacturers offer systems with an output in the range of 10-20 kW or are developing new boilers. The small boilers are often designed for wood pellets or perhaps boilers for grain. There are still a need for improving the efficiency of boilers designed for straw firing. There are several possibilities, e.g.:

photo: m. g. larsen

The engineer responsible for the testing is preparing the boiler for type testing at the Test Laboratory for small Biofuel Boilers at Danish Technological Institute in Aarhus. dust emission does not always depend on the combustion. Variations in straw quality may result in varying emission levels. • Improvements on devices for the cleaning of the fire tubes and for the removal of ash. • Improvements on the boiler control equipment so as to ensure an optimal environmentally desirable and energy efficient operation with a high user comfort where the time consumed by the weekly attendance is minimal. It should be mentioned that several boilers have advanced controls with several output options and in a few cases oxygen control which to a high extent has regard to the variations in consumption in a typical central heating installation. For this reason, the Danish Energy Agency is funding a research and development project with the objective to develop a cheap, universal oxygen control unit adaptable for most small boilers in the market.

• Improving the boiler convection unit, so that the flue gas temperature can be reduced from the present 250300°C to 150-200°C. • Improved lining and design of air nozzles, thereby keeping the excess air and the CO content of the flue gas constant, thereby contributing to reducing the dust emission. However, it should be mentioned that the

Straw for Energy Production

Page 23

Neighbour Heating

6. Neighbour Heating
By “neighbour heating” is understood a farm-scale boiler that in addition to supplying heating to the farm also supplies heating to one or several neighbours. According to the Heat Supply Act, neighbour heating plants larger than 250 kW are under the obligation to report, e.g., the heating prices to the Gas- and Heating price Committee, thereby specifying the method of the price calculation. The difference between an actual district heating plant and a neighbour heating plant larger than 250 kW is first and foremost the size and the type of ownership. A district heating plant is typically larger than 1 MW and organised in the form of a (Danish) private limited liability company (A.m.b.a.) (see Section 7), or in the form of a publicly owned company where the plant is not liable to pay tax subject to the condition that the heat can be supplied to anyone living in the area. The relatively few neighbour heating plants established in Denmark - smaller than 1 MW - are typically owned by the farmer or perhaps established in the form of a (Danish) partnership (I/S) with one or two partners.

• Ellehavegaard is centrally located in relation to Horreby. With several large municipal heating consumers as “safe” customers, the heating sale was secured on beforehand and the prospects of extending the distribution net with connections to several private heating clients were good. • there were good prospects in respect of achieving public subsidies for the cost of construction via the Danish Energy Agency, and the municipality had a positive attitude towards the idea.

the boiler output can service. The project has been approved by the Municipal Housing and Building Agency, but since the nominal output is less than 1 MW, no environmental approval is required. The existing straw-based heating plant has been replaced by a new complete plant including the following:

Organisation and Technique
The plant that is organised in the form of a partnership with Peter Palle and his wife as the owners was started up in January 1996 and is financed by approx. 50% via a mortgage loan, 25% subsidies by the Danish Energy Agency, and the remaining 25% by the owner’s own funds. At the time of starting up the plant and in addition to supplying heating for the farmer’s own farm, contracts for heating supplies to a total of 5 municipal large-scale consumers and an independent kindergarten institution had been concluded. The distribution net is dimensioned so that a further 50 private consumers can be connected without major piping changes. With a peak load on a cold winter morning of approx. 0.6 MW with the present heating clients, there are limits, though, to how many more private connections

• Transport system for straw to the boiler • Feed system and boiler • System for the removal of ash and slag • Flue gas cleaning and control system
The plant has been designed so as to cope with peak loads, but in case of suspension of operations of the straw-fired boiler, an oil-fired boiler has been established as a stand-by boiler.

User Agreement
An agreement was made between the Stubbekøbing Kommune (municipality) and the owner to the effect that the municipal buildings/undertakings pay a basic heating price that is equal to the oil price the municipality is paying at the time of being connected to the district heating system. Thus, the basic price is fixed at DKK 400 per MWh exclusive of VAT which is equal to an oil price of DKK 3,200 per 1,000 litres. The actual heating price is calculated as a variable charge according to the heat consumption metered,

As an example of a modern neighbour heating plant, Peter Palle’s plant “Ellehavegaards Varmeforsyning I/S” in Horreby, Falster, will be described. In 1995, a project plan was drafted for the Danish Energy Agency on the establishing of a neighbour heating plant at Ellehavegaard. Apart from the owner’s interest in proving that small-scale straw-based district heating in a village could be established and operated satisfactorily both on the part of the owner of the plant and the heating clients, the background of the initiative was, e.g., that:

• the owner was experienced in straw firing and as a supplier of straw for a large straw-based heating plant for several years, he had the relevant straw-handling equipment, storage facilities, and straw resources at his disposal. • Stubbekøbing Municipality’s heating planning included the precondition that Horreby should be supplied with biomass-based district heating.

• • • • • • Nørre Alslev• • • • •• • • • • • • • • • Sakskøbing • Nykøbing F • • o • • • •• • • Horreby is situated at Falster, Stubbekøbing Kommune (municipality). There are
Ellehavegårds Varmeforsyning I/S

114 houses and several public institutions

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Straw for Energy Production

Neighbour Heating

photo: linka maskinfabrik

Typical straw boiler for neighbour heating. Cyclone, rotary valve and screw stoker are seen to the left. The picture is from Krengerup Estate at Funen. where the size of the charge is regulated on the basis of the average quarterly price of ordinary fuel oil supplied by Kuwait Petroleum based on the basic price. It is the experience of The Centre for Biomass Technology that a price agreement like that within a few years may result in a disproportion between income and expenditure. The expenditure for straw-fired heat production often increases in a regular manner with the net index whereas the oil prise may fluctuate depending on international price conditions. Heat consumers: 5 municipal institutions and 1 private institution plus livestock housing systems, farmhouse, and 2 dwellings on the farm are connected. Boiler output: Straw-fired boiler: 0.7 MW. Oil-fired boiler: 0.75 MW. Distribution loss: 25% of gross heat production. Period of operation, straw: Throughout the year except for 4-5 days for maintenance. Distribution net: Length: 1,100 m. Pipe Diameter: ø88 mm, ø76 mm, ø50 mm, ø40 mm. Consumer installation: Only the school has installed a heat exchanger where the district heating water is exchanged with that of the internal central heating system. All other consumers have direct connections with the district heating water circulating in the internal central heating system. Fuel consumption: Straw consumption: Approx. 500-550 tonnes (at approx. 11-12% water content) per annum. Oil consumption: Approx. 3,000 litres per annum. Cost of construction: Boiler etc.: DKK 800,000. Buildings: DKK 300,000. Electrical power installations: DKK 80,000. Distribution net and service pipes: DKK 820,000. Consumer installations (paid by the municipality): DKK 220,000. Totalling approx. DKK 2.2 million (in 1995 prices). Operating costs: Approx. DKK 430,000 per annum including straw expenditure. Maintenance to the consumers’ boiler room is handled by the partnership. The plant runs satisfactorily, and since the operationalisation, more private consumers have been connected to the distribution net.

General Data
Manufacturer: LINKA Maskinfabrik. Flue gas cleaning: Multicyclone. Ash handling: The dry ask/slag is mixed with liquid manure and spread on to the field like fertiliser/manure.

Straw for Energy Production

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District Heating Plants

7. District Heating Plants

photo: biopress/torben skøtt

Sabro Halmvarmeværk (straw-fired heating plant) west of Aarhus. The plant was constructed in 1991 and has an output of 3.2 MW. The straw storage is seen on the right, on the left the boiler house, control room, workshop and a room for the ash container. The annual consumption of straw is approx. 4,000 tonnes. Straw-fired district heating plants have been constructed since 1980, and 58 plants are now in operation. There have been 61 plants, but recently 3 of them have been converted to other fuels (wood chips) or closed down in connection with shifting to natural gas and wastefired combined heat and power generation. The term “district heating plant” always refers to plants with heat production but without electrical power generation. The maximum boiler temperature is 120°C and the maximum pressure is 6 bar. The average size is 3.7 MW. The largest plant has an output of 9 MW and the smallest 0.6 MW. All plants are designed for big bales of the dimensions 2.4 x 1.2 x 1.3 m. The average bale weight is 520 kg. sum of these to two figures yields the heat production ex plant. As an example, the maximum district heating load for a town where the heat production ex plant is 40.7 TJ/per annum or 11,200 MWh/per annum can be calculated. This is equal to the heating requirement of 400-450 single-family houses. The distribution loss is 30% of the heat production, and the consumption of hot water is 10%. These figures can be used as a guide in respect of a normal year of 3,112 “ELO degree days” (ELO is the acronym of Energy Control Scheme (EnergiLedelsesOrdningen)) and with a distribution net corresponding to the small communities where the straw-fired plants are established. In the Danish District Heating Association statistics from 1995/96, the distribution losses of 37 straw-fired district heating plants are stated. The average distribution loss was 28% with the highest distribution loss being 42% and the lowest 16%. There were 3,300 degree days in 1995/96, and the average distribution loss is thus 30% when correcting to a normal year. The maximum boiler output can be calculated on the basis of /ref. 40/. The factor 3.2 is an empirical figure for the maximum space heating requirement on the coldest day of the year. The 8760 hours is the number of hours of the year. A district heating plant load throughout the year can be illustrated by a duration curve, see Figure 17. Normally, a oil-fired boiler is installed so as to cover the entire output requirement of 3 MW to be used at peak loads, repair, or damage of the straw-fired boiler. The straw-fired boiler is usually selected for 60-70% of the maximum load (here 66% equal to 2 MW). With

Boiler Size
The boiler rating is fixed on the basis of the maximum heat amount to be supplied to the distribution net on the coldest day of the year. The heat amount can be divided into the net heating requirements of the houses (space heating and hot water) and piping loss in the distribution net. The

Maximum output =

3.2 6,720 MWh + 4,480 MWh = 3 MW 8,760 hours

Of this, space heating makes 60% = 6,720 MWh. Of this, distribution loss and hot water make out 40% = 4,480 MWh

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Straw for Energy Production

District Heating Plants
this boiler size, the summer load of 0.5 MW will be approx. 25% of 2 MW, which can yield a reasonable summer operation in terms of combustion. When the boiler is selected for 2 MW, it is capable of operating at the maximum load for more than 1,000 hours per annum. The duration curve is created by plotting the hourly load over the year (totalling 8,760 hours) with the heaviest load on the left and then the other one according to decreasing values. The duration curve illustrates the following points:

• The summer consumption is only distribution loss and hot water. The output requirement is 0.5 MW. That is the lower part of the curve on the right, and the summer load lasts 8,760 - 6,500 = 2,260 hours. Three weeks suspension of operations during summer for service purposes is shown. During that period, oil is used.
Plant statistics show that the straw share of the total heat production is in the range of 85 - 93% /ref. 9/.

(see Section 14). The main components are both manufactured by themselves or they purchase sub-contracts in the form of filters, chimney, crane, and electric equipment etc. All boiler plants consist of the same main components:

• The total area under the curve is equal to the annual production of 11,200 MWh. • The Yellow area is equal to the strawfired boiler production. It makes out 93% of the area under the curve, equal to 10,400 MWh or 37,400 GJ. With an annual boiler efficiency of 84% and a calorific value of 14.5 GJ/t for straw, the requirement will be approx. 3,000 tonnes of straw per annum. • The heat production based on oil is approx. 800 MWh distributed on 550 MWh at peak load and 250 MWh during 3 weeks suspension of operations during the summer season for service purposes, the brown area. The energy consumption is 87,000 litres of oil per annum.

Types of Boiler Plants
The various types of boiler plants have different firing principles that require different equipment for transport of straw and handling of straw from storage to boiler. The 58 plants can be grouped in 5 typical systems/ref. 9 and 10/ :

• Straw storage with straw scales • Straw crane and straw conveyor (straw table) • Chaff cutter/shredder/slicer (the 3 first-mentioned types) • Firing system and boiler • Combustion air fans • Flue gas cleaning and ash/slag conveyor • Chimney and flue gas fan • Control and regulation equipment

Boiler Plant Designed for Chaffed and Shredded Straw
This section also describes those parts of the boiler plants that are common for the 5 boiler types. Storage The storage is space consuming. On average, the plants have storage facilities for 8 days operation at full load which for the average plant is equal to 3.7 MW or more than 400 big bales. The aggregate storage floor space including driveway etc. for this amount of straw is approx. 600 m . The straw supplier delivers the straw to the plant by truck or tractor-towed trailers. The plant takes care of unloading by forklift truck. The bales are weighed on unloading, and the water content is determined. The plants receive straw with up to approx. 20% water content. Bales with a water content higher than that are returned, since combustion would thereby be too uneven, especially at part load. Working in the straw storage creates the risk of breathing in straw dust containing allergy promoting fungus spores and micro-organisms. As a guide in respect of permitted limit values, the Directory of Labour Inspection Report No. 10/1990 on working environment problems in connection with waste management can be used. Weighing and Water Content The weighing takes place either on a weighbridge or a platform scales. It is illegal to settle with the suppliers via a weighing cell mounted on the truck. The weighbridge is the fastest, since only 2 weighing operations shall be carried out (gross and tare of the truck).

