Advertisement

Grass for Biogas Production—Anaerobic Methane Production from Five Common Grassland Species at Sequential Stages of Maturity

  • K. O’Riordan
  • J. McEniry
  • T. Woodcock
  • C. King
  • P. O’Kiely
Conference paper

Abstract

Grassland biomass represents the most significant feedstock resource in Ireland, accounting for approximately 91 % of the 4.3 million hectares of agricultural land. Grass can be an excellent energy crop and may be classified as a high yielding (up to 15 t dry matter ha 1 a-1), low input perennial crop. Consequently, grass will be a dominant feedstock for anaerobic digestion (AD) on Irish farms. This study investigated the effects of stage of maturity of five grass species on methane production using dried, milled samples in a small-scale (160 ml), high-throughput batch digestion test. Five common grass species (perennial ryegrass, Italian ryegrass, cocksfoot, timothy and tall fescue) were grown in field plots (with three replicate blocks) under a high nitrogen fertiliser input (125 kg N ha 1) and harvested at five sequential dates (fortnightly from 12 May to 7 July; n = 75 plots) in the primary growth. Of the five grass species investigated, average total CH4 production was highest (P  <0.01) for the perennial ryegrass. On average, the rate of digestion decreased (P < 0.001) with increasing plant maturity. Although total CH4 production decreased numerically with advancing plant maturity, this difference was not significant (P  >0.05).

Keywords

Anaerobic Digestion Methane Production Grass Species Tall Fescue Volatile Solid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Funding for this research was provided under the National Development Plan through the Research Stimulus Fund (#RSF 07 557), administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Ireland.

References

  1. Ballard RA, Simpson RJ Pearce GR (1990) Losses of the digestible components of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum gaudin) during senescence. Aust J Agric Res 41:719–731CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Braun R, Weiland P, Wellinger A (2010) Biogas from energy crop digestion: International Energy Association, bioenergy task 37. http://www.iea-biogas.net/_download/energycrop_def_Low_Res.pdf. Accessed 17 August 2011Google Scholar
  3. McEniry J, O’Kiely P, Clipson NJW, Forristal PD Doyle EM (2006) The microbiological and chemical composition of baled and precision-chop silages on a sample of farms in County Meath. Irish J Agr Res 45:73–83Google Scholar
  4. Prochnow A, Heiermann M, Plochl M, Linke B, Idler C, Amon T Hobbs PJ (2009) Bioenergy from permanent grassland—a review: 1. Biogas. Bioresource Technol 100:4931–4944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Purcell PJ, O’Brien M, Boland TM, O’Kiely P (2011) In vitro rumen methane output of perennial ryegrass samples prepared by freeze drying or thermal drying (40 °C). Anim Feed Sci Technol (166–167):175–182Google Scholar
  6. SAS (2004). SAS for windows (Version 9.1.2). Statistical Analysis System Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USAGoogle Scholar
  7. Seppala M, Paavola T, Lehtomaki A Rintala J (2009) Biogas production from boreal herbaceous grasses—specific methane yield and methane yield per hectare. Bioresource Technol 100:2952–2985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Stefanon B, Pell AN Schofield P (1996) Effect of maturity on digestion kinetics of water-soluble and water-insoluble fractions of alfalfa and brome hay. J Anim Sci 74:1104–1115PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Ugherughe PO (1986) Relationship between digestibility of Bromus inermis plant parts. J Agron Crop Sci 157:136–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. VDI 4630 (2006) Fermentation of organic materials—characterisation of the substrate, sampling, collection of material data, fermentation tests. The association of German engineers, Dusseldorf, GermanyGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. O’Riordan
    • 1
  • J. McEniry
    • 2
  • T. Woodcock
    • 1
  • C. King
    • 2
  • P. O’Kiely
    • 2
  1. 1.The Bioresources Research CentreUniversity College DublinBelfieldIreland
  2. 2.Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation CentreTeagasc, GrangeDunsanyIreland

Personalised recommendations