• 10 hours Elon Musk Goes Full Conspiracy Theorist, Blames Big Oil for Tesla's Negative Media Coverage
  • 5 hours Holiday weekend: Gas Prices Surge
  • 14 hours Why Alberta Will Win The War Over Trans Mountain
  • 22 hours Democrats Urge Trump to ‘Stand Up to OPEC’ Amid Rising Oil Prices
  • 9 hours Several US News Sites Block EU Readers After Missing GDPR Deadline
  • 10 hours How Much Oil Could EVs Feasibly Displace by 2040?
  • 1 day High Oil Prices Becoming Herd Mentality
  • 22 hours Expected:Trump Cancels Summit With North Korea Scheduled For Next Month
  • 1 day Russia/Germany Pipeline Really A Security Threat for US?
  • 23 hours How Lousy Shale Oil Economics Will Pull Down The U.S. Economy
  • 14 hours Trump announces more sanctions on Venezuela after Maduro Win
  • 13 hours $5 per gallon in Manhattan
  • 1 day "US fiscal outlook not good"-Goldman Sachs
  • 1 day Saudi Aramco IPO Seems Unlikely
  • 21 hours VW Just Ordered $48 Billion in Electric Car Batteries. That's About What Tesla Is Worth Right Now
  • 11 hours HAPPY RIG COUNT DAY!!
Alt Text

New Tech Could Turn Seaweed Into Biofuel

Scientists discovered an unlikely abundant…

Alt Text

The U.S. Ethanol Industry Is Under Attack

The U.S. ethanol industry is…

Alt Text

New Process Makes Ethanol Sustainable

A new breakthrough has shown…

Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

More Info

Trending Discussions

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




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


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