• Boiler plant for chaffed straw: 7 plants • Boiler plant for shredded straw: 24 plants • Boiler plant for sliced bales: 3 plants • Boiler plant for cigar firing: 11 plants • Boiler plant for whole bales: 13 plants
There are 2-3 manufacturers in the market that deliver all-in-one systems

Output requirement expressed in MW 3,0 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0
Straw-firing Suspension of operations during summer season oil-firing

Peak load oil-firing

0,5 0











Operating hours: Thousand hours
Figure 17: The duration curve for a 3 MW boiler plant with a 2 MW straw-fired boiler. Peak load and stand-by load by a 3 MW oil-fired boiler

Straw for Energy Production

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District Heating Plants
placed. The bales are conveyed on to the straw table, the strings are cut, and the bales continue to a chaff cutter or shredder. Chaff Cutting, Shredding, and Firing The chaff cutter has a higher electrical power consumption, and the costs of maintenance are also higher than those of the shredders and is therefore substituted at existing plants as time goes on. The purpose of the shredder is to try to bring the straw back to the condition before the baling. The bales are conveyed towards the shredder that revolves at up to 30 rev./min. The output can be varied from 15-1,000 kg/h. A different type of shredder is called “straw-divider”. The bales are conveyed towards a set of upward and downward moving racks that tear apart the straw. It falls through a hopper on to a screw stoker or ram stoker that passes the straw into the boiler. It applies to all firing systems that a fireproof tunnel is established in front of the boiler. It should prevent fire from starting outside the boiler (backfire/burn-back). Boiler The straw is passed via a screw stoker or ram stoker into the bottom of the boiler. The boiler bottom consists of a grate that is a heavy cast-iron construction on which the combustion takes place. The grate is normally divided into several combustion zones admitting combustion air through the grate (primary air). The combustion can be controlled in each zone, and a good burning of the straw can be achieved. The grate can simultaneously make a forward and backward movement, whereby the burning straw is transported through the boiler towards the ash outlet. The energy content of the straw consists to a great extent of volatile gases (approx. 70%) that are driven out during heating for burning in the combustion chamber (furnace) over the grate. In order to secure combustion air to the gases, secondary air is introduced via many nozzles in the boiler wall. The nozzle air speed should be high so as to secure a good mixture of gases and combustion air. If there is insufficient secondary air in the system, the result is high percentages of carbon monoxide and smell (unburnt hydrocarbons) in the flue gas. This results in poor efficiency, since the unburnt gases disappear through the chimney. From the combustion chamber, the flue gases pass to the convector unit. The convector unit usually consists of vertical rows of tubes through which the flue gases pass. Most boiler plants are equipped with an economiser, i.e., a heat exchanger positioned after the convector unit. There the flue gases give off further heat to the boiler water resulting in a higher overall efficiency.

Measuring the water content in big bales at the heating plant. The platform scales is used by the truck driving on to the platform with the front wheels and is weighed every time a bale is unloaded. This results in a slower flow of work. A weighbridge is 2-3 times more expensive than a platform scales, so the choice between the two options is a matter of increased investment against increased working time. The scales should be calibrated every 4 years by a DANAK-approved laboratory. DANAK is short for Dansk Akkreditering, and the approval should secure the quality of the calibration. For the determination of the water content, a measuring instrument equipped with a spear for insertion into the straw bale is used. The resistance over two electrodes is measured and converted into water percentage on an indicator. Normally, three measurements are taken of the same bale, and on the basis of that, the average water content is calculated. Depending on practice and the wording of the contract, acceptance may be refused of either a few bales or the whole load. The limit for refusal of straw is normally 20%. Crane All large plants are equipped with an automatic crane that lifts the bales from storage to straw table. The crane is programmed to pick up the bales in a certain order, and it is therefore important that the truck driver/forklift driver places the bales in marked sections when unloading. Some of the small plants do not have cranes but a long conveyor on which the bales are

photo: biopress/torben skøtt

Boiler Plants for Sliced Bales
The whole bale is sliced by a hydraulic knife, and the slice is pushed into the boiler by a ram stoker. Before slicing, the bale is raised to a vertical position, and the knife slices from the “bottom” of the bale.

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Straw for Energy Production

photo: biopress/torben skøtt

The forklift truck places the big bales in marked sections so that the automatic crane can find them. Stacking in a height of 4 bales. The automatism sees to it that the crane places a bale on the straw table from where the bale is conveyed to the shredder.

District Heating Plants Boiler Plants for Continuous Firing of Whole Bales
Instead of cutting strings, chaff cutting/shredding of the straw, the whole bales are pushed into the boiler in an endless line where they burn from the end. The crane places the bale in a feeder box, and a hydraulic ram stoker forces the bale into a tunnel from where it via carriers are carried towards the burner in the boiler wall. The volatile gases are driven out in the burner and are burnt by means of a large number of secondary nozzles. Then the bale is still pushed forward, and the unburnt straw and ash fall on to a water cooled grate for final combustion.

photo: biopress/torben skøtt

The automatic crane in waiting position, waiting for the boiler automatism calling for straw. The crane lifts the bale up to the “straw divider” and places it on the left where the gate opens automatically. The upward and downward racks are mounted farthest on the right in the “straw divider”.

Flue Gas Cleaning
The flue gas from the combustion should be cleaned in order to comply with statutory requirements. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has suggested the following limit values concerning straw-fired boilers above 1 MW/ref. 42/: Dust emission: Maximum 40 mg/ Nm! (Nm! = normal cubic meter, i.e. at 0°C). Carbon monoxide percentage maximum 0.05%. (volume percentage at 10% oxygen in the flue gas). For plants below 1 MW, there are no well-defined requirements, but the authorities that grants certificates of approval normally use the above values in respect of district heating plants below 1 MW.
Material Operating temp. °C 150 125 210 230

graphic: vølund

Flue gas cleaning reduces the amount of fly ash, thereby avoiding particles spreading over the surrounding buildings. The carbon monoxide content is set out in more detail under the section on environmental conditions. Flue gas cleaning equipment may consist of:

“Cigar firing principle”. Big bales are pushed continuously into the combustion chamber where they burn from the end. Combustion air is introduced via nozzles in the inclined burner front. Ash and partly burnt straw fall on to the inclined grate and burns out before being pushed towards the slag hopper farthest on the right in the picture.

• Multicyclone: Cleaning, thereby extracting dust particles from the flue gas by centrifugal action taking place in vertical tubes. • Bag filter: The flue gas passes through fine-meshed/pored bags that trap the suspended solid particles. • Electrostatic filter: The flue gas passes through an electric field, and the particles precipitate on electrodes.
Flex Price/m

Chemical resistance Acids +++ + 0 to + +++ Bases + ++ +++ +++ Hydrolysis + 0 ++

Boiler Plants for Firing of Whole Bales
The crane places the bale in a fireproof tunnel that passes it to a feeder box and hence the pre-heating chamber gate opens, and the bale enters. In the “pre-heating chamber” that is almost like a gasification chamber, the bale is ignited by the amount of fuel that is already present, and it burns partly from the front and top, depending on where air is introduced. The introduction of air is controlled on the basis of the flue gas temperature and oxygen percentage. In the bottom of the pre-heating chamber, devices are mounted that transport the burning bale towards the ash outlet.

Polyester Dralon T Nomex Teflon
0 + ++ +++ Flex: Price/m

++ ++ +++ 0

1 1,5 4 20

Unstable Moderate stability Stable Good stability Extra good stability Stability towards impact of handling : Prices are relative prices where polyester is estimated at 1

Table 4: Filter bag properties and individual prices /ref. 11 and 43/. Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction that requires heat and during which water combines with organic material (the bags) thereby decomposing the material.

Straw for Energy Production

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District Heating Plants
• Flue gas scrubber: The flue gas passes through a shower so that the particles are trapped/caught in the water. • Flue gas condensation: The flue gas is cooled to below the dew point, and the particles are absorbed/trapped by the dew.
The normal equipment is a multicyclone to serve as spark arrester and for coarse particles followed by a bag filter. The multicyclone cleans the flue gas from 1,000-2,000 mg dust/Nm! to 500-600 mg/Nm!. Much of the fly ash from straw firing is so fine-grained (below 0.01 mm) that the filter bags are the best and cheapest solution for complying with the requirement of 40 mg dust/ Nm!. The particle content of the dust after filter is under normal operation 20-30 mg dust/ Nm! with bags without cracks. See also the section on environmental conditions. Electrostatic filters may give problems in connection with strawfired plants. Two plants that originally had electrostatic filters have replaced them with bag filters. The dust particles are difficult to ionise in the electrostatic filter, and it is difficult to make them leave the electrodes and fall off to the ash system due to the very small mass. Some of the particles therefore condense and deposit like coating in the chimney, and, in particular, when the plant is started up, lumps of soot are carried along and fall down in the neighbourhood of the plant. A few heating plants have installed a flue gas scrubber. The principle is that the flue gas passes through a “waterfall” of atomised water, thereby absorbing the dust particles, thereby transporting them with the water. This method creates a waste-water problem for the plant instead of an ash deposition problem. As something new, the district heating plant Hals Fjernvarme has installed a flue gas condenser. Experiences gained over the first years are good despite the low water content of straw. The operating costs for electrical power are approx. 5% lower for the entire plant. The costs of maintenance are 1/3-1/4 compared to the filter bags. the requirements by the authority in question. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency Directions No. 6 and 9/1990 “Industrial Air Pollution Control Guidelines” apply to strawfired plants. The directions also instruct how to calculate the heights of chimneys /ref. 42/.

Straw contains 3-5% ash. Part of the ash falls off the grate into a hopper under the boiler and passes via the chain scraper to the ash container. The chain scraper usually lies in a water bath where an automatic water addition takes place simultaneously with the water evaporating and being carried together with the ash to the container. Wet transport of the ash is the most normal procedure at the plants, and a water bath in the chain scraper is an efficient trap so as to prevent the introduction of false air to the boiler through the ash conveyor system. The fly ash consists of the suspended solids that follow the flue gas through the boiler and are separated in cyclone and filter. From there, the particles are transported via worm conveyors to the chain scraper. The application of the ash as fertiliser is described under Section 11.

• Peak load morning and evening during the winter season can be smoothed out, thereby avoiding oil firing. • During suspension of operations, the heat consumption can be drawn from the storage tank, thereby avoiding oil firing. A 400 m! tank can supply heat for 7 hours at full load at an average plant. • At off-peak load during summer, the boiler can operate at full load for a short period while the storage tank is filled, and then boiler is closed. The result is improved efficiency and lower emissions compared to continuous operating at off-peak load. • The personnel’s roster becomes more flexible, since, e.g., the boiler can be closed over the week-end during summer.
The drawbacks are increased expenses for investment and maintenance of the tank, and also straw should be purchased in order to cover the tank heat loss.

Control, Regulation and Monitoring/Supervision
Control, regulation and monitoring/supervision of the plant is called the SRO system (Styring, Regulering and Overvågning). The system usually consists of two computers:

Storage Tank
Storage tanks have been installed at 23 heating plants. The average tank is 400 m!. This size of tank costs approx. DKK 1 million (1995 prices). The advantages of installing a tank are the following:

• A PLC (Programmable Logic Computer) that collects operating data from the plant and keeps the plant to chosen values for pressure, temperature, flow etc. • An ordinary PC that shows the operator the actual data from the PLC

The cleaned flue gas is released through the chimney to the atmosphere. There is a separate flue gas tube for each of the boilers. In each individual case, the height of the chimney should be decided on the basis of

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Straw for Energy Production

graphic: vølund

A district heating plant with cigar-fired boiler. The automatic crane places the big bales in the feeder box, and the bales are passed on for combustion. The flue gases pass through the 4 empty passes and out into the convector unit that consists of vertical fire tubes. The ash falls via hoppers off to the ash container. The flue gas passes through the bag filter, and via the flue gas fan in the basement, the cleaned flue gas is released through the chimney. All fans are located in the basement for noise considerations.

District Heating Plants
on a visual display screen and via printouts. The chosen values can be changed on the PC, and the plant operating conditions can be changed via the PLC. The system is divided into three main functions covering the following: ences in emission depending on various firing principles were found /ref. 11, Videnblad 61/. In Table 5, the CO value of 1,200 mg/Nm! is equal to 0.096% which is above the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s limit value of 0.05%. The CO content in the flue gas depends on how good the combustion is. The content should be as low as possible, since Sulphur dioxide (SO ) is formed on the basis of the fuel content of sulphur. SO causes:

• Acidification of the atmosphere • Corrosion in boiler and filter by formation of sulphuric acid.
Both SO and NON can be removed from the flue gases, but the processes are too expensive for small plants like district heating plants. Measurements at 2 district heating plants have shown that an amount of 57-65% of the sulphur is released through the chimney. The remainder is bound in the ash /ref.59/. Hydrogen chloride (HCI) also contributes to SO acidification of the atmosphere and corrosion in the boiler plant. The chlorine content of straw may probably be due to the use of fertiliser and pesticides. PAH (polyaromatic hydrocarbons) is a generic term for a long range of hydrocarbon compounds characterised by smelling. Dioxin is also a generic term for substances that contain carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and chlorine. PAH and dioxins are formed by incomplete combustion and are hazardous to health. A connection between a high CO content and the formation of PAH and dioxins has been demonstrated /ref. 44, 45 and 46/.

• The control takes care that the entire process takes place in a pre-set sequence. The crane, e.g., is programmed not to pick up a new straw bale until the preceding bale has been fed into the boiler and the boiler working thermostat calls for more heat. • The regulation takes care that the values chosen for pressure, temperature etc. are maintained. • The monitor signals malfunctions. The alarm can via a bleep be transmitted to the person on duty in or outside the plant. Usually the plant is manned from 08:00 - 16:00 hours during the 5 working days of the week.

