• 4 minutes Will We Ever See 100$+ OIL?
  • 8 minutes Iran downs US drone. No military response . . Just Destroy their economy. Can Senator Kerry be tried for aiding enemy ?
  • 11 minutes Energy Outlook for Renewables. Pie in the sky or real?
  • 2 hours Shale Oil will it self destruct?
  • 13 hours Berkeley becomes first U.S. city to ban natural gas in new homes
  • 3 hours Today in Energy
  • 2 days Excellent Choice: Germany's Von der Leyen Secures Powerful EU Executive Top Job
  • 3 hours Drone For Drone = War: What is next in the U.S. - Iran the Gulf Episode
  • 3 hours Oil Rises After Iran Says It Seized Foreign Tanker In Gulf
  • 1 day Mnuchin Says No Change To U.S. Dollar Policy ‘As of Now’
  • 1 day Populist, But Good: Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Private-Equity Funds
  • 2 days Migration From Eastern Europe Raises German Population To Record High
  • 2 days Washington Post hit piece attacking oil, Christians and Trump
  • 18 hours Why Natural Gas is Natural
  • 14 hours LA Solar Power/Storage Contract
  • 2 days White House insider who predicted Iran False Flag, David Goldberg found dead in his New York apartment
Alt Text

Bioscience Breakthrough Turns Plant Waste Into Gasoline

Bioscience engineers have been making…

Alt Text

Good News And Bad News For The Ethanol Industry

The ethanol industry saw some…

Alt Text

Ex-Trump Advisor Wins Big On EPA Biofuel Tweaks

Billionaire and ex-Trump advisor Carl…

Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

More Info

Premium Content

Germany Looks to Straw for Home Heating

Researchers from Germany are pushing the use of straw to provide power to as many as 2.8 million homes and heat up to 4.5 million homes, and while they don’t expect to turn straw into energy gold overnight, getting back to the basic could change the way we think about biomass and waste.

The researchers estimate that out of a total of 30 million tons of cereal straw produced annually in Germany, between 8 and 13 million tons could be used to produce enough energy or fuel to provide 1.7-2.8 million average households with electricity and 2.8-4.5 million households with heating.

For now, straw is being underutilized as a biomass residue and waste material, but its applications offer enormous potential, they say.

Related article: EU Kills Bill to Limit Food-Based Biofuels

Is it climate friendly? The jury still seems to be out on this, and the researchers say it depends on how straw is used.

"Straw should therefore primarily be used in larger district heating stations and/or combined heat and power stations, but technology must be developed for an environmentally-friendly utilization," Dr. Armin Vetter from the Thueringian regional institute for agriculture (TLL), coauthor of the study said.

Burning plants for fuel produces carbon dioxide (CO2), but according to the German researchers, if done right, using biomass instead of fossil fuels could cut emissions by 73% to 92%.

The researchers determined that 30 megatons of cereal straw were produced annually in 1999, 2003 and 2007. Only about half of this is available in the end as not all parts of the straw can be used, and because much of it is diverted for livestock bedding.

In addition, some of the straw must be left scattered on the land in order to prevent nutrients from being permanently extracted.

Related article: Synthetics Breakthrough to Increase Biofuel Production by 50%

“Straw-based energy applications should be developed in Germany in particular in those regions with favorable conditions and appropriate power plants. Even if we wouldn’t be spinning straw into gold in the foreseeable future, it would still make an important contribution to the energy turnaround. Looking across the border shows us what is feasible when the course is optimally set,” researchers wrote.

And look no further than Denmark, the world leader in straw-based energy applications. The country generates over 5 billion kilowatt-hours of energy per year from straw.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • phil on November 21 2013 said:
    How long till Germany (re)discovers nuclear energy???

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play