energies-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "WP3 – Innovation in Agriculture and Forestry Sector for Energetic Sustainability"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "B: Sustainable Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Massimo Cecchini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Forestry scieNcEs (DAFNE), University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, SNC, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: sustainable development; sustainable strategies and policies; peri-urban areas; agriculture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Alvaro Marucci
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Forestry scieNcEs (DAFNE), University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, SNC, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: green buildings, greenhouses, sustainable development; sustainable agriculture
Dr. Fabio Recanatesi
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Forestry scieNcEs (DAFNE), University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, SNC, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: remote sensing sustainable development; sustainable strategies and policies; peri-urban areas; land use planning
Dr. Elena Di Mattia
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Forestry scieNcEs (DAFNE), University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, SNC, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: renewable energy; microbiology and biotechnology
Prof. Dr. Rodolfo Picchio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: forest utilizations; logging activities; reduced impact logging; sustainable forest management; forest restoration systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Eng. Mauro Villarini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: distributed generation; combined cooling heating and power; solar energy; concentrated solar power; positive energy district; organic Rankine cycle systems; life cycle assessment; bioenergy; hydrogen
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Valerio Cristofori
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Forestry scieNcEs (DAFNE), University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, SNC, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: renewable energy; crop cultivation, biomass valorization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue was founded after the creation of a department of excellence at the University of Tuscia (Viterbo, Italy). In particular, in the context of the WP3 objective, there is a need of innovation in the agricultural and forestry sectors for energy sustainability. Renewable energy sources and the rational use of energy represent an important agricultural and forestry resource in a local context against climate change.

The first issue that this Special Issue will address is identifying the energy potential from agro-forestry biomass, also dealing with the production of agricultural and forestry biomass in terms of supply and logistics; short rotation forestry (SRF); agricultural and forestry residues and their valorization; the main techniques of cultivation, the mechanization of biomass production, harvesting and pre-treatment; the energy and environmental balance of biomass production; further forms of by-product valorization; evaluation of the potential of land use (GIS—Geographic Information Systems) and planning tools.

The second issue focuses on the performance analysis of prototypal systems for energy conversion, including hydrogen, power and/or heat production plants and the pertinent thermodynamic cycles; sustainable renewable energy technologies (RETs); biomass thermochemical energy conversion technologies, such as combustion, gasification, and pyrolysis; biomass biochemical energy conversion technologies, such as fermentation and anaerobic digestion; system analysis and the integration of production and conversion; and integrated bioenergy systems. Economic, environmental and management aspects of the mentioned technologies will be considered.

The third issue focuses on energy sustainability for environmental mitigation such as the impact of large-scale/small-scale bioenergy systems; enhancement of the by-products of thermochemical processes (biochar) for the improvement of the agricultural and forestry sector; evaluation of CO2 storage in the soil and combating desertification; and energy efficiency.

Prof. Andrea Colantoni
Prof. Massimo Cecchini
Prof. Alvaro Marucci
Dr. Fabio Recanatesi
Dr. Elena Di Mattia
Prof. Rodolfo Picchio
Eng. Mauro Villarini
Prof. Valerio Cristofori
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agriculture
  • forestry
  • energies
  • sustainable development
  • climate change
  • landscape
  • microbiology
  • crops
  • process design
  • thermodynamic analysis
  • gasification process
  • anaerobic digestion
  • hydrogen

Published Papers (16 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
WP3—Innovation in Agriculture and Forestry Sector for Energetic Sustainability
Energies 2020, 13(22), 5985; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en13225985 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 529
Abstract
Papers submitted and published in this Special Issue “WP3—Innovation in Agriculture and Forestry Sector for Energetic Sustainability” bring together some of the latest research results in the field of biomass valorization and the process of energy production and climate change and other items [...] Read more.