• CO is poisonous • CO is a flammable gas. A high CO content decreases the efficiency • high CO value and odour nuisance from the chimney go together • high CO value and the presence of PAH and dioxin in the flue gas probably go together
It is desired for the NON formation to be reduced, since the presence of NON contributes to

Environmental Conditions
The authorities and the public debate are very concerned about the impact on the environment by energy production. Straw is CO neutral, and that is the major reason why it is a political desire to promote the use of straw in the energy supply. In the period from 1987-93, a series of emission measurements was made at 13 plants (Table 5). No differ-

• the formation of “smog” in the atmosphere • acid deposits
The NON is formed by the nitrogen content of the air and the fuel and depends on how the combustion takes place in the combustion chamber. Of important parameters for a low NON emission can be mentioned:

• low excess air • low flame temperature • rapid cooling of the flue gases Mg/MJ 40 90 40 (3 - 100) (40 - 150) (15 - 80) 600 (120 - 1150) 130 (100 - 170) 0,18 (0,10 - 0,30) (0,005•10-6-4•10-6) (0,4•10-6-4•10-6)

In connection with public approval of the heating plant, the following levels can be established:

Parameter Particles1) (dust) CO (carbon monoxide) NOx (nitrogen oxides)

Mg/Nm! at 10% O 80 180 260 80

(5 - 200) (80 - 300) (200 -340) (30 -150)
-6 -6

1200 (240 -2300)

SO2 (Sulphur oxides)3) HCl (hydrogen chloride) PAH Dioxin (Nordic tox. eqv.) Dioxin (PCDD + PCDF)4)

0,35 (0,20 - 0,60) (0,01•10 -0,4•10 ) (0,8•10-6-8•10-6)

• Noise limit in boundaries: 40 dB (A) • Noise limit in existing housing areas: - 45 dB(A) Monday - Friday from 07:00-18:00 hours and Saturdays from 07:00-14:00 hours - 40 dB (A) Monday - Friday from 18:00-22:00 and Saturdays from 14:00-22:00 and Sundays and non-working days from 07:00-22:00 - 35 dB (A) all days from 22:00 07:00.
As a comparison, the background noise in a housing area is 31-32 dB (A). An efficient way of controlling the noise from noise sources is to place fans, hydraulic engines etc. in a basement.

1) The figures apply to plants with bag filter 2) Calculated as NO equivalents 3) The figure is determined by calculation on the basis of the sulphur content of straw (20 straw analyses). Measurements in 1997 have shown that 35-43% of the sulphur is bound in the ash /ref. 59/. 4) Measurements have been conducted at two plants, one value per plant

In-plant safety includes fire safety and personnel safety. The plant must be approved by the local fire authorities before starting up. The plant should be divided into fireproof sections, e.g., as follows:

Table 5: In the period from 1987-93 a series of emission measurements has been made at 13 district heating plants. The figures in bold are mean values, and the figures in brackets show at which interval it can be expected to find approx. 90% of the measuring results. Dust- and carbon monoxide emissions are beyond the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s limit values.

Straw for Energy Production

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District Heating Plants
• • • •
Straw storage Straw feeding Boiler room Other rooms: Offices, canteen, workshop etc.

Million DKK 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

The greatest risks are fire in the straw storage or explosions in the flue gas. If flue gases leak to the rooms, e.g. due to malfunction of the feeder system, sparks from electric switches, or from the boiler itself may ignite the flue gases thereby causing an explosion. Usually the section around the feeder system should be equipped with explosion relief doors in order to reduce the damage caused by a flue gas explosion. The Danish Directory of Labour Inspection shall approve the personnel safety. It includes safety from suffering scalding, burn, poisoning with flue gas or dust, and injuries caused by cranes, conveyors, shredders etc.

Co-firing with Other Fuels
As mentioned under the section on rating, all plants are equipped with oilfired peak and stand-by load boiler capable of supplying the entire heat requirements of the net. The debate over the recent years in respect of straw resources and the meagre straw year 1993 occasioning local shortage of straw has resulted in 11 plants having upgraded the storage, feeder system and boiler for cofiring with wood. It is primarily dry waste wood from the wood industry or wood pellets that are used. At four plants, it is possible to mix fatty sludge and straw/ref. 47 and 48/. Mariager District Heating Plant is one of the plants that has been converted into burning both waste wood and straw. The plant has a 6 MW biofuel boiler and has had the following fuel consumption during 1995: Straw: Wood: Oil: 4,944 tonnes 1,310 tonnes 57.4 m!






5 6 MW output





Figure 18: Cost of construction by the million (DKK) per MW installed output, adjusted to the price level of 1995. The price includes site, land development, buildings, installation of machinery, and projecting. The information is based on 40 plants that only use straw. The price spread can be explained by different size of storage, the general quality of the plant, fluctuations of the market in the period from 1983-1995, and that individual plants have included a storage tank in the price. machinery and projecting. All prices are 1995 prices so that they are comparable. Only very few plants have storage tank included in the price. Figure 18 illustrates the prices for the individual plants as a function of the straw boiler output. As an example, the cost of construction will be set out in detail for a town where both a new plant and a new distribution net is established. It is important for a new project to get “a head start”. Therefore, at least 80% of the oil-fired boilers and all public large-scale consumers should join it right from the beginning. Public largescale consumers are municipality offices, schools, sports centres, etc. Contrary to earlier practice, industrial enterprises and liberal professions will not be reimbursed for energy and environmental taxes in connection with space heating and are therefore also a target group. The data of the example are partly from Figure 17 and are per annum: 260 consumers: 10 large-scale cons.: Net losses in percent: 4,550 MWh 3,300 MWh 30% Heat production: 11,200 MWh Heat production, straw-based: 93% Heat production, oil-based: 7% Maximum output requirement: 3 MW Straw-based boiler output: 2 MW For a densely built-up town, the distribution loss for a year with 3,112 Energy Control Scheme degree days (“ELO degree days”) is approx. 30%. If the area is sparsely built over or in case of small towns connected via transmission piping, the distribution loss rises to above 35%. The investment is as follows: million DKK The heating plant 9.0 Distribution net 10.0 Consumer service pipes 4.0 Consumer house installations 4.0 Unforeseen expenses 1.0 Total cost of construction 28.0 Possible subsidies 4.8 Loan requirement 23.2 The cost of construction can be financed fully by means of index-linked loan. Index-linked loan is a loan that is repaid by annual payments that in-

Oil share in relation to the total heat production of 23,200 MWh is only 2%.

Investment and Operating
Construction Investment For the purpose of the report “Anlægs- og driftsdata for halmfyrede varmeværker. 1996” (data on the construction and operation of straw-fired heating plants) /ref. 9 and 10/, information has been collected about initial expenditures in respect of site, land development, buildings, installation of

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Straw for Energy Production

District Heating Plants
crease concurrently with inflation. It is a cheaper type of loan than the ordinary loans, repayable by equal semiannual instalments or annuity loans, as long as inflation is below 7% per annum. The structure of index-linked loan is set out in more detail in /ref. 41/. Applications for subsidies from the Danish Energy Agency can be filed until and including the year 2000. With regard to accounting practice, the straight line method of depreciation, which charges each year an equal sum, reflects in a better way the partial using-up of the life of the plant than does the other practice where the depreciation is booked as being equal to the instalments on the loan. By the last-mentioned method, the expenses will increase as the instalments rise over the period of repayment. Indexation of instalments is the expense for the annual appreciation of instalments with the index of net prices. The remaining debt also is revalued with the index of net prices. This item is booked in an exchange equalisation fund under the equity capital /ref. 11, Videnblad 117/. Forms of Organisation Straw-fired heating plants can be established as privately owned companies:
Fuel (35%) Capital costs (41%)

Operating Profit and Loss
The heating plant income derives from the sale of heat and is distributed on standard and variable prices for the heating. The tariff for the sale of heat to the consumers may e.g. be: Variable charge DKK 350/MWh Fixed annual charge DKK 1,000/con Capacity charge, private DKK 30/m Capacity charge, industry DKK 30/m In addition to that, VAT shall be included. For a private consumer in a house of 120-130 m with an average consumption of 17.5 MWh, the heating expense will amount to DKK 13,800 per annum. This expense is more or less equal to the operating costs in respect of oil firing: Oil, chimney sweeping, and maintenance. The tariff will yield the following income: Thousand DKK Sale of heat, 7,840 MWh 2,748 Fixed annual charge 270 Capacity charge, private 1,014 Capacity charge, industry 350 Total income 4,442 The expenses are as follows: Thousand DKK Purchase of straw, DKK 430/t 1,235 Purchase of oil, 87,000 litres 295 Maintenance, plant 200 Maintenance distribution net 200 Electrical power, chemicals 100 Other costs (insurance etc.) 75 Personnel and administration 500 Depreciation, 20 years 1,160 Indexation of instalments 23 Interest and contribution 620 Total expenses 4,408 Net result 14

Operating and maintenance (9%) Electrical Personnel and Other power administration costs (2%) and chem(11%) icals (2%)

Figure 19: Distribution of costs in percentages concerning the example illustrated/calculated. The costs in connection with repayment of loan (capital costs) and the purchase of straw and oil make out 76% of the plant’s costs. liable only for the capital for which they have subscribed shares. Straw-based plants shall not be liable to pay tax if the heat can be supplied to everyone living in the area they supply. Therefore it would not be appropriate to form a partnership (I/S), since it would not normally be possible to exploit the tax benefits. On the contrary, the partners are jointly and severally liable to the full extent of their property. This means that creditors may levy execution against all partners in the event that the company goes bankruptcy.

• Co-operative society with limited liability (A.m.b.a.) • Private limited liability company (ApS) • Limited liability company (A/S)
or publicly owned companies. The persons behind such company may be either:

• • • • •

a group of farmers an association of straw suppliers an existing district heating company a group of consumers a municipality

If a straw-based heating plant is privately owned, it would be appropriate to organise it as a co-operative society with limited liability (A.m.b.a.). The owners shall only be personally liable for their contribution, and each consumer has one vote at the general meeting. In addition, the form of company is already known to many people. Almost all straw-based heating plants in Denmark are privately owned co-operative societies with limited liability. A partnership may also be the form chosen, or a limited liability company where the participants also are

Straw for Energy Production

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CHP- and Power Plants

8. CHP- and Power Plants
In 1986, the Danish Government entered into an energy policy agreement including, e.g., that decentralised CHP plants with a total power output of 450 MW fired with domestic fuels like straw, wood, waste, biogas, and natural gas shall be constructed up to 1995. In 1990, the government entered into another agreement on increased use of natural gas and biofuels, primarily by constructing new CHP plants and converting the existing coal- and oil-fired district heating plants to natural gas and biomassbased CHP production.

CHP Plant Principle
At a traditional coal-fired power plant (condensation), 40-45% of the energy input is converted into electrical power. The remaining energy is not utilised. It vanishes with the hot flue gas from the boiler through the chimney into thin air and with the cooling water out into the sea (see Figure 20). At a CHP plant, electrical power is generated in the same way as at a power plant, but instead of discharging the condensation heat from the steam together with the cooling water into the sea, the steam is cooled by means of the recycling water from a district heating distribution net which in turn is heated. The advantages of a CHP plant is, e.g., that is does not require sea water for cooling and can therefore be located near large towns (decentralised) where there is a sufficiently great requirement for district heating and a distribution net. Another advantage is that the energy generated by the fuel can be utilised up to 85-90% (see Figure 20). On the other hand, it is not possible to at a CHP plant together with

Masnedø Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant) was started up in 1996 and consumes approx. 40,000 tonnes of straw per annum. In addition, an amount of approx. 8,000 tonnes of wood chips is consumed. district heating production achieve as high electrical power efficiency, i.e., the ratio between the electrical power generated and the energy input, as that of a power plant. The electrical power efficiency for a straw-fired plant is 20-30%. By operating a CHP plant, the annual electrical power efficiency (on average over a year) is not necessarily an expression of what is technically possible. Requirements in respect of process steam supply, priority of district heating supply, and electrical power generation according to certain tariffs result in a lower efficiency than the full-load electrical power efficiency. See Table 6. At the CHP plant, it is possible to with certain limits regulate the turbine so that the ratio between electrical power and heat production is changed, but in principle, the greater heating requirement the more steam can be cooled by the district heating water, and the more steam can be produced by the boiler with the subsequently greater electrical power generation. At a power plant, there is not this dependence, since there is always sufficient cooling capacity in the sea. In order to make the electrical power generation at a CHP plant more independent of the district heating requirement, all plants are equipped with a storage tank where the condensation heat can be stored when the district heating requirement is low. Combined heat and power production is given high priority in Denmark, also when it comes to power

District heating plant

Power plant

Heat production 85% Loss 15%

CHP plant

Electrical power generation 40%

Electrical power generation 25% Heat production 60% Loss 15%

Loss 60%

Figure 20: By separate electrical power generation and heat production at a power plant and a district heating plant, the losses are much larger than by combined heat and power production at a CHP plant. Losses include own consumption at the plant

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Straw for Energy Production

photo: burmeister & wain energi

CHP- and Power Plants
Rudkøbing Electrical power output (net) Heat output Full load electrical efficiency (net) Electrical efficiency per annum 2.3 MW 7.0 MJ/s 21% 17% Haslev 5.0 MW 13.0 MJ/s 23% 17% Slagelse 11.7 MW 28.0 MJ/s 27% 22% Masnedø 8.3 MW 20.8 MJ/s 26% 23% Grenå 18.6 MW 60.0 MJ/s 18% 14% Måbjerg 28 MW 67 MJ/s 27% 20% Maribo/ Sakskøbing 9.3 MW 20.3 MJ/s 29% 26%

Table 6: Electrical power output, heat output, and electrical power efficiency for the seven decentralised CHP plants. As explained in the text, the annual electrical power efficiency is lower than the efficiency at full load. The annual electrical power efficiency is calculated on the basis of production figures for 1997 except for Maribo/Sakskøbing that is an estimated figure. The high figures for Slagelse are caused by the fact that the steam from the waste boiler plant is not included in the boiler loss. The low figures for Grenaa Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant) are caused by supplies of process steam for industrial purposes. All figures stated are net figures, i.e., the plant’s own consumption of electrical power has been deducted. See also Table 7. plants located near large cities like Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg, Odense and others. At these power plants, part of the loss of approx. 60% as shown in Figure 20 is utilised for district heating production. The six straw-fired decentralised CHP plants that are already in operation and the planned plant in Maribo/Sakskøbing are all based on the CHP principle described. As the plants are partly constructed as demonstration plants for the purpose of demonstrating the straw-based technologies, they are rather different in construction design. Comparable data on the seven plants appear from Tables 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Rudkøbing, Haslev, Slagelse, Masnedø, and Maribo/Sakskøbing
The CHP plants in Haslev and Rudkøbing were started up in 1989 and 1990 and are Denmark’s and probably the world’s first electrical power generating plants exclusively fired with straw. The plant at Masnedø near Vordingborg that was started up in 1996 is also exclusively straw-fired, but at the same time designed for wood chips up to 20% of the total input. The plant near Maribo/Sakskøbing is planned to start up at the beginning of the year 2000 and is exclusively straw-fired.

