We harvest knowledge

15.08.2013 00:00

Field in the sun

In the autumn, the fields at the Bregentved Estate were fertilised with ash from Pyroneer instead of artificial fertiliser. Now, we have harvested.

 

All over the country, harvesting has commenced. At Bregentved Estate, harvesting is also under way, and here, the harvest will bring us valuable experience of our Pyroneer technology.


"It isn't possible to see any differences with your naked eye between the grain which has been given artificial fertiliser, and the grain which has been given Pyroneer ash."
This is the first verdict from Jens Kai Holm, PhD with DONG Energy.
Jens Kai Holm is talking about the grain at the Bregentved Estate near Haslev (Denmark) which instead of artificial fertiliser was fertilised with 20 tonnes of ash from DONG Energy's Pyroneer plant this autumn. This is the first large-scale experiment with the Pyroneer ash, and now, it is time to find out whether it is possible to return the nutrients to the soil once we have extracted the energy from the straw.

Harvester 
The grain is harvested

The grain is being harvested as we speak, and then external consultants will analyse whether the protein content is the same and whether the yield is as good as if we had used artificial fertilisers," said Jens Kai Holm.

The analyses will help us estimate the value of the ash from the Pyroneer technology as well as satisfy future buyers that fertilising with the ash works. It is an important element of the sustainability discussion concerning the Pyroneer technology that the nutrients can be recirculated. That is why the yield from this year's harvest at Bregentved Estate is an important step towards commercialisation of the technology.

 

Closer to a full-scale plant

"If the test results are satisfactory, we have removed a very important technical uncertainty concerning how to sell the ash in a sustainable manner. And thus, we have come a considerable step closer to the possibility of supplying green gas directly to the power stations and thereby replace a part of the fossil fuels," said Martin Møller from DONG Energy. 

Inside harvester
Now, we wait and see if the test results are satisfactory.

Today, DONG Energy has a 6MW demonstration plant at the Asnæs Power Station in Kalundborg, and investigations are currently being carried out to extend the technology to the market. A full-scale plant of 60MW will convert approximately 130,000 tonnes of straw per year to a process gas which can replace an amount of coal at a coal-fired power station.