Open Day On Woody Biomass Hosted At AFBI Hillsborough

Taylor Scott International News

Published on 01/09/2013 14:09 The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), in partnership with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural enterprise (CAFRE), is holding a Woody Biomass “Field to Furnace” open day on Tuesday 17th September 2013, at AFBI Hillsborough. The open day will commence at 11.00am. During the day there will be opportunities to hear short presentations on the latest DARD funded research at AFBI, and to view a range of technologies relating to the growing, drying and burning of woody biomass crops. In addition, AFBI and CAFRE staff will be available throughout the day to discuss all aspects of the ongoing research programmes. Topics which will be addressed on the day include: Biomass Production Linda Walsh (AFBI) will discuss issues related to growing short rotation coppice willow biomass for energy production. This presentation will include information on planting techniques and management requirements to ensure the successful establishment of a willow crop, ‘best practice’ in terms of genetic selection, and the importance of local genetic testing. Bioremediation Dr Alistair McCracken (AFBI) will give an overview of DARD funded research at AFBI into the multifunctional use of short rotation coppice willow plantations. This will focus on their use for the treatment of waste waters of agricultural and commercial origin. Willows are fast growing, have a high evapo-transpiration rate (they ‘take up’ a lot of water) and utilise nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This ‘bioremediation’ technology is beginning to be utilised by the commercial sector. Post Production & Processing Chris Johnston (AFBI) will outline aspects of post production processing, specifically harvesting options and requirements for onward biomass processing. The biomass drying process, together with the research carried out at AFBI Hillsborough into drying woody biomass crops, will be discussed. Information on drying methods, costs of drying and the final energy content of the willow chip will be presented. Biomass Utilisation Greg Forbes (AFBI) will discuss a number of energy conversion technologies currently available, and outline the findings of DARD funded research programmes carried out by AFBI which have examined ‘farm’ and ‘forest’ sourced biomass fuels. The physical, chemical and energetic properties of these fuels will be discussed, together with their potential energy output and gaseous emissions during their burning. Carbon & GHG Savings Dr Rodrigo Olave will give an overview of greenhouse gas emissions from the AFBI Hillsborough site, and will discuss the impact of adopting a renewable energy scheme on total emissions during the last few years. Rodrigo will also outline the benefits of decreased oil use, energy costs, CO2 emissions and energy efficiency with a specific focus on the function of biomass fuels. Information on DARD funded research at AFBI into ‘carbon pools’ and ‘carbon sequestration’ will also be presented. Marketing (and RHI, ROCs) Nigel Moore (CAFRE) will discuss the practical implications of using biomass for heating. This will include information on best practice for installation, fuelling, running and maintaining biomass heat systems, as well as issues to be considered in relation to biomass procurement systems and fuel contracts. Taylor Scott International

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