Papers submitted and published in this Special Issue “WP3—Innovation in Agriculture and Forestry Sector for Energetic Sustainability” bring together some of the latest research results in the field of biomass valorization and the process of energy production and climate change and other items about energetic sustainability [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Performance Assessment of Front-Mounted Beet Topper Machine for Biomass Harvesting
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3524; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en13143524 - 08 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 681
Abstract
Sugar beet is an extensive crop of great agronomic value with significant productive and economic returns and Ukraine’s sugar beet accounts for about 5.1% of the overall world production. Sugar beets and the by-products resulting from its manufacturing transformation are a significant renewable [...] Read more.
Sugar beet is an extensive crop of great agronomic value with significant productive and economic returns and Ukraine’s sugar beet accounts for about 5.1% of the overall world production. Sugar beets and the by-products resulting from its manufacturing transformation are a significant renewable energy resource. A new high-quality performance prototype of a sugar beet top harvester, front mounted on a tractor, was built by the authors in Ukraine. The aim of this study is to evaluate the main performance parameters related to the operation of this new machine. Field tests were carried out linking the prototype to a wheel tractor, whilst suitable sensors measured the significant kinematic and dynamic parameters, allowing experimental data collection to assess the machine’s performance parameters. The entire technological process of harvesting and transporting the beet tops to the beet top storage unit required power ranging from 6.42 to 17.65 kW. At the topmost tested forward speed, the required tractor traction force was less than 1.9 kN with the power required by the shaft that drives the screw conveyor ranging from 3.1 to 4.6 kW. This value was the lowest for a speed of the tractor–beet top harvesting machine aggregate ranging from 0.9 to 1.2 m · s 1 . Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Environmental and Economic Analysis of an Anaerobic Co-Digestion Power Plant Integrated with a Compost Plant
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2724; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en13112724 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1166
Abstract
Italian power generation through anaerobic digestion (AD) has grown significantly between 2009 and 2016, becoming an important renewable energy resource for the country, also thanks to the generous incentives for produced electricity available in the last years. This work focuses on the economic [...] Read more.
Italian power generation through anaerobic digestion (AD) has grown significantly between 2009 and 2016, becoming an important renewable energy resource for the country, also thanks to the generous incentives for produced electricity available in the last years. This work focuses on the economic and environmental issues of AD technology and proposes a techno-economic analysis of investment profitability without government support. In particular, the analysis focuses on an AD power plant fed by zootechnical wastewater and agro-industrial residues coupled to a cogeneration (CHP) system and a digestate-composting plant that produces soil fertilizers. We aim to determine the economic profitability of such AD power plants fed by inner-farm biomass wastes, exploiting digestate as fertilizer, using the cogenerated heat and taking into account the externalities (environmental benefits). Environmental analysis was carried out via a life cycle analysis (LCA), and encompassing the production of biogas, heat/electricity and compost in the downstream process. The un-released environmental emissions were converted into economic benefits by means of a stepwise approach. The results indicate that integrating a compost plant with a biogas plant can significantly increase the carbon credits of the process. The results were evaluated by means of a sensitivity analysis, and they report an IRR in the range of 6%–9% according to the Italian legislative support mechanisms, and possibilities to increase revenues with the use of digestate as fertilizer. The results significantly improve when externalities are included. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Techno-Economic Modeling of Biomass Pellet Routes: Feasibility in Italy
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1636; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en13071636 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1163
Abstract
Wood and agricultural biomass pellets boost the potential as bio-fuels toward power production in tertiary and residential sectors. The production of pellets, however, is a multi-stage process where the supply-processing phases and the overall energy input strongly depend on the characteristics of the [...] Read more.