The plants are owned and run by the electrical power companies: I/S Sjællandske Kraftværker, SK Energi, and I/S Fynsværket. The electricity generated is supplied to the public utility companies’ main distribution network, and the heat is supplied to the district heating systems of the towns. Size of Plant The outputs at the plants of Rudkøbing, Haslev, and Masnedø are: 2.3, 5, and 8.3 MW electrical power (MW electricity). With a heat output of 7.0, 13, and 20.8 MJ/s respectively, the annual consumption of straw is approx. 12,500, 25,000, and 40,000 tonnes. Electrical output and heat output

Boiler Steam drum
Combustion chamber

Superheater 2 Superheater 1

Straw storage


Air preheater


Steam from boiler Turbine Generator Bag filter

Vibrating grate District heating heat exchanger

Slag container

Feed water tank Condenser Storage tank

Figure 21. Simplified diagram of Rudkøbing Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant). The flue gas passes through the combustion chamber to the superheater section and further through an economiser and air preheater and is cleaned in a bag filter before being released through the chimney at 110°C.

Straw for Energy Production

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CHP- and Power Plants
are net figures, i.e., the plants’ own consumption of electrical power and heat are deducted. As the plant in Slagelse is a combination between a waste-fired and a straw-fired boiler that produces steam for the same turbine, the data in Tables 6 and 7 for the entire plant are 11.7 MW electrical power and 28 MJ/s heat, respectively. An amount of 6570% of the production output is based on straw which is equal to an annual consumption of straw of approx. 25,000 tonnes. The plant near Maribo/Sakskøbing is designed for an electrical power output of 9.3 MW and a heat production of 20.3 MJ/s. The annual consumption of straw is approx. 40,000 tonnes. Firing and Combustion System At the plant in Slagelse, two automatic cranes handle the transport of the big bales from the rows in the storage to three parallel feeding system. The bales are passed via a closed fireproof tunnel system (that prevents a possible backfire/burn-back from spreading to the straw storage) towards the straw shredder of the same type as that used at Grenaa Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant). The strings that hold the bales together are automatically cut and removed. The shredder consists of three rotating cylinders positioned above each other equipped with kind of a disc separator. The loose straw falls off the shredder on to a rotary valve and from there to the screw stokers which for each of the three firing systems consist of three screws. The screw stokers press the straw through the feeding tunnel on to the grate that consists of an inclined movable push grate followed by a short horizontal push grate. After burning out, the ash/slag falls via a slag hopper into a slag bath filled with water from where a conveyor system conveys the wet ash/slag to containers. At Rudkøbing Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant) with a firing capacity of 10.7 MW, only one firing system is required. After shredding, the straw falls down into a stoker system consisting of one single rectangular ram stoker that by forward and backward movements pushes the straw through a water-cooled feeding tunnel on to the



Rudkøbing MW 2.3 7.0 60 450 13.9 2,500 6.8 110 350 12,500 10-25 Bag filter Shredded/ stoker DKK year 64 mill. 1990 30 mill.


Slagelse3) Masnedø



Maribo Sakskøbing 9.3 20.3 93 542 43.2 5,600 14 110 1,000 40,000 max 25 Bag filter

Electrical power (net) Heat output Steam pressure Steam temp. Max. Steam flow Storage tank Flue gas flow, max. Flue gas temp. Straw storage Straw consumption Water content, straw Filter type Firing system Boiler plant costs Started up Specific 1995-price

5.0 13 67 450 26 3,200 9.9 120 350 25,000 10-25

11.74) 28

8.3 20.8 92 522 43.2 5,000 14 120 1,000 40,000 max 25

18.6 60.0

282) 67

MJ/s bar

67 450 40.5 3.500 13.4 120 550 25,000 10-25

92 505 104 4,000 39 135 1,100 55,000 10-23

67 410/520 125 5,000 71 110 432 35,000 10-25 Bag filter


tonnes/h m

kg/s C tonnes tonnes/year %

Bag filter Elec. filter Elec. filter Elec. filter Cigar Shredded/ Shredded/ Shredded/ burner stoker stoker pneumatic 100 mill. 1406) mill. 1989 23 mill. 1990 21 mill. 240 mill. 1996 28 mill. 365 mill. 1992 21 mill.

Cigar Shredded/ burner stoker 600 mill. 1993 22 mill. 240 mill. 2000 23 mill.


1): The plant consists of two waste-fired and one straw/wood chips-fired boiler that produces steam for the same turbine. 2): Data are the total production output of electrical power and heat of the straw/wood chips- and the waste-fired boilers of which the straw/wood chips-fired boiler produces approx. 27%. 3):The plant consists of a waste-fired and a straw-fired boiler that produces steam for the same turbine. 4): Data are the total production of electrical power and heat of the straw- and waste-fired boilers of which the straw-fired boiler generates/produces approx. 66%. 5): Distributed between district heating (max. 32 MJ/s) and process steam (max. 53 MJ/s). 6): The cost of construction only for the straw-boiler. 7): The specific price is only normative, since it varies how much the cost of construction shall include. As a comparison with other types of CHP plants, it should be informed that here the net output has formed the basis of the calculation of the specific price and not the gross electrical power output (gross figures include own consumption at the plant). Table 7: Data for the seven straw-fired, decentralised CHP plants.

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Straw for Energy Production

CHP- and Power Plants
grate. By means of the ram stoker movements, the straw is pressed together in the feeding tunnel to a gasproof plug that prevents backfire/ burn-back. The straw burns out on a vibrating grate, and the ash/slag falls into a water-cooled slag bath from where it passes to the container. At Haslev Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant), the big bales are fired without shredding in four parallel cigar burner systems. The cigar burner is described under Section 7 on district heating plants. At Masnedø Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant), the straw is stored and handled to the firing system via crane and feeding lines. A completely new system has been developed for the feeding of the straw whereby the straw bale is pushed against two vertical screws which by means of their rotation shred the straw and pass it to a horizontal set of screw stokers that by means of counter rotation press the straw into the form of a gas-proof plug through an almost rectangular feeding tunnel and then on to the grate. With two of these systems, the plant is capable of at full load consuming 19 big bales, equal to 10 tonnes of straw, per hour. Each of the two firing systems have been designed so as to be fed wood chips simultaneously with the straw. Preliminary experiments show that the wood chips can make out up to 40% of the overall energy input. The plant has been designed for 20% wood chips. Ash and Slag Handling At all plants, the slag and ash from the bottom of the boiler are separated from the fly ash from the filter. The slag and ash from the bottom of the boiler are returned to the farmer so as to be applied as a manure/fertiliser supplement whereas the fly ash due to its too high content of heavy metals may either be deposited on a controlled waste disposal site or be used for mixing with fertilisers. For further details, see under Section 11 “Residual Products”. Boiler Output, Steam Data, and Heat Storage All the boilers are water tube boilers with steam drum and natural circulation in the vaporiser system. For reasons of plant efficiency, it is necessary with a high electrical power generation. This preconditions a high steam pressure and steam temperature. In order for the boiler to withstand the high pressure, the boiler water passes through water/steam tubes that make out the walls (and top and bottom) of

photo: weiss a/s

A water tube boiler of a CHP plant is being welded. The tubes are equipped with small longitudinal fins so that they can be welded together to a gas-proof wall making out the sides, top and bottom of the boiler. the boiler. From the steam drum where water and steam are separated, the steam passes to the superheaters which, e.g., can be clustered either like festoons vertically from the ceiling or be set in vertical banks of pipes in independent superheater passes after the combustion chamber. After the superheater passes, there is a pass with the economiser and the air preheater where the feed water and combustion air are heated. Due to the relative high content of alkali metals in the straw ash (potassium and sodium) and chlorine, the flue gas is corrosive, particularly at high temperatures (above 450°C), and thus as a consequence of the low ash temperature of fusion, the ash particles may cause slagging problems in the boiler. If the slag becomes solid and viscid, it is difficult to remove during operating and will obstruct the heat transfer from the flue gas to the steam in the tubes, and in severe cases, it may shut off the free movement of the flue gas to an extent that the negative pressure and thus the load on the boiler cannot be maintained. At the plants in Haslev, Slagelse, and Rudkøbing, it has been tried to avoid these problems by limiting the superheater temperature to a maximum of 450°C. In Haslev and Slagelse, this has been done by pulling the superheater sections that far back in the boiler system that the flue gas temperature is reduced to approx. 650-700°C before its contact with the first superheater section. At Masnedø Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant), the steam temperature has been increased to 522°C as an experiment. As mentioned, the higher temperature increases the risk of heavy corrosion and slagging problems. The superheater and the top of the boiler is therefore constructed so that it is relatively easy to replace possible corroded superheater tubes.

Other fuels Waste Coal Gas

Unit tonnes/year tonnes/year Nm /year

Masnedø 8,000

Grenå 40,000 -

Måbjerg 150,000 4 million 25,000

Slagelse 20,000 -

Wood chips tonnes/year

Table 8: Four of the plants are designed for co-firing with other fuels.

Straw for Energy Production

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CHP- and Power Plants
At the planned CHP plant in Maribo/Sakskøbing that will be started up at the beginning of the year 2000, the steam temperature will be designed to 542°C. A range of experiments will show how serious the corrosion problems will be. The prospects for Danish trade and industry gaining a foothold in foreign markets with straw-fired CHP plants preconditions high electrical power efficiencies and thus high steam data in the range of 580°C as at the most recently constructed pulverised coal-fired power plants. At temperatures that high, it will, in addition to the problems in connection with corrosion and slag deposits, also be necessary to equip the plant with turbines of a different and more expensive quality than that previously used on the CHP plants described in the above sections. ing with combinations of straw and other fuels. The CHP Plant in Grenaa The CHP plant in Grenaa is coal- and straw-fired, and in addition to electrical power, it shall together with a municipality run refuse incineration plant, and waste heat from the industrial enterprises nearby, cover 90% of the district heating consumption in Grenaa and 90% of the process steam consumption by the industrial enterprise Danisco Paper. As from 1997, the industrial steam system is developed so as to also cover the process steam consumption by Danisco Distillers. So far being the only biomassfired plant in Denmark, the boiler type used in Grenaa is designed as a circulating fluidized bed system. Fluidized Bed A fluidized bed boiler consists of a cylindrical vertically set combustion chamber where air passes through the solid particles consisting of fuel and a fluidizing medium, e.g., sand, thereby fluidizing the mixture (the bed) and thus attain properties as a liquid. An advantage of the fluidized bed boiler is that it is suitable for firing with co-fuels. The fluidized bed principle is seen in a variety of types, but roughly there are two main principles:

• Bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) • Circulating fluidized bed (CFB)
The boiler in Grenaa is a circulating fluidized bed type. From the fluidized bed section, the heated flue gas circulates together with solid particles into an separator cyclone where the solid particles are extracted and recirculated in the fluidized bed. The flue gas passes from the cyclone to a pass where the economiser and air preheater are positioned. Between the cyclone outlet and the economiser, the flue gas passes 2 tube sections which together with a bank of pipes in the bed itself make out the superheater. In 1996, the superheater was extended with a section positioned in the ash re-circulation system.

Grenaa and Maabjerg
The CHP plants in Grenaa and Maabjerg near Holstebro are owned and run by the electricity utility companies I/S Midtkraft and I/S Vestkraft. The Grenaa plant was started up in 1992, and the plant in Maabjerg in 1993. Both plants are designed for fir-

Handling and Firing System
At the CHP plant in Grenaa as with the other plants, the straw is delivered in the form of big bales. With an annual supply of 55,000 tonnes of straw, it has been necessary to automate weighing and measuring of the water content on delivery to the plant. An

Maabjergværket (CHP plant). On the left, the storage tank of 5,000 m!. The straw storage is the low building on the right. Outermost on the right the outdoor wood chips storage.

