Greenhouse Gas Balance of Bio-methane – which Substrates are Suitable?

Karin Arnold


Abstract: Biogas and bio-methane that are based on energy crops are renewable energy carriers and therefore potentially contribute to climate protection. However, significant greenhouse gas emissions resulting from agricultural production processes must be considered, mainly resulting from agricultural production processes, as fertilizer use, pesticide etc.
This paper provides an integrated life cycle assessment (LCA) of biogas (i.e. bio-methane that has been upgraded and injected into the natural gas grid), taking into account the processes of fermentation, upgrading and injection to the grid for two different types of biogas plants thus examining the current state of the art as well as new, large-scale plants, operated by industrial players. Not only technical and engineering aspects are taken into account here, but also the choice of feedstock which plays an important role as to the overall ecological evaluation of bio-methane.
The substrates evaluated in this paper – aside from maize – are rye, sorghum, whole-crop-silage from triticale and barley, and the innovative options of agricultural grass (Landsberger Gemenge, a mixture of hairy vetch (vicia villosa), crimson clover (trifolium incarnátum) and Italian ryegrass (lolium multiflorum)) as well as a combination of maize and sunflower.
Key words: Bio-methane; Life cycle assessment; Cop-rotation systems


Bio-methane; Life cycle assessment; Cop-rotation systems

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