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Growing a renewable energy crop with biosolids - Paul O'Callaghan, O2 Environmental
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Growing a renewable energy crop with biosolids - Paul O'Callaghan, O2 Environmental

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How to grow a renewable energy crop using biosolids. Presentation by Paul O'Callaghan CEO of O2 Environmental May 2006

How to grow a renewable energy crop using biosolids. Presentation by Paul O'Callaghan CEO of O2 Environmental May 2006

Published in Self Improvement
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  • 1. Growing a Renewable Energy Crop with Biosolids BCWWA May 2006 Paul O’Callaghan R.P.Bio O2 ENVIRONMENTAL O2 O2
  • 2. Need for Alternative Biosolids Disposal Routes? • More Biosolids • More Regulations • Pressure on Existing Outlets O2
  • 3. Existing Disposal Routes USA Europe Europe (14 countries) United States Other Other Incineration Application to Application to land land Incineration Landfilling Landfilling O2
  • 4. Short Rotation Energy Forestry • Trees are grown as an energy crop • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions • Alternative crop for farmers • Sustainable alternative to fossil fuels O2
  • 5. Biosolids already being used successfully in forestry Poplar Plantation in Lower Fraser Valley Advantages Challenges • Outside Food Chain • Spreading sludge • Increases Yield of during growing cycle Wood • Build up of metals O2
  • 6. Forestry for lumber, pulp & paper These trees are on a 10-15 year cycle Then they are harvested. Then you need to replant. O2
  • 7. Forestry for Energy • Tree regenerates after harvesting: • No need to replant • Shorter cycle (3 – 4 years) • Easier and more frequent application of sludge O2
  • 8. Why no need to replant? Coppicing: • It is the art of cutting of trees and shrubs to ground level allowing vigorous re-growth and a sustainable supply of timber for future generations. • Trees regenerate – no need to replant O2
  • 9. What species are being used? • Willow • Poplar • Eucalyptus • Any fast growing species O2
  • 10. History of Forestry for Energy • Pioneered in Sweden in 1980’s • 15,000 ha established in Sweden (area of Salt Spring Island) • Utilise 10% of national biosolids production (100,000 tonnes of sewage sludge @ 20% ds applied. GVRD currently produce 70,000 tonnes) O2
  • 11. Sweden’s Experience • Special Cultivars Developed • 15,000 plants per ha • Biomass production : 10–15 t DM/ha/y • Special planting & harvesting machinery developed. • Energy Produced : $0.03 / kw hr O2
  • 12. Nutrient Requirements • Similar to conventional crops: – 15 kg P / ha – 50-75 kg N / ha – 25-40 kg K / ha • Higher water demand than conventional crops O2
  • 13. Short Rotation Energy Forestry - a natural treatment reactor Vegetation Micro- Soil organisms in Chemistry soil O2
  • 14. Metals Build up? • Problem encountered in early years – Embarked upon source control initiatives – Extensive research on distribution pattern of metals in willow plant – Uptake rate of metals can be higher than amount applied when application rate balanced with P requirements O2
  • 15. Pathogens! • Risk of spreading infectious diseases to man via animals? • Three full scale wastewater irrigation facilities investigated in Sweden – No increase of pathogens in animal droppings – No increase of pathogens in animal organs (rabbit, hare, pheasant, roe deer, fallow deer, mink, fox and badger, shrew mouse, wood mouse & house mouse). – Parasites found could be referred to natural parasite burden O2
  • 16. Summary • Energy Forestry : A crop on a 4 year cycle • Produces a carbon neutral energy crop • Sustainable outlet for biosolids outside food chain • Useful part of an overall Biosolids Strategy O2
  • 17. The future? • Resource Efficient Agricultural Production (REAP) Canada – research on Switch grass • Reported that Southern BC has the highest potential productivity (10-15 t DM/ha) in Canada • Growing Interest in Bioenergy crops due to rising energy costs • Good potential synergy between Biosolids Management and Energy Crops. O2
  • 18. Growing a Renewable Energy Crop with Biosolids BCWWA May 2006 Paul O’Callaghan R.P.Bio O2 ENVIRONMENTAL O2 O2