Development of reed canary grass fuel chain
The cultivation area of reed canary grass (RCG) has rapidly increased over the last years, in 2008 it is estimated to be nearly 21 000 ha. Due to short experience from RCG there are deficiencies on the harvesting, delivery and use chain, which limit the use of RCG in technical and economical sense. The aim of the project was to improve the competitiveness of RCG as a solid fuel.
The targets of development have been harvesting, long-distance transport, crushing and mixing, experiences from use on power plants, combustion, improve the use by pneumatic conveying and cost calculations of production supply chains as well as development of business concepts.
Harvesting losses can be reduced by using right and correctly adjusted machines for mowing. The costs of long-distance transport can be lowered by increasing bale densities, if baler adjustments and driving style is correct, using square bales and making transports with largest available trucks. For power plants using sufficient large quantities of RCG, it may be reasonable to build a separate feeding line, which also removes the present fuel handling problems. One aim of the future is to develop the power plant technology, which enables the bale transports directly to the plant. According to combustion tests the use of RCG does not increase fouling and corrosion of a boiler, if share is low, 1-2%.