Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Options to reuse sludge from striped catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, Sauvage, 1878) ponds and recirculating systems
Nhut, N. ; Hao, N.V. ; Bosma, R.H. ; Verreth, J.A.V. ; Eding, E.H. ; Verdegem, M.C.J. - \ 2019
Aquacultural Engineering 87 (2019). - ISSN 0144-8609
Biogas - Compost - Energy - Methane - Sludge - Striped catfish

This paper compares the quantity and quality of solid waste obtained from traditional ponds and recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) for striped catfish and evaluates methane and compost production from these wastes. Striped catfish sludge was collected from four commercial ponds along the Mekong river and from three indoor RAS. The amount of sludge dry matter produced per kilogram of fish in ponds was 6 times higher than that in RAS. However, the concentration of nutrients in solid waste from RAS was much higher, with better compost quality and higher methane yield than that of sludge from ponds. Out of the collected 381 L biogas, the methane yield of striped catfish's solid waste in RAS systems was 201 L per kg chemical oxygen demand (COD). In ponds, the collected 267 L biogas yielded 125 L CH4 per kg COD. The higher methane production from RAS sludge concurred with higher digestibility of COD: 58% for RAS versus 38% for ponds. The quality and quantity of methane from striped catfish sludge were lower than that for other animal manures, and the resulting electricity yield was low. Considering the higher nutrient concentration in RAS-sludge, we recommend the combination RAS and composting in reusing sludge, which is presently the best option for a more sustainable and cleaner striped catfish production system.

Does the use of digestate to replace mineral fertilizers have less emissions of N2O and NH3?
Verdi, L. ; Kuikman, P.J. ; Orlandini, S. ; Mancini, M. ; Napoli, M. ; Marta, A. Dalla - \ 2019
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 269-270 (2019). - ISSN 0168-1923 - p. 112 - 118.
Biogas - Digestate - Greenhouse gasses - Maize - Nitrogen - Static chambers

Digestate is considered a sustainable opportunity to reduce environmental impact from fertilization, due to high content of nitrogen easily available for plants and for the low impact of its production. We tested liquid fraction of digestate from anaerobic digestion of pig slurries and urea, to assess the emissions of nitrous oxide and ammonia from soil on silage maize (Zea mays L.). Nitrogen rate was the same for both treatments (150 kg/ha) spread replacing common methods. Emissions measurements were performed immediately after fertilization using a static chamber method with a portable gas analyser. Measurements were performed daily during the first week, and twice per week until no emissions from the soil were observed. Cumulative nitrogen emissions show that digestate can be an efficient method to reduce nitrogen losses (2.87 kg N/ha/25 days and 3.76 kg N/ha/25 days for digestate and urea respectively). However, the two fertilizers emitted different kind of gases: compared to urea, digestate emitted the 23% of nitrous oxide more, on the other hand urea emitted 66% of ammonia more than digestate. Crop yield obtained under the two fertilization methods did not significantly differ in terms of dry matter (DM) (13.63 t DM/ha and 13.24 t DM/ha for digestate and urea, respectively) (significance factor α > 0.5).

Agrivoltaic systems to optimise land use for electric energy production
Amaducci, Stefano ; Yin, Xinyou ; Colauzzi, Michele - \ 2018
Applied Energy 220 (2018). - ISSN 0306-2619 - p. 545 - 561.
Agrivoltaic - Biogas - Land use efficiency - Maize - Modeling - Photovoltaic panels

A system combining soil grown crops with photovoltaic panels (PV) installed several meters above the ground is referred to as agrivoltaic systems. In this work a patented agrivoltaic solar tracking system named Agrovoltaico® was examined in combination with a maize crop in a simulation study. To this purpose a software platform was developed coupling a radiation and shading model to the generic crop growth simulator GECROS. The simulation was conducted using a 40-year climate dataset from a location in North Italy, rainfed maize and different Agrovoltaico configurations (that differ according to panel density and sun-tracking set up). Control simulations for an irrigated maize crop under full light were added to results. Reduction of global radiation under the Agrovoltaico system was more affected by panel density (29.5% and 13.4% respectively for double density and single density), than by panel management (23.2% and 20.0% for sun-track and static panels, respectively). Radiation reduction, under Agrovoltaico, affected mean soil temperature, evapotranspiration and soil water balance, on average providing more favorable conditions for plant growth than in full light. As a consequence, in rainfed conditions, average grain yield was higher and more stable under agrivoltaic than under full light. The advantage of growing maize in the shade of Agrovoltaico increased proportionally to drought stress, which indicates that agrivoltaic systems could increase crop resilience to climate change. The benefit of producing renewable energy with Agrovoltaico was assessed using the Land Equivalent Ratio, comparing the electric energy produced by Agrovoltaico cultivated with biogas maize to that produced by a combination of conventional ground mounted PV systems and biogas maize in monoculture. Land Equivalent Ratio was always above 1, it increased with panel density and it was higher with sun tracking than with static panels. The best Agrivoltaico scenario produced twice as much energy, per unit area, as the combination of ground mounted PV systems and biogas maize in monoculture. For this Agrivoltaico can be considered a valuable system to produce renewable energy on farm without negatively affecting land productivity.

