The Effect of Distance and Field Area on Energy Balance of Switchgrass
Rodias, E.
Berruto, R.
Busato, P.
Bochtis, D.
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Rodias E., Berruto R., Busato P., Bochtis D., 2017, The Effect of Distance and Field Area on Energy Balance of Switchgrass , Chemical Engineering Transactions, 58, 283-288.
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Energy crops, nowadays, constitute a significant share of energy production through biomass sources. Switchgrass is among the energy crops with high potential in biomass energy production, given some of its specific features. In order to evaluate the efficiency and sustainability of each energy crop, it is crucial to estimate specific energy parameters, such as the energy consumption, the energy output, the Energy Return on Investment (EROI) or energy balance, etc. A computational tool is used in order to estimate the energy balance of a Switchgrass crop under a basic scenario of individual field including an in-depth analysis of the involved in-field and transportation operations. By this way, all the in-field and transport operations that contribute in the estimation of the energy consumption, firstly, and, furthermore, the energy balance are taken into account. Every energy input that is inserted into this crop’s system, directly or indirectly, is assessed. One of the most important energy inputs, according to this analysis, corresponds to the energy consumption during operation of any kind of transportation. In this paper, given that biomass energy crops are directly connected to transportation issues, the effect of the two main distances that contribute to this system’s energy balance (i.e. the distance from farm to field and the one from field to biomass storage facilities) is estimated given various distances. Finally, regarding various field areas under this cultivation scenario, the variation of energy balance is presented.
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