Wood and agricultural biomass pellets boost the potential as bio-fuels toward power production in tertiary and residential sectors. The production of pellets, however, is a multi-stage process where the supply-processing phases and the overall energy input strongly depend on the characteristics of the input biomass. In this paper, we describe the key features of the market for pellets in Italy, including national production and consumption data, production costs and prices, the available energy conversion systems, and the current regulatory issues. Moreover, we outline the main technical, economic, and end-user barriers that should be addressed in order to foster the growth of Italian pellet production. Additionally, we propose a methodology to evaluate the profitability of the pellet production chain, by assessing the investment and operation costs as a function of the quality of the raw biomass. The approach is applied to a real case study of a small firm producing wooden frames along with dry wood chips as the main by-product, which can be utilized subsequently for pellet production. Moreover, in order to optimize the size of the pellet production plant, further biomass was purchased from the market, including wood pruning and agricultural residues, wood chips from forestry, and uncontaminated residues of wood processing firms. A sensitivity analysis of the main technical and economic parameters (including the cost and quality of raw material, pellet market value, investment and operational costs, and plant lifetime) indicated that the biomass market price considerably affects the profitability of pellet production plants, particularly where the biomass has a high moisture content. Therefore, a 20% increase in the price of biomass with a high moisture content leads to a 60% fall in profitability index, turning it into negative one. This is due in particular to the costs of pre-treatment and drying of biomass, as well as to the lower energy content of wet biomass. As a result, the use of forestry residues with high moisture and high ash content, high costs of collection/transport, and high costs of pre-treatment and drying is not financially competitive. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Evaluation of Compressor Heat Pump for Root Zone Heating as an Alternative Heating Source for Leafy Vegetable Cultivation
Energies 2020, 13(3), 745; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en13030745 - 08 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
Protected horticulture is a high energy-consuming sector in which the optimization of energy use and cost for heating facilities is strategic in achieving high environmental and economic sustainability of production. The main aim of the project was to evaluate the use of a [...] Read more.
Protected horticulture is a high energy-consuming sector in which the optimization of energy use and cost for heating facilities is strategic in achieving high environmental and economic sustainability of production. The main aim of the project was to evaluate the use of a heat pump for basal heating as an alternative technology to grow crops with reduced canopies, such as basil. During the test, an area of the greenhouse contained two systems of coaxial pipes circulating warm water from a heat pump and a condensing boiler. These pipes were placed above the growing media. At the same time, a separate area of the same greenhouse contained a traditional heating system consisting of an air heater, the solution commonly used to heat greenhouses. Microclimatic conditions and energy consumption were analyzed for the three heating technologies. The energy analysis of the three experimental heating options showed that all of them could ensure suitable thermal conditions for cultivation in the winter period. Overall, the results confirmed the energy saving resulting from the adoption of the heat pump, underlining the importance of this device in terms of the support that the energy-saving goal receives. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Influence of Oxidant Agent on Syngas Composition: Gasification of Hazelnut Shells through an Updraft Reactor
Energies 2020, 13(1), 102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en13010102 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
This work aims to study the influence of an oxidant agent on syngas quality. A series of tests using air and steam as oxidant agents have been performed and the results compared with those of a pyrolysis test used as a reference. Tests [...] Read more.
This work aims to study the influence of an oxidant agent on syngas quality. A series of tests using air and steam as oxidant agents have been performed and the results compared with those of a pyrolysis test used as a reference. Tests were carried out at Sapienza University of Rome, using an updraft reactor. The reactor was fed with hazelnut shells, waste biomass commonly available in some parts of Italy. Temperature distribution, syngas composition and heating value, and producible energy were measured. Air and steam gasification tests produced about the same amount of syngas flow, but with a different quality. The energy flow in air gasification had the smallest measurement during the experiments. On the contrary, steam gasification produced a syngas flow with higher quality (13.1 MJ/Nm3), leading to the best values of energy flow (about 5.4 MJ/s vs. 3.3 MJ/s in the case of air gasification). From the cold gas efficiency point of view, steam gasification is still the best solution, even considering the effect of the enthalpy associated with the steam injected within the gasification reactor. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sustainability Assessment of Alternative Strip Clear Cutting Operations for Wood Chip Production in Renaturalization Management of Pine Stands
Energies 2019, 12(17), 3306; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en12173306 - 27 Aug 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1272
Abstract
In Mediterranean regions, afforested areas were planted to ensure the permanence of land cover, and to protect against erosion and to initiate the vegetation processes. For those purposes, pine species were mainly used; however, many of these stands, without silvicultural treatments for over [...] Read more.