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photo: biopress/torben skøtt

CHP- and Power Plants
automatic crane is equipped with griphooks that can lift 12 bales at a time off the truck. By means of microwaves that are sent through the bales from one grip-hook to the other one, and by means of a weighing cell between grip-hooks and crane, the average water content and the weight are being measured and recorded by a computer. From the storage, the bales are picked up by a crane and unloaded on to 4 feeding lines. The straw is shredded by a relatively low energy consumption (1.8 kWh per MWh fired). The shredded straw is conveyed from the 4 lines via rotary valves to 2 feeding systems. Via the feeding systems, the straw is blown on to the ash circulation system from where it passes on to the bed. After having been pulverised to a grain size of maximum 8 mm, the coal is fed either via screw stokers in the bottom of the boiler or via rotary valves on to the ash circulation system. Other Data The boiler in Grenaa has been designed for firing with coal and straw in a mixture of 50% straw on energy basis. At full load (100%), the boiler produces 104 tonnes of steam per hour at 505°C and 92 bar. Of this amount, between 37 and 77 tonnes of steam are drawn off per hour at 210°C and 8.3 bar for process steam for the industrial enterprises Danisco Paper and Danisco Distillers. In addition to 55,000 tonnes of straw, approx. 40,000 tonnes of coal are consumed per annum. The coal storage is capable of supplying coal for 20 days and nights at 100% pure coal firing, and the straw storage is capable of supplying straw for the consumption of 4.2 days and nights at 50/50% fuel mixture. Like the other CHP plants, the boiler plant is equipped with a heat storage tank, and like the plants in Slagelse and Masnedø, the flue gas
Emission CO Dust NON SO Unit volume % dry flue gas mg/Nm! mg/Nm mg/Nm
! !

photo: biopress/torben skøtt

The operations manager at Grenaa Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant) stands by the straw shredder that is opened for inspection. is cleaned for solid particles by means of an electrostatic filter. The CHP Plant in Maabjerg In Maabjerg near Holstebro, I/S Vestkraft ( electricity utility) has constructed a CHP plant that is fired with waste, straw, wood chips, and natural gas. The plant is divided into 3 boiler lines, 2 for waste and 1 for straw and wood chips. All 3 boilers are equipped with separate natural gas-fired superheater that raises the steam temperature from 410°C to 520°C at a pressure of 67 bar. The straw is fired in the form of whole big bales into 6 cigar burners, installed 3 and 3 opposite each other. By means of a pneumatic feeding system, the wood chips are thrown on to a vibrating grate where unburnt straw and wood chips burn out. The flue gas generated by the straw/wood chips-fired boiler is cleaned in a bag
Haslev 0.05 at 10% O 50 340 300 Slagelse 0.2 at 12% CO 50 340 300 Grenå None 50 160 280

filter, and in respect of the waste-fired boilers, the flue gas cleaning system is supplemented by a scrubber system in order to reduce hydrogen chloride-, hydrogen fluoride-, and sulphur oxide emissions. The scrubber system separates at the same time heavy metals from the fly ash to a certain extent. The straw/wood chips-fired boiler can operate at full load on either straw or wood chips, or on combinations of straw and wood chips. The boiler output is 12 tonnes of straw per hour. Further data are set out in Tables 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Environmental Requirements
In the Danish Environmental Protection Agency Directions No. 6 and 9/1990 on “Industrial Air Pollution Control Guidelines” /ref. 42/, emission levels that are intended as a guide for
Måbjerg 0.05 at 10% O 40 None 

Rudkøbing 0.2 at 12% CO 50 350 None

Aabenraa None 50 400 2,000

Masnedø 0.05 at 10% O 40 200 None

Maribo/ Sakskøbing 0.05 at 10% O 40 400 None 


Table 9: Maximum emissions from the 7 decentralised CHP plants and the power plant at Aabenraa. The figures are from the environmental approvals of the individual plants. 1): The emission is 100-200 mg SO /Nm! when operating 2): Calculated on the basis of 650 mg/Nm!.

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CHP- and Power Plants
straw-fired boiler plants larger than 1 MW input are for dust and CO suggested at 40 mg/Nm! and 0.05% CO (volume % at 10% O in the flue gas), respectively. However, concerning the CHP plants described here, the environmental approvals in question stipulate individual requirements to be met, see Table 9. price forming the basis of Table 7 is based on the net output and not on the gross output. The gross output includes the plant’s own consumption of power. The status of being pilot and demonstration plant also contributes to an increase in the cost of construction which contributes to confusing the price. The volumetric calorific value of straw is a factor 10-15 times lower than that of coal at the same time of straw being physically more difficult to handle, thus the costs for storage, handling and firing systems contribute to increasing the plants’ high specific cost of construction. With a straw price of approx. DKK 0.45 per kg or approx. DKK 0.11 per kWh, straw is three times as expensive as coal for electrical power production, see Figure 1, Section 1. amounts of straw at power plants to a critical analysis. Among the important issues in that respect were:

Cost of Construction and Operating Costs
The cost of construction for the decentralised biomass-fired CHP plants is relatively higher than that of conventional coal-fired power plants measured by the million (DKK) per installed MW electrical power output. For the seven plants, the specific construction investment is in the range of approx. DKK 21 and 30 million per MW electrical power. As will appear from Table 7, the cost of construction is price index-linked to the 1995 level, thereby making it suitable to be compared. The relatively high cost of construction depends first and foremost on the size of the plant, (the smaller the plant, the higher the specific cost of construction). By technological advances in respect of a certain type of plant, the specific price will drop for new plants compared to older plants of the same size. The specific price should be understood as a guide, since the cost of construction varies with the items included, see Table 7. By a comparison with other types of CHP plants, it should be mentioned that the calculation of the specific

• High-temperature corrosion of superheaters at high steam temperatures • Industrial application of mixed ash by co-firing of straw and coal • Flue gas cleaning by co-firing of straw and coal • Resource statements and straw supply safety • Costs
There are several overall concepts for solutions: 1. Separate firing: Straw fired in a separate biomass-based boiler that supplies steam for the coalfired boiler. 2. Co-firing: Straw and coal fired together in power plant boiler 3. Coupled-gasifier-combustor. Gasification of straw, the gas burns in a boiler that may be designed for cofiring of straw gas and pulverised coal. This concept is undergoing further development. By separate firing, problems in respect of high-temperature corrosion are avoided because the steam temperature in the biomass boiler is kept under a critical level. Industrial application of ash from the coal boiler is no problem because the ash from the two boilers are not mixed. The drawback to separate firing is first and foremost the high cost of construction. By cofiring, solutions should be found to the problems of high-temperature corrosion and industrial application of mixed ash. At power plants that are equipped with desulphurization- and nitrogen reduction units (deNON plants), the content of alkali metals (potassium and sodium) and chlorine in the straw ash causes operating problems. A major advantage of cofiring is the low cost of construction. The interest for coupled-gasifiercombustors is due to both the low cost of construction and the prospects of low alkali and chlorine contents in the gas. So far, a straw-fired boiler plant has been established at a power plant within a framework managed by the Electricity Utility Group ELSAM. In the autumn of 1997, Sønderjyllands Højspændingsværk (electricity utility) has started up a separate biomass-fired boiler at the Enstedværket (power plant) running parallel with the pulverised coal-fired Unit 3 of the Enstedværket. Since 1995, I/S Midtkraft ( electricity utility) has carried out ex-

Straw at Power Plants
In 1993, the Danish parliament “Folketinget” ordered the Danish power plants to use 1.2 million tonnes of straw (it was later decided that 0.2 million tonnes of wood chips can be substituted by wood or willow chips) and 0.2 million tonnes of wood chips as fuels at the centralised power plants not later than 2000 as a result of the energy policy target in respect of CO reduction. The Electricity Utility Group ELSAM and ELKRAFT Power Company Ltd. therefore implemented a wide range of activities in order to subject the problems of firing very large

3 of 4 feeding lines at Enstedværket (power plant). The big bales are collected via a conveyor belt in the storage and are distributed to the 4 lines via a traversing vehicle.

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photo: sønderjyllands højspændingsværk

CHP- and Power Plants

630 MW


Electrostatic filters

DesulphElectrostatic urization unit filters



Flue gas fan Biomass ash Super heater

Flue gas fan Plaster Coal ash


Biomass-fired boiler

Coal-fired boiler Coal

Wood chips
graphic: sønderjyllands højspændingsværk



Biomass slag

Coal slag

Figure 22: Simplified diagram of Enstedværket’s biomass-fired boiler of 40 MW electrical power and the coal-fired boiler of 630 MW electrical power. The biomass-fired boiler substitutes the use of the 80,000 tonnes of coal/year, thereby reducing the amount of CO being released to the atmosphere by 192,000 tonnes/year. periments on co-firing with straw and pulverised coal in a 150 MW electrical power power plant boiler. In Zealand, ELKRAFT Power Company Ltd. has planned firing with straw at Avedøreværket (power plant) in a separate biomass-fired boiler. Enstedværket The biomass-fired boiler plant at the Enstedværket consists of two boilers, a straw-fired boiler producing heat at 470°C, and a wood chips-fired boiler superheating the steam from the straw-fired boiler to 542°C. The superheated steam is lead to the highpressure steam system of the Enstedværket Unit 3 (210 bar). With an estimated annual consumption of 120,000 tonnes of straw and 30,000 tonnes of wood chips, equal to an input of 95.2 MJ/s, the biomass-fired boiler produces 88 MW thermic (energy) including 39.7 MW electrical power (approx. 6.6% of the total amount of electrical power generated by Unit 3. Thus the biomass-fired boiler is considerably larger than the largest of the decentralised biomass-fired CHP plants. Net electrical power efficiency being 40%. The annual efficiency is estimated being a bit lower due to the connection with Unit 3 and due to variations in load conditions. The biomass-fired boiler is planned to operate 6,000 hours at full load per annum. With a storage capacity of only 1,008 bales which will allow for approx. 24 hours operation, 914 big bales should be delivered every 24 hours on average, equal to 4 truck loads per hour for 9.5 hours every 24 hours. The straw-fired boiler is equipped with 4 feeding lines. The plant can operate at a 100% load at only 3 lines, though. Each feeding line consists of a fireproof tunnel, conveyors, straw shredder, fire damper, and a feeding tunnel. As with the plant at Masnedø, the straw shredder is designed as two coupled, conical, vertical screws towards which the straw bale is pressed. From the straw shredder, the shredded straw is dosed via a fire damper on to the screw stoker that presses the straw like a plug through the feeding tunnel and on to the grate. The wood chips-based boiler is equipped with two pneumatic dampers that throws the wood chips on to a grate. The dosing of wood chips is performed by a feeding screw from an intermediate silo. The flue gas is cleaned by electrostatic filter. In order for the bottomash and slag from the boiler to be applied as fertiliser, the fly ash from the filter (that contains the major part of the heavy metals of the ash) is separated from the ash from the bottom of the boiler. The total cost of construction of the boiler plant at the Enstedværket is approx. DKK 400 million (1995 prices). The price includes boiler, fuel storage, steam pipe to the Unit 3 turbine. Re-use of boiler house and electrostatic filter. The project was decided in January 1995, and commercial operation commenced at the beginning of 1998. Studstrupværket Before it was decided to establish cofiring of straw and coal at Studstrupværket (power plant), I/S Midtkraft (electricity utility) carried through experiments on two old power plant units, a pulverised-coal-fired unit of 125 MW electrical power, and a

Straw for Energy Production

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CHP- and Power Plants
grate-fired stoker plant of 70 MW electrical power, during the period from 1992-1994. The purpose of the experiments was to investigate the generally known problematic issues in connection with straw-firing at power plants, including:

The experiments have resulted in the carrying though of a 2-year demonstration project during 1996/97 with co-firing of straw and coal at the pulverised coal-fired the power plant (Unit 1) 150 MW electrical power of the Studstrupværket. The plant at Studstrupværket is designed for a maximum straw input of 20% of the total input energy. A straw storage is established with space for 1,100 big bales and a total of 4 feeding lines each consisting of a shredder and a hammer mill that crushes the shredded straw stalks. The straw is together with the pulverised coal blown into the combustion chamber. The boiler is designed for an output of 500 tonnes of steam per hour at a steam pressure of 143 bar and a superheater temperature of 540°C. The cost of construction in connection with

photo: sønderjyllands højspændingsværk

• Handling and firing of straw in a power plant boiler that is simultaneously fired with coal • Consequences for the boiler output and flue gas emissions • Corrosion of superheaters and slagging problems • Mixed ash problems • Straw influence on flue gas cleaning systems

Straw being unloaded from a truck at the Enstedværket. The crane lifts 12 bales at a time. At the same time, the bales are being weighed, and the water content measured via microwave equipment mounted in the grip-hooks. the establishing of storage, handling equipment, and firing systems amounts to approx. DKK 90 million. Avedøreværket In connection with the construction of a new power plant unit (Unit 2) at the power plant Avedøreværket, a biomass-fired plant with an input of 150,000 tonnes of biomass per annum of which the majority will be straw. Based on experiences gained at the plant in Masnedø, a separate straw-/wood chips-fired boiler has been planned that can produce steam at 300 bar and 580°C. The steam passes to the main boiler steam turbine. If it is not possible to attain the high steam temperature without too severe corrosion problems, arrangements will be made for part of the superheating to take place in a natural gas-fired superheater. With the planned construction project and the high steam temperature, an electric power efficiency of the biomass-based unit of 43% is estimated. The plant is planned for starting up at the end of 2001.

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Gasification and Pyrolysis

9. Gasification and Pyrolysis
Gasification of straw is interesting with a view to substitution fossil fuels with biomass at small power plants of an output of 0.2-3 MW electrical power and at power plants of a size of 50-100 MW electrical power. The gas from a small gasifier can be used so as to drive an engine that drives a generator that generates electrical power. The cooling water supplies hot water to a district heating distribution net. At a power station, the gas can be burnt in a high-pressure boiler where the steam drives a turbine/generator. From 1988, various experiments on gasification of straw were carried out, e.g., at Kyndbyværket (power plant). The experiments were financed by ELKRAFT Power Company Ltd , Danish Energy Agency, and Ansaldo Vølund A/S. These experiments have revealed certain problems associated with the special properties of straw when used as a fuel. By updraft gasification (the gas rises through the incoming straw), problems were demonstrated within the following areas:

photo: reto hummelshøj/cowi

The pyrolysis plant at Haslev Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant). The pyrolysis plant has been coupled to the plant as a demonstration facility and therefore not structurally fitted into the entire design. wood charcoal make this fuel considerably suitable for gasification purposes. With the gasifier at Kyndbyværket (power plant) as the prototype, an updraft gasifier has been constructed at Harboøre where wood chips are used as the fuel due to more experience having been gained. The “Kyndby gasifier” was closed down after finishing the experimental programme. It was dismantled in 1997 along with the demolition of Kyndbyværket’s old unit. At the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), a two-staged gasifier has been developed. During the period from 1994-98, the effort has been concentrated on wood gasification, since it is now easier to upscale wood gasifiers from small to larger test plants. Long-range experiments on gasification of briquette fuel have been carried out. From 1998, straw gasification has been given priority. The developing work is aiming at two boiler plant types: 1. Small gasifiers of a size of 0.2-3 MW electrical power with a heat production of 0.5-8 MW that can substitute existing boilers at district heating plants where there is no electrical power generation today. 2. Large gasifiers of a size of 50-100 MW electrical power at power plants where the low alkali and chlorine contents of the gas make it possible to burn it in a highpressure boiler. The concept is called a coupled-gasifier-combustor and has been developed for wood in Finland.

