|Combustibility of biomass from wet fens in Belarus and its potential as a substitute for peat in fuel briquettes.||downloads: 891 | type: pdf | size: 297 kB|
Volume 13 (2013 / 2014) Article 6
Combustibility of biomass from wet fens in Belarus and its potential as a substitute for peat in fuel briquettes
by W. Wichtmann, C. Oehmke, S. Bärisch, F. Deschan, U. Malashevich and F. Tanneberger
Published online: 28.01.2014
Peatland drainage has caused enormous environmental problems at global scale; in particular, ongoing greenhouse gas emissions and soil degradation. In Belarus, which is rich in peatlands and a hotspot of emissions from drained peatlands, several thousand hectares have already been re-wetted but are not used productively. Moreover, vast areas of wet (undrained) peatland that are designated for nature conservation are in need of mowing and biomass removal. Plants such as common reed (Phragmites australis), reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) and sedges (Carex spp.) which frequently dominate these areas could be harvested and used as fuel, potentially as a substitute for peat. In this study we analysed the yield and combustibility of late harvests in March/April 2009 and 2010. The yields of 3.7–11.7 t DM ha-1 were within the range reported from other studies on wetland plants. Concentrations of Cl, S, N, P, C, Ca, K, Mg and Na, as well as water and ash contents, indicated similar or better combustibility when compared to other straw-like (graminaceous) plants such as Miscanthus. The full replacement of peat fuel by biomass from wet peatlands in Belarus would require an area of 680,000 ha, i.e. 'only' half of the peatland that has been drained for agriculture.
Wichtmann, W., Oehmke, C., Bärisch, S., Deschan, F., Malashevich, U. & Tanneberger, F. (2014): Combustibility of biomass from wet fens in Belarus and its potential as a substitute for peat in fuel briquettes. Mires and Peat 13: Art. 6. (Online: http://www.mires-and-peat.net/pages/volumes/map13/map1306.php)
IMCG and IPS acknowledge the work of the reviewers.