In Mediterranean regions, afforested areas were planted to ensure the permanence of land cover, and to protect against erosion and to initiate the vegetation processes. For those purposes, pine species were mainly used; however, many of these stands, without silvicultural treatments for over fifty-sixty years, were in a poor state from physical and biological perspective, and therefore, clear-cutting on strips was conducted as silvicultural operation with the aim to eliminate 50% of the pine trees and to favor the affirmation of indigenous broadleaves seedlings. At the same time, the high and increasing demand of the forest based sector for wood biomass related to energy production, needs to be supplied. In a modern and multifunctional forestry, in which society is asking for sustainable forestry and naturalistic forest management, forestry operations should ideally be carried out in a sustainable manner, thus support the concept of sustainable forest management. All these aspects are also related to the innovation in forestry sector for an effective energetic sustainability. Three different forest wood chains were applied in pine plantations, all differing in the extraction system (animal, forestry-fitted farm tractor with winch, and double drum cable yarder). The method of the sustainability impact assessment was used in order to assess potential impacts of these alternative management options, and a set of 12 indicators covering economic, environmental, and social dimensions was analyzed. Further, to support decision makers in taking informed decisions, multi-criteria decision analysis was conducted. Decision makers gave weight towards the indicators natural tree regeneration and soil biological quality to support the achievement of the forest management goal. Results showed that first ranked alternative was case 2, in which extraction was conducted by a tractor with a winch. The main reason for that lies in the fact that this alternative had best performance for 80% of the analyzed criteria. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Production of Wood Pellets from Poplar Trees Managed as Coppices with Different Harvesting Cycles
Energies 2019, 12(15), 2973; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en12152973 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
High-density biomass plantations have played a key role in the national energy landscape in Italy since the 1990s but, to date, an inversion of tendency and a significant reduction of cultivated areas has been noted. Despite this, the existing plantations have seen their [...] Read more.
High-density biomass plantations have played a key role in the national energy landscape in Italy since the 1990s but, to date, an inversion of tendency and a significant reduction of cultivated areas has been noted. Despite this, the existing plantations have seen their coppicing rotation become significantly lengthened, resulting in large quantities of biomass per hectare. This study aimed to identify the best raw material suitable for pellet production using whole trees or stems without branches from poplar plantations at the end of the third, sixth and ninth year of age. All types of pellets made reach the requirements of class A1 for diameter, length, moisture content, ash melting point, lower heating value, as well as nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), and heavy metals. None of the theses satisfied the bulk density parameters while for ashes and mechanical durability, a great variability was observed according to the different raw materials used. An improvement in terms of heating value was observed by transforming the poplar wood chips refined into pellets. The pelletizing process using high density poplar plantation as a raw material highlights the possibility of obtaining a product that meets many of the quality standards required on the market. These aspects are closely related to the innovation carried out in the agro-forestry sector for effective energetic sustainability. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Optimizing the 3D Distributed Climate inside Greenhouses Using Multi-Objective Optimization Algorithms and Computer Fluid Dynamics
Energies 2019, 12(15), 2873; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en12152873 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
As one of the major production facilities in agriculture, a greenhouse has many spatial distributed factors influencing crop growth and energy consumption, such as temperature field, air flow pattern, CO 2 concentration distribution, etc. By introducing a hybrid computational fluid dynamics–evolutionary algorithm (CFD-EA) [...] Read more.