• Feeding of fuel • Non-homogeneity of layers of fuels with straw compacting in cold zones • Unburnt straw charcoal blown out of the gasifier
The feeding of fuel resulted in many problems with plugs in the fuel feeding system. A discontinuous feeding of fuel affect the gasification process negatively, since it increases burning through tendencies with a poor gas quality and great variations in the gas composition as the result. Attempts were made so as to remedy non-homogeneity by means of a stirring system which did not solve the problem, though. Perhaps the stirrer contributed to pyrolysed straw charcoal being pulverised to finely divided powder that is fluidized in hot zones and blown out of the gasifier. In cold zones, the straw compacted in wet lumps more or less impervious to gas. Thereby the heat transfer into the fuel was interrupted so that an evenly distributed glow bed could not be built up. Experiments on gasification of wood chips made in the same boiler for a shorter period have shown that the granular structure of the wood chips and the formation of a stable

Haslev Pyrolysis Plant
The high chlorine and alkali contents of straw make it unsuitable for direct burning in boilers with high steam data. High steam data are necessary in order to be able to achieve high electrical power efficiency. By pyrolysis, the major part of the chlorine and alkali is retained in the charcoal if the temperature is kept at a maximum of 550°C. Furthermore, particles from the hot gas are separated in a cyclone. Thus, the pyrolysis gas can be used to superheat steam without any major risk of corrosion, erosion, and deposits on the superheater. In the spring of 1992, it was decided to construct a full-scale demonstration plant designed for pyrolytic gasification of straw in connection with Haslev Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant). In addition to ELKRAFT Power Company Ltd., the EU “Thermie Programme”, the Danish Energy Agency, Ansaldo Vølund A/S, and COWI Consulting Engineers have supported the project financially.

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Gasification and Pyrolysis
Figure 23: Simplified diagram of the pyrolysis plant at Haslev Kraftvarmeværk (CHP plant).
430° C 12-26 t/h 65 bar 480° C Turbine Strawbased boiler Air preheater Superheater Air 5,3 t/h 0,7 t/h Pyrolysis unit Char coal Gas Charcoal Flue gas Boundary line for pyrolysis plant Gas Cyklone Generator

90° C District heating


The overall objective of the project is to demonstrate the function of the main components and the concept as such, since it can improve the efficiency of waste- and biomass-fired CHP plants. Already in 1987 in ELKRAFT Power Company Ltd.’s brainstorm competition on gasification technology, COWI was awarded the first prize for the above-mentioned concept. The project started up in 1989 with laboratory tests carried out at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Then a pilot plant was constructed also at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) where the plant in 1991 operated for a total of 1,000 hours producing an extremely promising result. This formed the basis for the decision to construct a pyrolysis plant in Haslev. Test operation at the pyrolysis plant in Haslev commenced in the autumn of 1996, and after approx. 800

hours of operation of which 200 being based on gas produced by pyrolysis, the plant was retrofitted and optimised in several respects. In the separate superheater, see Figure 23, the gas heats a partial steam flow from approx. 430°C to approx. 480°C, the flue gas then passes to the pyrolysis unit double jacket, thereby transferring energy to the process. The pyrolysis unit is a wormbased pyrolysis unit where the maximum jacket temperature is kept at approx. 600°C. The maximum temperature in the pyrolysis unit can thereby be kept at approx. 550°C. The flue gas is further cooled in an air preheater and then released through the chimney. The charcoal from the pyrolysis process is lead to the strawbased boiler and burns together with the straw. The pyrolysis plant has a capacity of 675 kg straw per hour, equal to an input of approx. 2.7 MW. The pyrolysis gas output is approx. 1

MW. The remaining 1.7 MW is recovered in the charcoal that is utilised in the boiler. In addition to straw, the pyrolysis unit can be fed dried sludge, and the charcoal can be used as auxiliary firing and thereby replace natural gas and oil. Straw charcoal can also be used in order to regulate variations in the straw quality, thereby keeping a constant boiler load. A partial flow of the charcoal can also be used in the flue gas cleaning system thus reducing the purchase of activated charcoal. At new plants, the concept may increase the electrical power output by 10-15% at a given heating basis, equal to an improvement of 2-3 percentage point in electrical power efficiency. In Haslev, the interplay between the boiler and the pyrolysis unit is not yet finally optimised, since it is still being a pilot plant with an expected limited life.

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Other Technologies for Electric Power Generation

10. Other Technologies for Electric Power Generation
For small-scale CHP production, i.e., district heating plants, institutions, and farm-scale plants, there is a potential market both domestically and internationally. There are several development projects currently underway aiming at smallscale electrical power generation based on biomass with acceptable electrical power efficiencies. Of these, flash pyrolysis, Stirling engine, and steam engine will be described. for alternative applications as co-firing at power plants. In terms of finance, this solution is not attractive, though, when considering the present prices of straw and wood chips. adapted to experiences gained from the use of biomass in large steam boiler plants. In addition, the engine is hermetically sealed, since the generator is built into a pressurised crankcase. By at the same time using lubricated, sealed bearings, the problem of leakage of the working mediums gas and oil in the working volumes is solved. The temperature in the engine heating surfaces should be as high as possible in order to achieve a good efficiency. This means in practice that the temperature of the heating surfaces should be at least 650-700°C. The temperature of the flue gas leaving the heating surfaces will be high. Therefore, an air preheater is used that preheats the combustion air by means of the hot flue gas. The hot combustion air does not constitute any great problem in a natural gas burner, but with wood chips or straw being fired instead, there is a risk of the high temperatures causing the ash to fuse and deposit on the heat transferring surfaces. An important part of the Danish Stirling engine activities are therefore the development of an efficient combustion system. The 150 kW electrical power and 35 kW electrical power engines are designed with regard to being used for biomass as the energy source, either via combustion or gasification. This results in the combustion chamber and the boiler sections being much larger than those of a Stirling engine for natural gas or oil. The burnout time for solid fuel is longer than those of oil and gas, and the particle content necessitates a great distance between tubes and fins of the Stirling engine heating surfaces. The heating load in the heater is approx. 50 kW/m which is equal to the heat load in a steam boiler for wood chips, but it is only 1/4Stirling 35 kW kW DKK/kWel 33 102 21 20,000 Stirling 150 Sunpower Inc 142 350 26 15-20,000 2.5 Unknown 20 20,000

Stirling Engine
The design of the Stirling engine makes it particularly suitable for difficult fuels, because the combustion does not take place in the cylinders but externally as in a boiler. Depending on the design of the engine and the design of the firing equipment, it is thereby possible to use both gaseous, liquid, and solid fuels. It is therefore an obvious possibility to apply the technology to biomass-fired CHP plants. At the Technical University of Denmark, development work is currently taking place in order to develop three engines generating electrical power outputs of 150, 35, and 9 kW, respectively. Development and testing of the three engine types are carried out in several projects. The 150 kW electrical power project is financially supported by ELKRAFT Power Company Ltd. and the Danish Energy Agency and is based on gasification technology. The 35 kW electrical power engine is supported by the Danish Energy Agency via two projects, and the work is carried out in cooperation with the industrial enterprises REKA A/S and PlanEnergi A/S. The 9 kW electrical power engine is supported financially by Naturgas Midt-Nord and the Danish Energy Agency. This engine is designed for gaseous fuels and is not described in more detail. It is necessary to develop Stirling engines for direct use of biomass in stationary plants for electrical power generation. This means that the engine heating surfaces are
Unit Electrical power output Heat output Electrical power effic., net Specific cost of constr.

Flash Pyrolysis
By pyrolysis of biomass, the volatile compounds of straw (75-80% of the calorific value) are converted to gases by heating in the absence of oxygen. If the pyrolysis process is very fast with subsequent rapid quenching of the gases developed, a very high output (typically 60-70%) is achieved of an oily product, pyrolysis oil. For some years, ELKRAFT Power Company Ltd. has participated in several pyrolysis projects in Canada and Finland, and under the auspices of the EU in order to both investigate the suitability of the process for pyrolysis of straw, and also to investigate the applicability of the pyrolysis oil (technically and financially) in diesel engines and boilers. So far, results have shown that straw can be converted to pyrolysis oil without problems in the process itself, but that further development of methods for separating solid particles from the gas before condensing it is necessary. In Finland and England, short-term experiments have been carried out on pyrolysis oil as a fuel in diesel engines in the size of 60, 250, and 1,500 kW. In terms of combustion, the pyrolysis oil is unproblematic in behaviour, but it will be necessary with modifications of all components that are in contact with the pyrolysis oil due to its low pH value (3-4). Other experiments show that the pyrolysis oil is relatively easy to use in both small and large boilers. CHP production based on pyrolysis oil could, e.g., consist of a central flash pyrolysis plant and a distribution system (tankers) and several small CHP plants that, e.g., consist of an unattended diesel engine. The low contents of ash, chlorine, and alkali in pyrolysis oil also make it interesting

Table 10: Stirling engine. Electrical power efficiency at full load. The annual efficiency will be lower depending on operating conditions. The cost of construction is budgeted price. The data stated are based on test results and on wood chips being the fuel.

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1/5 of the load in a gas-fired Stirling engine. The development projects are primarily based on wood chips being the fuel, but straw is also a possible fuel. The chlorine and alkali contents of straw result in corrosion of the heating surfaces, but washing of the straw offers the possibility of reducing the aggressive components (see Section 2) /ref. 3 and 49/. The American enterprise Sunpower Inc. in Ohio manufactured in 1996 six prototypes of an 2.5 kW electrical power Stirling engine with a linear generator directly connected to the piston without a crank. The fuels being wood, bagasse, rice hulls, straw etc. By an annual production of 10,000 engines, the price has been fixed at US$ 6,000, equal to approx. DKK 20,000/kW electrical power. The prototype of a Danish manufactured steam engine installed for testing. The steam tubes supply steam for the high-pressure cylinder and afterwards for the bigger low-pressure cylinder. The hydraulic valves can be seen in the upper left corner behind the low-pressure cylinder.

Steam Engines
Steam engines can be an alternative at CHP plants up to approx. 1 MW electrical power, i.e., small plants that can cover the heating requirements in small towns up to 500 houses. The advantages of the steam engine are:

• that this size of steam engine is capable of competing with the steam turbine in respect of price and efficiency, • that the technology is relatively simple, • that the working medium is steam that is produced in a boiler capable of running on vario biofuels.
The disadvantages of the steam engine (or the development requirement) are:

photo: dk-teknik

• that the conventional slider valve system yields a lower efficiency than that of modern hydraulic valve guide.
With a view to developing a modern steam engine, a two-cylinder prototype with a steam pressure of 24 bar and a steam temperature of 380°C with oil-free piston rings of carbon fibres and with hydraulic valves has been constructed. The steam engine is capable of generating an output of 500 kW electrical power. The project is being carried out by dk-TEKNIK and the engineering firm Milton Andersen and is financially supported by the EU and the Danish Energy Agency. After

satisfactory testing of the prototype, it is planned to construct a steam engine running at 70 bar and 550°C. A commercialised product of a size of 1 MW electrical power and with a net electrical power efficiency of almost 20% may be commercialised and marketed during 20002005. The specific cost of construction is estimated at DKK 20-25 million per MW electrical power/ref. 3, 12, 50/.

