Today there are about 20 species of fast-growing plants that can be grown for biomass. This are eucalyptus, poplar, willow, miscanthus and others. The collected biomass is used to produce heat and electricity, can be the raw material for the production of solid biofuels like pellets and briquettes.
In the temperate zone, which is Ukraine, for the cultivation of energy crops are best-suited varieties of fast-growing willow species, such as Salix Viminalis.
Saplings on energy plantations are planted in a checkerboard pattern. Number of seedlings per 1 ha are planted depending on the planned cycle of crop harvesting.
The energy biomass plantations prevent soil erosion and help to improve the environment.
Branch power industry based on the use of biofuels derived from biomass. Energy crops are fast-growing varieties of perennial shrubs and special annual plants with high dry matter content for use as solid and liquid fuels.
Production of electricity and heat from solid biomass today is carried out mainly by combustion in solid fuel fired boilers to produce a high-pressure steam. This process is carried out with the use of biomass power facilities, boilers and bio-thermal power station that produce heat and electricity.
Bush willow characteristics
• Average daily gain - 1.5 meters per year.
• Harvesting - every 2-3 years.
• The number of harvest cycles from one planting - 7-8 times, then it is possible to make reclamation of land for planting other crops or to lay new willow plantation.
• Demand for soil - the soil of average quality with high humidity.
• The need for mineral fertilizers plant - plant nutrition in the soil make 3 types of fertilizers. Number of fertilizer depends on the quality of land, however, much less the needs of other crops.
• Fertilizer requirements – for plant nutrition in the soil is necessary 3 types of fertilizers. The amount of fertilizers depends on the quality of land, but in comparison with other crops, the needs are fewer.
• Harvesting period – November - February, when the leaves are falling.
Why energy willow?
Among all the energy crops in the world today willow is used worldwide as a primary plant for the production of solid fuel. The greatest experience in cultivation have such countries as Sweden, England, Ireland, Poland, and Denmark. Today the largest willow plantations are in Sweden of about 18 000 - 20 000 hectares and in Poland - more than 6000 hectares. In Ukraine, despite the large amount of unused non-agricultural land, the area of energy crops is still insufficient.
restorative solid biofuel of organic origin;
environmentally friendly raw material for the production of fuel pellets;
biofuel, which are suitable for direct combustion in boilers for biomass;
source of energy, which during the combustion in boilers does not affect the balance of carbon in the atmosphere;
type of solid biofuel, industrial production of heat and electricity which twice cheaper than natural gas;
agricultural plant, which yield in terms of calorimetric indicators is the highest among the other energy crops and reach 20 tons of dry weight per 1 hectare.
How energy willow affect the ecology and the environment?
One hectare of energy willow absorbed from the air more than 200 tons of CO2 over 3 years.
Ideal for cultivation on contaminated and unproductive lands in comparison with crop production.
Effectively used as erosion control measure to strengthen the soil.
Enrich soil with minerals and trace elements, nutrients of natural origin.
Plantations of energy willow are natural filters for removing agro-industrial production waste, used as a buffer zone in places of accumulation of farm biological wastes.
Energy willow is a natural filter for the purification of soil from pesticides.
Man and liveability
Energy willow because of its stability and rapid growth is an ideal environmentally friendly solution for natural protection from wind and sunlight and creating a natural microclimate in places of human habitation.
Elements of landscape design, decorative fences are made from the energy willow
Energy willow Vine is used in folk crafts.
Biodiversity of flora and fauna improves around plantations.
Italian breeding varieties
• Average daily gain – 16-25 t / ha per year in the time of harvest.
• Harvesting biomass – depending on cultivation technology every 2-4 years.
• Plantation remain productive 25 years, followed by reclamation and after 1-2 years can be re-planted perennial energy crops.
• Demand – marginal soils, much moisture and light.
• Fertilizer requirements – for poplar nutrition in the soil nitrogen, phosphate and potash fertilizers are applied. The amount of fertilizers changes in terms of land quality, but in comparison with other crops, the needs are fewer.
• Harvesting period – during the rest of the trees. In the period between
Why energy poplar?
Energy poplar belongs to the perennial (tree) energy crops. Cultivation technology of energy poplar is close to the technology of growing energy willow. However, there are some differences:
poplar seedlings are on 5 cm longer in comparison with willow and should be 25 cm length;
when planting at least one bud of the seedling should stay above the ground;
planting period – only spring;
poplar requires more fertile land than willow; well-drained land; but as willow, poplar needs a sufficient amount of water and light.