As one of the major production facilities in agriculture, a greenhouse has many spatial distributed factors influencing crop growth and energy consumption, such as temperature field, air flow pattern, CO 2 concentration distribution, etc. By introducing a hybrid computational fluid dynamics–evolutionary algorithm (CFD-EA) method, this paper constructs a micro-climate model of greenhouse with main environmental parameters optimized. Considering environmental factors’ spatial influences together with energy usage simultaneously, the optimal solutions of control variables for crop growth are calculated. A commercial greenhouse located in east China is chosen for the method validation. Field experiments using temperature/velocity sensor matrix are carried out for CFD accuracy investigation. On this basis, the proposed optimization method is employed to search for the optimal control variables and parameters corresponding to the environmental Pareto frontier. By the proposed multi-objective scheme, we believe the method can provide set point basis for the design and regulation of large/medium-sized greenhouse production with high spatial resolution. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Oscillations Analysis of Front-Mounted Beet Topper Machine for Biomass Harvesting
Energies 2019, 12(14), 2774; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en12142774 - 19 Jul 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 942
Abstract
The beet leaves and tops, which currently are excluded from the production process of sugar, could be an interesting opportunity for the production of renewable energy. Usually, the defoliators are joined with root collar remover machines, which are installed in front of the [...] Read more.
The beet leaves and tops, which currently are excluded from the production process of sugar, could be an interesting opportunity for the production of renewable energy. Usually, the defoliators are joined with root collar remover machines, which are installed in front of the tractor. In working conditions on soils having natural roughness these front-mounted beet topper machines carried by tractors are affected by angular oscillations in a longitudinal-vertical plane that strongly affect the cutting uniformity. A theoretical study of these oscillations was carried out in this paper using Lagrange II kind equations, with the aim to assess the design and kinematic parameters of a front-mounted beet topper, corresponding to more stable and suitable movements in the longitudinal-vertical plane. A numerical simulation was then performed adopting the developed mathematical model. In order to improve the efficiency of this harvesting machine, a significant role is assumed by the soil preparation. In this work the stiffness and damping parameters of the feeler wheels pneumatic tires have been considered constant but further studies are in progress to assess their effective importance and influence for reducing the vibration of the front-mounted beet topper machine with the final aim to achieve a better machine design. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Performance Analysis of a Small-Scale ORC Trigeneration System Powered by the Combustion of Olive Pomace
Energies 2019, 12(12), 2279; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en12122279 - 14 Jun 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
The utilisation of low- and medium-temperature energy allows to reduce the energy shortage and environmental pollution problems because low-grade energy is plentiful in nature and renewable as well. In the past two decades, thanks to its feasibility and reliability, the organic Rankine cycle [...] Read more.
The utilisation of low- and medium-temperature energy allows to reduce the energy shortage and environmental pollution problems because low-grade energy is plentiful in nature and renewable as well. In the past two decades, thanks to its feasibility and reliability, the organic Rankine cycle (ORC) has received great attention. The present work is focused on a small-scale (7.5 kW nominal electric power) combined cooling, heating and power ORC system powered by the combustion of olive pomace obtained as a by-product in the olive oil production process from an olive farm situated in the central part of Italy. The analysis of the employment of this energy system is based on experimental data and Aspen Plus simulation, including biomass and combustion tests, biomass availability and energy production analysis, Combined Cooling Heat and Power (CCHP) system sizing and assessment. Different low environmental impact working fluids and various operative process parameters were investigated. Olive pomace has been demonstrated to be suitable for the energy application and, in this case, to be able to satisfy the energy consumption of the same olive farm with the option of responding to further energy users. Global electrical efficiency varied from 12.7% to 19.4%, depending on the organic fluid used and the working pressure at the steam generator. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Valuation of Biochar Production: Two Case Studies in Belgium
Energies 2019, 12(11), 2166; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en12112166 - 06 Jun 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2490
Abstract
It is unclear whether the production of biochar is economically feasible. As a consequence, firms do not often invest in biochar production plants. However, biochar production and application might be desirable from a societal perspective as it might entail net environmental benefits. Hence, [...] Read more.