• that an engine should be developed that does not have to be lubricated with lubricating oil, since oil leakage to cylinders destroy the steam quality,

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Residual Products

11. Residual Products
Straw typically contains 3-5% ash. Part of the ash is taken out in the bottom of the boiler and is called bottom ash while the remainder is whirled round in the boiler with the combustion air and further out in a flue gas cleaning system. This part of the ash is called fly ash. In the flue gas cleaning system, the major part of the fly ash is separated, while the remainder is released through the chimney in the form of particle emission. Flue gas cleaning systems are described in more detail under Sections 7 and 8. The collected bottom ash and fly ash from the straw-fired boiler are considered residual products and should pursuant to the (Danish) Environmental Act be disposed of in a safe way. Disposal may include recycling or storage.
Heavy metals Cadmium Mercury Lead Nickel Chromium Zinc Copper Limit values in force 01.10.1996 - 30.06.2000 mg per kg mg per kg dry matter total phosphorus 0.8 200 0.8 200 120 10,000 30 2,500 100 4,000 1,000 Limit values in force 01.07.2000 mg per kg mg per kg dry matter total phosphorus 0.4 100 0.8 200 120 10,000 30 2,500 100 4,000 1,000

Table 11: Limit values for heavy metals, e.g., in ash for agricultural applications, see Executive Order No. 823 of September 16, 1996. investigated. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency is preparing an Executive Order that, e.g., includes ash from straw and wood for agricultural applications. Recycling for Cement and Concrete Applications In Denmark, applications for a large proportion of the residual products (fly ash from coal) from the energy production have been found in the cement and concrete industry. The requirements applying to fly ash in concrete are set out in /ref. 23/. Straw ash will result in a too high content of alkali metals (potassium and sodium) and chloride in cement. Alkali metals constitute a problem because they can react to flint stone particles in the gravel aggregate with which the cement is mixed during concrete manufacturing. Thereby combinations can be formed that absorb water from the surroundings. This results in volume expansions, formation of cracks, and problems with the freezing and thawing properties. A high chloride content is problematic because it may result in corrosion of the reinforcement bars. straw (bottom) ash to start fusing already at temperatures about 800900°C (see Section 2). The slagging tendency may vary, though, depending on the type of straw and the growing conditions. A great proportion of the potassium content of straw is removed (washed out) by rain if the straw is left in the field after being harvested. The problems of slagging and condensing are therefore very much reduced when using straw that has been washed out in the field /ref. 33/. Together with advisers, the power companies have carried out successful experiments on straw being subjected to a more controlled washing process. In the subsequent energy application of the washed straw, the energy utilisation can be controlled so that the increased water content of the washed straw does not give rise to any considerable energy loss. During the combustion of straw, part of the potassium content of straw is liberated along with the major proportion of chlorine and sulphur to the flue gas. When cooling the flue gas later on, greyish depositing results whose thickness is currently increased, thereby reducing the heat transfer in the heating surfaces. The depositing may be so serious that frequent cleaning of the heating surfaces being required. In addition, submicrons (particles of diameter less than 1/1000 mm) are produced consisting of potassium chloride and potassium sulphate that are carried with the flue gas to the particle filter. Boiler design (superheater positioning, distance between the tubes etc.) may however prevent some of these nuisances.

Recycling for Agricultural Applications. Straw ash contains nutrients, primarily potassium and other soil amelioration matter like magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium and can therefore be applied in agriculture as fertiliser. Agricultural application of ash requires permission from the county. Applications submitted to the County are considered, thereby having regard to the Department of the Environment and Energy Executive Order No. 823 of September 16, 1996 on residual products for agricultural applications. This means, e.g., that the content of heavy metals in the ash should not exceed the limit values stated in the Executive Order. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency may however grant an exemption. It is optional whether the content of heavy metals in the ash is calculated on the basis of the dry matter content of the ash or its phosphorus content. At the beginning of 1998, an investment is being carried out so as to clarify whether or not heavy metals can be concentrated in some smaller ash fractions by a separation of the ash flow from the grate, cyclone and filter sections. Thereby some fractions of the ash will get a lower heavy metal content, primarily of cadmium. In addition, the distribution of the ash nutrients among the ash fractions will be

Slagging and Condensing
Usually, straw has a serious slagging tendency, i.e., a concretion or fusion of the ash. This may occur, e.g., locally on the grate in case of grate firing or in the combustion chamber where the temperatures are so high that the ash fuses wholly or partly. The hard, vitreous slag may be very difficult to remove. The slagging tendency of straw is due to its relatively high content of potassium that causes

Straw for Energy Production

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Further Information

12. Further Information
The centres, institutes, and authorities listed below can provide further information and directions in respect of using straw as a source of energy.
Videncenter for Halm- og Flisfyring Centre for Biomass Technology can be found at the following addresses: Dansk Teknologisk Institut Danish Technological Institute Teknologiparken DK-8000 Aarhus C Tel: +45 8943 8556, fax: +45 8943 8543 E-mail: dk-TEKNIK 15 Gladsaxe Møllevej DK-2860 Søborg Tel: + 45 3955 5999, fax +45 3969 6002 E-mail: Danmarks JordbrugsForskning Forskningscenter Bygholm Afdeling for Jordbrugsteknik Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences Research Centre Bygholm Dept. of Agricultural Engineering 17 Schüttesvej DK-8700 Horsens Tel: +45 7560 2211, fax +45 7562 4880 E-mail: Forskningscentret for Skov & Landskab Danish Forest and Landscape Research Institute 11 Hørsholm Kongevej DK-2970 Hørsholm Tel: +45 4576 3200, fax +45 4576 3233 E-mail:

Danske Fjernvarmeværkers Forening Danish District Heating Association, 44 Galgebjervej, DK-6000 Kolding Tel: +45 7630 8000, fax +45 7552 8962 E-mail: Energistyrelsen Danish Energy Agency 44 Amaliegade DK-1256 Copenhagen K Tel: +45 3392 6700, fax +45 3311 4743 E-mail: Miljøstyrelsen Danish Environmental Protection Agency 29 Strandgade DK-1401 Copenhagen K Tel: +45 3266 0100, fax +45 3266 0479 E-mail: Statens Jordbrugs- og Fiskeriøkonomiske Institut Danish Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Economics 1-3 Gl. Køge Landevej, DK-2500 Valby Tel: +45 3644 2080, fax: +45 3644 1110 E-mail: Danske Halmleverandører Danish Straw Suppliers Chairman: Hans Stougaard 68 Langgade DK-5620 Glamsbjerg Tel: +45 6472 1901, fax: +45 6472 2244 Landbrugets Halmudvalg. Agricultural Council for Utilization of Surplus Straw 15 Udkærsvej, Skejby DK-8200 Aarhus N Tel: +45 8740 5000, fax: +45 8740 5010 E-mail: Foreningen for Producenter af fastbrændsels Anlæg (FOFA) Association of Danish Manufactures of Biomass Boilers c/o Haandværksraadet 31 Amaliegade DK-1256 Copenhagen K Tel: +45 3393 2000, fax: +45 3332 0174 E-mail: Landskontoret for Bygninger og Maskiner The National Department of Farm Buildings and Machinery 15 Udkærsvej, DK-8200 Aarhus N Tel: +45 8740 5000, fax: +45 8740 5010 E-mail:

ELSAM 45 Overgade Electricity Utility Group ELSAM DK-7000 Fredericia Tel: +45 7622 2000, fax: +45 7622 2009 E-mail: ELKRAFT ELKRAFT Power Company Ltd. Electricity Utility Group 5 Lautruphøj DK-2750 Ballerup Tel: +45 4466 0022, fax: +45 4465 6104 E-mail: Dansk BioEnergi (magazine) Forlaget BioPress 8 Vestre Skovvej DK-8240 Risskov Tel: +45 8617 3407, fax: +45 8617 8507 E-mail: Non-food Sekretariatet The Non-food Secretariat Danish Directorate for Development 29 Toldbodgade DK-1253 Copenhagen K Tel: +45 3363 7300, fax +45 3363 7333 E-mail: Prøvestationen for mindre Biobrændselskedler Test Laboratory for small Biofuel Boilers Danish Technological Institute Teknologiparken DK-8000 Aarhus C Tel: +45 8943 8556, fax: +45 8943 8543 Danmarks JordbrugsForskning Forskningscenter Foulum Afdeling for Plantevækst og Jord Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences Research Centre Foulum Dept. of Crops Physiology and Soil Science P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele Tel: +45 8999 1900, fax: +45 8999 1619 E-mail: Danmarks JordbrugsForskning Forskningscenter Flakkebjerg Afdeling for Plantebiologi Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences Research Centre Flakkebjerg Dept. of Plant Biology DK-4200 Slagelse Tel: +45 5811 3300, fax: +45 5811 3301 E-mail: johannes.jorgensen

Informationssekretariatet for Vedvarende Energi. DTI Energi Renewable Energy Information Centre. DTI Energy P.O. Box 141, DK-2630 Taastrup Tel: +45 4399 6065, fax +45 4399 1799 E-mail: Samvirkende Energi- og Miljøkontorer Associated Energy and Environmental Office 8 Dumpen DK-8800 Viborg Tel: +45 8661 2322, fax +45 8661 4146 (refers to Energy and Environmental offices in the individual counties)

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Straw for Energy Production

Table of References

13. Table of References
The table of references contains titles etc. of recent reports and information material. Further references, table of books, prices etc. can be requested through The Centre for Biomass Technology. 1. Energi 21. Regeringens energihandlingsplan 1996. Miljø- og Energiministeriet, 1996. 2. Danmarks energifremtider. Miljøog Energiministeriet, 1995. 3. Teknologidata for vedvarende energianlæg, del 2: Biomasseteknologier. Miljø- og Energiministeriet, januar 1996. 4. Miljø og økonomi for udvalgte vedvarende energianlæg. Energistyrelsen, november 1991. 5. Energi 2000. Handlingsplan for en bæredygtig udvikling (med bilag). Energiministeriet, 1990. 6. Halmressourcer i Danmark på længere sigt. ELSAM og ELKRAFT i samarbejde med De danske Landboforeninger og Energistyrelsen, juni 1994. 7. Dyrknings- og fyringsforsøg med energikorn i stor skala, 1995. Dansk Teknologisk Institut m.fl. Der er udarbejdet en 24 minutters video: “Energikorn” 8. Høst og håndtering af energikorn i storballer. Forskningscenter Bygholm, 1996. 9. Anlægs- og driftsdata for halmfyrede varmeværker. Videncenter for Halm- og Flisfyring, april 1996. 10.Straw Fired District Heating Plants in Denmark - Facts and Figures. Centre for Biomass Technology, maj 1996. 11. Videnblade. Informationsblade om halm og træ til energiformål. Der udsendes 3-4 videnblade ca. hver 3. måned. Abonnement kan rekvireres hos Videncenter for Halm- og Flisfyring. Indholdsfortegnelse i kapitel 16 i den danske version 12.Små halmkraftvarmeværker 1001000 kWel. 3 delrapporter. dkTEKNIK, 1991. 13.Halm- og træpillers anvendelighed som brændsel i mindre fyringsanlæg. Dansk Teknologisk Institut, marts 1994. 14.Biomasse: Brændsels- og fyringskarakteristika med særlig relation til anvendelse som brændsel i decentrale kraftvarmeanlæg. dk-TEKNIK, august 1991. 15.Forbrændingsberegninger. Dansk Teknologisk Institut, marts 1991. 16.Brandteknisk vejledning nr. 22. Dansk Brandteknisk Institut, juli 1996. 17.Halmhåndtering. Småballer, rundballer, storballer, snittet. Arbejdsbehov og kapacitet. Beretning nr. 25. Statens Jordbrugstekniske Forsøg, 1985. 18.Halmbjærgning - 1993. Storballer. Intern rapport. Statens Jordbrugstekniske Forsøg, 1994. 19.“DRIFT”. Et program for beregning af arbejdsbehov, arbejdskapacitet, arbejdsbudget, arbejdsprofil. Beretning nr. 53. Statens Jordbrugstekniske Forsøg, 1993. 20.Håndtering af halm. Intern rapport, delrapport 1. Statens Jordbrugstekniske Forsøg, 1993. 21.Transport af snittet halm til varmeværker m.m. Intern rapport. Delrapport nr. 2. Statens Jordbrugstekniske Forsøg, 1993. 22.Restprodukter fra CFB-anlæg. Anvendelse af restprodukter fra multicirkulerende fluid bed. EFP-90, 1993. 23.DS/EN 450. Flyveaske i beton 24.Energiministerens skrivelse af 13. september 1990 om generelle og specifikke forudsætninger for brændselsvalg og samproduktion i fjernvarmeværker. 25.Danmarks Statistik. Statistiske Efterretninger, Landbrug nr. 10, 1997. 26.Kogt halm kan lette biomasseaftalen. ELSAM-posten nr. 9/1996. 27.Priser på halm til kraftvarme. Landskontoret for Bygninger og Maskiner, april 1997 28.Energi for fremtiden: Vedvarende energikilder. Hvidbog vedrørende en strategi og handlingsplan på fællesskabsplan. Kommissionen for de europæiske fællesskaber, 1997. 29.Energistyrelsens energistatistik 1996 30.Halmprognose 1997 (indeholder tal for produktionen i 1996). Landskontoret for Planteavl. 31.Undersøgelse af aske fra halm. Notat 12.6.1991 fra Haslev Kraftvarmeværk. 32.Halms fyringstekniske egenskaber (med bilag). dk-TEKNIK, 1991. 33.Undersøgelse af halms kemiske sammensætning med relation til forbrænding og forgasning. Bioteknologisk Institut, 1994. 34.Optimering af halmvarmeværker. dk- TEKNIK, 1994. 35.Bioenergi Udviklingsprogram. Energistyrelsen, 1995. 36.Dyrknings- og fyringsforsøg med energikorn 1996/97. Dansk Teknologisk Institut, 1998. 37.Energikorn i storballer. Høst og håndtering. DJF-rapport nr. 4, 1998. Danmarks Jordbrugsforskning. 38.Demonstrations- og udviklingsprogram vedrørende produktion og anvendelse af energiafgrøder 19972000. Statens Jordbrugs- og Fiskeriøkonomiske Institut, 1997. 39.Typegodkendte og tilskudsberettigede biobrændselsanlæg. Udsendes ca. 5 gange om året. Dansk Teknologisk Institut. 40.Forsyningskataloget 1988. Styregruppen for Forsyningskataloget 41.Forsyningskataloget , supplement ‘86. Finansiering af energiprojekter, nye muligheder. 42.Vejledning nr. 6 og 9: Begrænsning af luftforurening fra virksomheder. Miljøstyrelsen 1990. Nr. 9 er den engelske version: Industrial Air Pollution Control Guidelines.