The impact of a household biogas programme on energy use and expenditure in East Java
Bedi, Arjun S. ; Sparrow, Robert ; Tasciotti, Luca - \ 2017
Energy Economics 68 (2017). - ISSN 0140-9883 - p. 66 - 76.
Biogas - Energy policy - Indonesia - Renewable energy

Biogas has been promoted as a renewable, cleaner and cheaper energy source. While there are several initiatives promoting the use of biogas, credible analyses of its effects on the use of alternative energy sources and energy related expenditure are limited. This study uses panel data from households engaged in dairy farming in rural East Java to assess the impact of a household level programme, which promotes the construction of digesters that produce biogas, on energy use and expenditures. Both a difference-in-difference analysis and a pipeline comparison show that the use of digesters leads to a sharp reduction in energy related expenditures and a reduction in the use of firewood and liquefied petroleum gas. However, without subsidies, the payback period of between 11 and 14 years, albeit based only on reductions in energy costs accruing from investing in a digester, is perhaps too long to justify the investment.

Site-specific management of miscanthus genotypes for combustion and anaerobic digestion : A comparison of energy yields
Kiesel, Andreas ; Nunn, Christopher ; Iqbal, Yasir ; Weijde, Tim Van der; Wagner, Moritz ; Özgüven, Mensure ; Tarakanov, Ivan ; Kalinina, Olena ; Trindade, Luisa M. ; Clifton-Brown, John ; Lewandowski, Iris - \ 2017
Frontiers in Plant Science 8 (2017). - ISSN 1664-462X
Biogas - Biomass - Energy yield - Harvest time - Moisture content - Substrate-specific methane yield - Yield
In Europe, the perennial C4 grass miscanthus is currently mainly cultivated for energy generation via combustion. In recent years, anaerobic digestion has been identified as a promising alternative utilization pathway. Anaerobic digestion produces a higher-value intermediate (biogas), which can be upgraded to biomethane, stored in the existing natural gas infrastructure and further utilized as a transport fuel or in combined heat and power plants. However, the upgrading of the solid biomass into gaseous fuel leads to conversion-related energy losses, the level of which depends on the cultivation parameters genotype, location, and harvest date. Thus, site-specific crop management needs to be adapted to the intended utilization pathway. The objectives of this paper are to quantify (i) the impact of genotype, location and harvest date on energy yields of anaerobic digestion and combustion and (ii) the conversion losses of upgrading solid biomass into biogas. For this purpose, five miscanthus genotypes (OPM 3, 6, 9, 11, 14), three cultivation locations (Adana, Moscow, Stuttgart), and up to six harvest dates (August-March) were assessed. Anaerobic digestion yielded, on average, 35% less energy than combustion. Genotype, location, and harvest date all had significant impacts on the energy yield. For both, this is determined by dry matter yield and ash content and additionally by substrate-specific methane yield for anaerobic digestion and moisture content for combustion. Averaged over all locations and genotypes, an early harvest in August led to 25%and a late harvest to 45%conversion losses. However, each utilization option has its own optimal harvest date, determined by biomass yield, biomass quality, and cutting tolerance. By applying an autumn green harvest for anaerobic digestion and a delayed harvest for combustion, the conversion-related energy loss was reduced to an average of 18%. This clearly shows that the delayed harvest required tomaintain biomass quality for combustion is accompanied by high energy losses through yield reduction over winter. The pre-winter harvest applied in the biogas utilization pathway avoids these yield losses and largely compensates for the conversion-related energy losses of anaerobic digestion.
Evaluation of Miscanthus sinensis biomass quality as feedstock for conversion into different bioenergy products
Weijde, Tim van der; Kiesel, Andreas ; Iqbal, Yasir ; Muylle, Hilde ; Dolstra, Oene ; Visser, Richard G.F. ; Lewandowski, Iris ; Trindade, Luisa M. - \ 2017
Global change biology Bioenergy 9 (2017)1. - ISSN 1757-1693 - p. 176 - 190.
Miscanthus sinensis - Anaerobic digestion - Bioethanol - Biogas - Biomass quality - Cell wall composition - Combustion - Enzymatic saccharification - Lignin

Miscanthus is a promising fiber crop with high potential for sustainable biomass production for a biobased economy. The effect of biomass composition on the processing efficiency of miscanthus biomass for different biorefinery value chains was evaluated, including combustion, anaerobic digestion and enzymatic saccharification for the production of bioethanol. Biomass quality and composition was analyzed in detail using stem and leaf fractions of summer (July) and winter (March) harvested biomass of eight compositionally diverse Miscanthus sinensis genotypes. Genotype performance in tests for enzymatic saccharification, anaerobic digestion and combustion differed extensively. The variation between the best and the worst performing genotype was 18% for biogas yield (ml g-1 dm) and 42% for saccharification efficiency (glucose release as %dm). The ash content of the best performing genotype was 62% lower than that of the genotype with the highest ash content and showed a considerably high ash melting temperature during combustion. Variation between genotypes in biomass quality for the different thermochemical bioconversion processes was shown to be strongly correlated to differences in biomass composition. The most important traits that contributed favorably to biogas yields and saccharification efficiency were a high content of trans-ferulic acid, a high ratio of para-coumaric acid to lignin and a low lignin content. Additionally, a high content of hemicellulosic polysaccharides positively affected saccharification efficiency. Low contents of ash and inorganic elements positively affect biomass quality for combustion and low potassium and chloride contents contributed to a higher ash melting temperature. These results demonstrate the potential for optimizing and exploiting M. sinensis as a multipurpose lignocellulosic feedstock, particularly for bioenergy applications.

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