It is unclear whether the production of biochar is economically feasible. As a consequence, firms do not often invest in biochar production plants. However, biochar production and application might be desirable from a societal perspective as it might entail net environmental benefits. Hence, the aim of this work has been to assess and monetize the environmental impacts of biochar production systems so that the environmental aspects can be integrated with the economic and social ones later on to quantify the total return for society. Therefore, a life cycle analysis (LCA) has been performed for two potential biochar production systems in Belgium based on two different feedstocks: (i) willow and (ii) pig manure. First, the environmental impacts of the two biochar production systems are assessed from a life cycle perspective, assuming one ton of biochar as the functional unit. Therefore, LCA using SimaPro software has been performed both on the midpoint and endpoint level. Biochar production from willow achieves better results compared to biochar from pig manure for all environmental impact categories considered. In a second step, monetary valuation has been applied to the LCA results in order to weigh environmental benefits against environmental costs using the Ecotax, Ecovalue, and Stepwise approach. Consequently, sensitivity analysis investigates the impact of variation in NPK savings and byproducts of the biochar production process on monetized life cycle assessment results. As a result, it is suggested that biochar production from willow is preferred to biochar production from pig manure from an environmental point of view. In future research, those monetized environmental impacts will be integrated within existing techno-economic models that calculate the financial viability from an investor’s point of view, so that the total return for society can be quantified and the preferred biochar production system from a societal point of view can be identified. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Wood Chip Drying through the Using of a Mobile Rotary Dryer
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1590; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en12091590 - 26 Apr 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3093
Abstract
Drying is a critical point for the exploitation of biomass for energy production. High moisture content negatively affects the efficiency of power generation in combustion and gasification systems. Different types of dryers are available however; it is known that rotary dryers have low [...] Read more.
Drying is a critical point for the exploitation of biomass for energy production. High moisture content negatively affects the efficiency of power generation in combustion and gasification systems. Different types of dryers are available however; it is known that rotary dryers have low cost of maintenance and consume 15% and 30% less in terms of specific energy. The study analyzed the drying process of woody residues using a new prototype of mobile rotary dryer cocurrent flow. Woodchip of poplar (Populus spp.), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.), and grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) pruning were dried in a rotary drier. The drying cycle lasted 8 h for poplar, 6 h for black locust, and 6 h for pruning of grapevine. The initial biomass had a moisture content of around 50% for the poplar and around 30% for grapevine and black locust. The study showed that some characteristics of the biomass (e.g., initial moisture content, particle size distribution, bulk density) influence the technical parameters (i.e., airflow temperature, rate, and speed) of the drying process and, hence, the energy demand. At the end of the drying process, 17% of water was removed for poplar wood chips and 31% for grapevine and black locust wood chips. To achieve this, result the three-biomass required 1.61 (poplar), 0.86 (grapevine), and 1.12 MJ kgdry solids−1 (black locust), with an efficiency of thermal drying (η) respectively of 37%, 12%, and 27%. In the future, the results obtained suggest an increase in the efficiency of the thermal insulation of the mobile dryer, and the application of the mobile dryer in a small farm, for the recovery of exhaust gases from thermal power plants. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sensitivity Analysis of Different Parameters on the Performance of a CHP Internal Combustion Engine System Fed by a Biomass Waste Gasifier
Energies 2019, 12(4), 688; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en12040688 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 1577
Abstract
The present paper presents a study of biomass waste to energy conversion using gasification and internal combustion engine for power generation. The biomass waste analyzed is the most produced on Italian soil, chosen for suitable properties in the gasification process. Good quality syngas [...] Read more.