Straw for Energy Production

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Table of References

photo: lars nikolaisen

Stubble field with 51 big bales and 2 girls. 43.Tekstilfiltres holdbarhed. Kemiske påvirkninger. Litteraturundersøgelse. Driftserfaringer. dkTEKNIK. 1991 44.PAH i røg fra halmkedler, forundersøgelse. SjF orientering nr 65, 1989. 45.Dioxin-udslip fra halmfyr. Jysk Teknologisk Institut og dk-TEKNIK 1987. 46.Emission fra halm og flisfyr .dkTEKNIK og Levnedmiddelstyrelsen for Miljøstyrelsen 1991. 47.Udnyttelse af fedt-olieslam som brændsel i blanding med halm. dk-TEKNIK 1988 48.Pilotforsøgene med forbrænding af halm/slam på Hørby Varmeværk. dk-TEKNIK 1990 49.Status for stirlingmotorer baseret på anvendelse af biobrændsler . Danmarks Tekniske Universitet. Institut for Energiteknik. 1997 50.Dampmotor. Statusnotat. dkTEKNIK. 1997 51.Fyring med halm. En metode til renere forbrænding. Miljøprojekt nr. 173. Miljøstyrelsen 1991. 52.Vejledningsnotat. Udarbejdelse af projektforslag for omstilling af et fjernvarmeværk til kraftvarmeproduktion. Energistyrelsen 1992. 53.Vurdering af miljøforhold ved fyring med biomassebaserede restprodukter. Miljøstyrelsen 1996. 54.Svovlbinding i aske fra biobrændsler. Forundersøgelse. dk-TEKNIK 1996. 55.Fuldskalahåndtering af halm. Hovedrapport. dk-TEKNIK 1993 56.Fuldskalahåndtering af halm II. Hovedrapport. dk-TEKNIK 1994 57.Omkostningsreducerende metoder ved håndtering af halm til varme/kraftvarmeværker. Forskningscenter Bygholm 1994. 58.Beregningsforudsætninger for “Danmarks Energifremtider”. Miljø- og Energiministeriet 1996. 59.Svovlbalancer for biomassefyrede værker. dk-TEKNIK 1998.

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Straw for Energy Production

List of Manufacturers

14. List of Manufacturers
Large Boiler Plants
Manufacturers, suppliers, and repairers of large automatic feeding systems and boiler plants for straw firing. The companies also supply plants for other biofuels. Weiss A/S 13 Plastvænget DK-9560 Hadsund Tel: +45 96 52 04 44 Ansaldo Vølund A/S 2 Falkevej DK-6705 Esbjerg Ø Tel: +45 75 14 11 11 Danstoker A/S 13 Industrivej Nord DK-7400 Herning Tel: +45 97 12 64 44 DanTrim A/S 2 Islandsvej DK-7480 Vildbjerg Tel: +45 97 13 34 00 LINKA Maskinfabrik 38 Nylandsvej DK-6940 Lem Tel: +45 97 34 16 55 B&W Energi A/S 25 Teknikerbyen DK-2830 Virum Tel: +45 45 85 71 00 Hollensen Kedler ApS 22 Drejervej DK-7451 Sunds Tel: +45 97 14 20 22 Passat Energi A/S 36 Vestergade, Ørum DK-8830 Tjele Tel: +45 86 65 21 00 EuroTherm A/S 25A S. Nymarksvej DK-8270 Højbjerg Tel: +45 86 29 92 99 IF Energy Systems A/S 88 Avedøre Holme DK-2650 Hvidovre Tel: +45 36 78 66 33

Small Boiler Plants
Manufacturers, suppliers, and repairers of boiler plants below 1 MW for straw firing. Some of the companies also supply boiler plants for other biofuels. Aunslev Smede- og Maskinfabrik 12 Nederbyvej DK-5800 Nyborg Tel: +45 65 36 12 40 CN Maskinfabrik 236 Kongevej, Tiset DK-6510 Gram Tel: +45 74 82 19 19 J.O.S. Smede- og Maskinfabrik 18 Kærsangervej DK-8870 Langå Tel: +45 86 46 11 88 KF Halmfyr (T) 16 Skæveledvej DK-9252 Dybvad Tel: +45 98 86 45 99 LINKA Maskinfabrik (T) 38 Nylandsvej DK-6940 Lem Tel: +45 97 34 16 55 Maskinfabrikken Cormall A/S 3 Tronholmen DK-6400 Sønderborg Tel: +45 74 48 61 11 Maskinfabrikken Faust (T) 2 Vester Fjordvej DK-9280 Storvorde Tel: +45 98 31 10 55 Maskinfabrikken REKA A/S (T) 7 Vestvej DK-9600 Års Tel: +45 98 62 40 11 Overdahl Kedler (T) 21 Hjallerupvej DK-9320 Hjallerup Tel: +45 98 28 16 06 Passat Energi A/S 36 Vestergade, Ørum DK-8830 Tjele Tel: +45 86 65 21 00 Pilevang Smede- og Maskinværksted Aps (T) 57 Havrebjergvej DK-4100 Ringsted Tel: +45 53 61 19 56 Sanderum Smede- og Maskinfabrik 31 Holkebjergvej DK-5350 Odense SV Tel: +45 66 17 02 72 Skelhøje Maskinfabrik A/S (T) 8 Læsøvej DK-8800 Viborg Tel: +45 86 61 16 44 Skeltek Ing. og Handelsfirma (T) 74 Aalborgvej DK-9280 Storvorde Tel: +45 98 31 16 26 Smith, Holm & Co A/S 24 Bryggervej DK-8240 Risskov Tel: +45 86 21 55 22 Smedem. Hans Schmidt (T) 6 Smedetoft, Avnbøl DK-6400 Sønderborg Tel: +45 74 46 11 11 Stålservice Fyn ApS (T) 109-115 Bøjdenvej DK-5750 Ringe Tel: +45 62 27 21 80 Jens Moos Aps 4 Dalsgårdvej DK-6300 Gråsten Tel: +45 74 65 07 24 (T) =supplier of straw-fired boilers with type approval (o. January 1998).

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Survey of Straw-Fired Plants in Operation

15. Survey of Straw-Fired Plants in Operation
District Heating Plants
The list includes heating plants that supply heat for district heating systems primarily using straw as a fuel. Information about boiler equipment, fuel consumption etc. is set out in detail in /ref. 9 and 10/. Straw-fired Plant Als Fjernvarme Auning Varmeværk Borup Halmvarmeværk Davinde Energiselskab Fuglebjerg Fjernvarmeværk Gedser Halmvarmeværk Gjerlev Varmeværk Hadsten Varmeværk Hals Fjernvarme Harlev, Østjydsk Halmvarme Havndal Fjernvarme Hinnerup Fjernvarme Holeby Halmvarmeværk Hvidbjerg Fjernvarme Hvidebæk Fjernvarmeforsyning Høng Varmeværk Hørby Varmeværk Klemensker Fjernvarmeværk Kolind Halmvarmeværk Kværndrup Fjernvarme Lobbæk, Aakirkeby Kommune Lohals Varmeforsyning Løgstør Fjernvarme Løjt Kirkeby Fjernvarmeselskab Mariager Fjernvarmeværk Nakskov Fjernvarme Nexø Halmvarmeværk Nørre Alslev Fjernvarmeværk Nysted Halmvarmeværk Ringsted Halmvarmeværk Roslev Fjernvarmeselskab Address 26 18 60 54 Rørsangervej Energivej Bækgårdsvej Udlodgyden, Davinde Havnevej Børsholmvej Merkurvej Postal code/Town DK-9560 DK-8963 DK-4140 DK-5220 DK-3300 DK-4250 DK-4871 DK-8983 DK-8370 DK-9370 DK-8462 DK-8970 DK-8382 DK-4960 DK-7790 DK-4490 DK-4270 DK-9300 DK-3782 DK-8560 DK-5772 DK-3720 DK-5953 DK-9870 DK-6200 DK-9550 DK-4900 DK-3730 DK-4840 DK-4880 DK-4100 DK-7870 Hadsund Auning Borup Odense SØ Frederiksværk Fuglebjerg Gedser Gjerlev Hadsten Hals Harlev Havndal Hinnerup Holeby Thyholm Jerslev Sj. Høng Sæby Klemensker Kolind Kværndrup Aakirkeby Tranekær Løgstør Åbenrå Mariager Nakskov Nexø Nr. Alslev Nysted Ringsted Roslev Telephone +45 98 58 17 00 +45 86 48 38 89 +45 57 52 64 94 +45 65 97 29 30 +45 47 77 10 22 +45 55 45 36 88 +45 53 87 92 78 +45 86 47 47 16 +45 89 98 11 55 +45 98 25 24 11 +45 86 94 24 55 +45 86 47 09 15 +45 86 98 53 40 +45 53 90 62 73 +45 97 87 15 35 +45 53 49 56 38 +45 58 85 24 32 +45 98 46 63 20 +45 56 96 67 46 +45 86 39 25 20 +45 62 27 13 19 +45 56 97 20 32 +45 62 55 15 59 +45 98 87 12 58 +45 74 61 78 87 +45 98 54 13 01 +45 53 92 28 66 +45 56 49 45 55 +45 53 85 55 67 +45 53 87 10 80 +45 53 61 33 99 +45 97 57 13 19

Frederiksværk kommunale Værker 8 3 12

16&31A Sandvedvej

32A Toftegårdsvej 9-11 Bygmestervej 32 4 15 7 2 8 6 18 5 3 8 44 5 5 2 4 1 1 1 Lilleringvej Laursensvej Fanøvej Industrivej Håndværkervej Banemarken Industrivej Engvej Ravnsgade Bremlevænget Blekingevej Skovbyvej, Løjt Kirkeby Klostermarken Strandpromenaden Halmvænget Peter L. Jensensvej Egevænget Jættevej Møllebuen

37A Hovvej 101 Hjørringvej

22B Bøjdenvej

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Straw for Energy Production

Survey of Straw-Fired Plants in Operation

Ryomgård Fjernvarmeværk Rødby Varmeværk Rødbyhavn Fjernvarme Rønde By’s Fjernvarmeværk Sabro, Østjysk Halmvarme Sakskøbing Fjernvarmeselskab Simmelkær Varmeværk Solbjerg, Østjysk Halmvarme St. Merløse Varmeværk Stege Fjernvarme Svendborg Halmvarmeværk Sydlangeland Fjernvarme Søllested Fjernvarmeselskab Terndrup Fjernvarme Thorsager Fjernvarmeværk Tinggården Tommerup By’s Fjv.forsyning Tranebjerg Varmeværk (ARKE) Tullebølle Fjernvarme Vester Nebel Varmecentral Sydfalster Varmeværk Ærøskøbing Fjernvarme Ørsted Fjernvarme Øster Hornum Varmeværk Ø. Toreby Varmeværk Aabybro Fjernvarmeforsyning

1 5 1 9C 1 10 10 1 11 35 1 2B 25 30 26 6 20 4 16 23 11 3 40

Frederikslundvej Herredsfogedvej Jøncksvej Skejrupvej Sabrovej Maltrup Vænge Enghavevej Solbjerg Hedevej Tåstrupvej Kobbelvej Bodøvej Østerskovvej Jernbanegade Industriparken Nørregade Stadionvænget Marsk Stigsvej Industrivej Hygumvej Håndværkervænget Lerbækken Tingager Agrovej Industrivej

DK-8550 DK-4970 DK-4970 DK-8410 DK-8471 DK-4990 DK-7400 DK-8355 DK-4730 DK-4780 DK-5700 DK-5932 DK-4920 DK-9575 DK-8410 DK-4681 DK-5690 DK-8305 DK-5953 DK-6715 DK-4873 DK-5970 DK-8950 DK-9530 DK-4800 DK-9440

Ryomgård Rødby Rødby Rønde Sabro Sakskøbing Herning Solbjerg St. Merløse Stege Svendborg Humle Søllested Terndrup Rønde Herfølge Tommerup Samsø Tranekær Esbjerg N Væggerløse Ærøskøbing Ørsted Støvring Nykøbing F Aabybro

+45 86 39 49 80 +45 54 60 14 92 +45 54 60 53 37 +45 86 37 17 51 +45 86 94 94 55 +45 53 89 47 39 +45 99 26 82 11 +45 86 92 60 55 +45 53 60 12 51 +45 55 81 50 88 +45 62 22 83 66 +45 62 56 10 56 +45 53 94 14 84 +45 98 33 66 33 +45 86 37 95 66 +45 53 67 53 82 +45 64 76 10 03 +45 87 39 04 04 +45 62 50 16 79 +45 75 14 44 33 +45 53 87 42 00 +45 62 52 29 09 +45 86 48 86 72 +45 98 38 58 55 +45 54 86 00 66 +45 98 24 23 20

101 Tinggården

61D Rougsøvej

CHP Plants and Power Plants
Rudkøbing Kraftvarmeværk Haslev Kraftvarmeværk Slagelse Kraftvarmeværk Masnedø Kraftvarmeværk Måbjergværket Grenå Kraftvarmeværk Studstrupværket 147D Spodsbjergvej 27 1 10 2 11 14 Slagterivej Assensvej Brovejen Energivej Kalorievej Ny Studstrupvej DK-5900 DK-4690 DK-4200 DK-4760 DK-7500 DK-8500 DK-8541 DK-6200 Rudkøbing Haslev Slagelse Vordingborg Holstebro Grenaa Skødstrup Aabenraa +45 62 51 44 77 +45 56 31 23 33 +45 58 50 11 56 +45 53 77 07 77 +45 97 40 60 80 +45 86 32 78 22 +45 86 99 17 00 +45 74 31 41 41

Sønderjyllands Højspændingsværk 185 Flensborgvej

Straw for Energy Production

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"Straw for Energy Production", second edition, provides a readily accessible background information of special relevance to the use of straw in the Danish energy supply. Technical, environmental, and economic aspects are described in respect of boiler plants for farms, district heating plants, and combined heat and power plants (CHP). The individual sections deal with both well-known, tested technology and the most recent advances in the field of CHP production. This publication is designed with the purpose of reaching the largest possible numbers of people and so adapted that it provides a valuable aid and gives the non-professional, general reader a thorough knowledge of the subject. "Straw for Energy Production” is also available in German and Danish.