Biogas: elegant energy solution for Ireland?

Interesting story arising from the BA Festival of Science gig in Dublin. Irish Times science writer Dick Ahlstrom notes that Elephant Grass (Miscanthus giganteus), which made a dramatic entry into Irish gardens in the 1970s, could provide an important source of Biomass energy. Indeed Prof Steve Long, of the University of Illinois argues that by putting 10% of Republic’s arable land under Elephant grass, it could produce as much as 30% of the country’s energy needs! We wonder if this story will raise its head at tomorrow night’s Leviathan gig at Crawdaddy in Dublin.

  • circles

    Not only that – considering the state of most of the wastewater systems in the country it would be relatively easy (and cost effective) to combine the anaerobic digestion of elephant grass, with the anaerobic digestion of wastewater, to have a wastewater treatment system that actually saves money (instead of costing hundreds of thousands) and produces elecricity.
    The intersting thing about this solution is that the slurry produced by the digester would be high in nutrients (nitrogen, phosphates etc,) and could be used in agriculture – reducing the need (and consumption) of chemical fertilisers.

  • smcgiff

    Saw a programme on this recently. It seems to replace the nutrients itself as it goes along. No need for chemicals.

    Considering the EU regs, I’d say turn 33.333 percent of arable land over to this crop.

  • kevin

    Congrats to those supporting anaerobic digestion
    i have been supporting such a system for years now even offering it to omagh district counil as a cost effective waste management scheme using it to take cardboard wood and other wastes and turn ing them into compost . Guess what however i have been ignored . however one note of caution needs to be sounded the massive plant with large storage facilities and a large fleet of tankers carrying slurry from a number off farms must be avided
    These do not sanatise the liquids
    These cannot use food scraps
    These have the ability to spread broucallousis
    These have the ability to spread tubercallousis .
    when e.u. grants run out the are very expensive to run
    A small moduler system which can be used to heat one home to 1000 homes and ranging in cost from £40.000 english pounds to £1million english pounds gives you the opportunity to have a system providing
    and a viable business sanatising all kinds of food scraps .
    each waste been secluded from the other in a tank or trailer .