The present paper presents a study of biomass waste to energy conversion using gasification and internal combustion engine for power generation. The biomass waste analyzed is the most produced on Italian soil, chosen for suitable properties in the gasification process. Good quality syngas with up to 16.1% CO–4.3% CH4–23.1% H2 can be produced. The syngas lower heating value may vary from 1.86 MJ/ Nm3 to 4.5 MJ/Nm3 in the gasification with air and from 5.2 MJ/ Nm3 to 7.5 MJ/Nm3 in the gasification with steam. The cold gas efficiency may vary from 16% to 41% in the gasification with air and from 37% to 60% in the gasification with steam, depending on the different biomass waste utilized in the process and the different operating conditions. Based on the sensitivity studies carried out in the paper and paying attention to the cold gas efficiency and to the LHV, we have selected the best configuration process for the best syngas composition to feed the internal combustion engine. The influence of syngas fuel properties on the engine is studied through the electrical efficiency and the cogeneration efficiency. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Review
Pellet Production from Woody and Non-Woody Feedstocks: A Review on Biomass Quality Evaluation
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2937; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en13112937 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 1287
Abstract
Forest and agricultural biomass are important sources of renewable and sustainable fuel for energy production. Their increasing consumption is mainly related to the increase in global energy demand and fossil fuel prices but also to the limited availability of petroleum and the lower [...] Read more.
Forest and agricultural biomass are important sources of renewable and sustainable fuel for energy production. Their increasing consumption is mainly related to the increase in global energy demand and fossil fuel prices but also to the limited availability of petroleum and the lower environmental impact of these biomass compared with other non-renewable fuels. In particular, the pellet sector has seen important developments in terms of both production and the number of installed transformation plants. In addition, pellet production from non-woody biomass is increasing in importance. One of the fundamental aspects for the correct and sustainable use of a biofuel is evaluation of its quality. This is even more important when dealing with pellet production, considering the broad spectrum of possible raw materials for pelletizing. Considering the significant number of papers dealing with pellet quality evaluation and improvement in the last decade, this review aims to give the reader an overall view of the most current knowledge about this large and interesting topic. We focused on pellets of agricultural and forestry origin and analyzed papers regarding the specific topic of pellet quality evaluation and improvement from the last five years (2016–2020). In particular, the review findings are presented in the following order: the influence of different agro-forest management systems on pellet quality; analysis of pellets from pure feedstocks (no blending or binders); the influence of blending and binders on pellet quality; and the influence of pre and post treatments. Finally, a brief discussion about actual research lacks in this topic and the possibilities for future research are presented. It is important to underline that the present review is focused on the influence of the biomass characteristics on pellet quality. The effects of the process parameters (die temperature, applied pressure, holding time) on pellet features are not considered in this review, because that is another very large topic deserving a dedicated paper. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Revolutionizing Towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems: The Role of Energy
Energies 2019, 12(19), 3659; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/en12193659 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1895
Abstract
Innovations play a significant role in the primary sector (i.e., agriculture, fisheries and forestry), ensuring a greater performance towards bioeconomy and sustainability. Innovation is being progressively applied to examining the organization of joint technological, social, and institutional modernizations in the primary sector. Exploring [...] Read more.
Innovations play a significant role in the primary sector (i.e., agriculture, fisheries and forestry), ensuring a greater performance towards bioeconomy and sustainability. Innovation is being progressively applied to examining the organization of joint technological, social, and institutional modernizations in the primary sector. Exploring the governance of actor relations, potential policies, and support structures is crucial in the phase of innovation, e.g., during research activities, often applied at the national or sectorial scale. However, when opposing normative guidelines for alternative systems of agriculture arise (e.g., the industrial agriculture paradigm), modernizations in agricultural and forestry may contribute to outlining more sustainable systems. To date, innovations in the primary sector do not seem as advanced as in other sectors, apart from industrial agriculture, which sometimes appears to be the most encouraged. The present review aims to shed light on innovations that have been identified and promoted in recent years in the primary sector, including agriculture and forestry. The need to pursue sustainable development in this sector requires the inclusion of a fourth dimension, namely energy. In fact, energy sustainability is an issue that has been much discussed in recent years. However, the need for progressive technological progress is indispensable to ensure long-lasting energy efficiency. The aim is to understand what innovations have been implemented recently, highlighting opportunities and limitations for the primary sector. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop