CROPGENProject ID: 502824
Renewable energy from crops and agrowastes (CROPGEN)
Total cost:EUR 2 509 838
EU contribution:EUR 2 099 730
Coordinated in:United Kingdom
Call for proposal:FP6-2002-ENERGY-1See other projects for this call
Funding scheme:STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
The overall aim of the research is to produce from biomass a sustainable fuel source that can be integrated into the existing energy infrastructure in the medium term, and in the longer term will also provide a safe and economical means of supplying the developing hydrogen fuel economy. A series of closely integrated sub-objectives aim to deliver a breakthrough in costs that will firmly establish biogas technology as an economically attractive energy production process for both on and off-site use. The work will identify energy crops and agro-wastes best fitted to energy production in an integrated farming environment, consider energy losses in production and processing, and use these to set net energy production targets as a technological goal. The role of storage and pre-treatments will be considered. Co-digestion will be evaluated as a means of improving energy yields from materials which were uneconomic for biogas production. Some agricultural residues will also be investigated as potential high-yielding substrates. Innovative bioreactor designs and operation modes will be tested. A European database of bio-kinetics for use in design and operation will be established. True life cycle costs of biogas production will be determined in large-scale trials. These will allow verification of laboratory data and predictive models, including advanced decision support systems to optimise energy production. The work will consider the need to achieve continuity of energy supply in an integrated farming environment. Issues of sustainability, environmental impact and socio-economic factors will also be addressed. The results will add to EU databases on bio-energy crops; give engineers the necessary tools to develop the technology; and provide the farming community with evidence of profitable energy production without subsidy and within the EU's target cost for renewable energy.