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Systems analysis of the use of grass from landscape conservation in biogas plants

Systems analysis of the use of grass from landscape conservation in biogas plants
Project team:

Leible, Ludwig (project leader), Stefan Kälber, Gunnar Kappler, Christa Streitferdt

Funding:Ministerium für Ländlichen Raum und Verbraucherschutz (Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection), Stuttgart
Start date:2012
End date:


Project partners:University of Hohenheim, State Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioenergy
Research area:Energy - resources, technologies, systems

Project description

Landscape conservation and nature protection produce large amounts of landscape conservation grass. Its use in an unprocessed form in biogas plants leads to technical as well as economic problems especially due to the high crude fiber content. However, the use of grass from landscape conservation in biogas plants also has favorable aspects, mainly because cultivation of landscape conservation grass is not associated with any special costs and harvesting costs are covered largely by the maintenance measure and its payment (compensation).

Meanwhile, special processing techniques have been developed for the mechanical pre-treatment of crude fiber rich substrate for optimized use in biogas plants. However, these have not yet been analyzed for the use of grass from landscape conservation.

The project aimed at investigating whether landscape conservation grass is suited as a fermentation substrate for biogas production when considering its major technical and economic characteristics. These studies were based on selected process chains from the supply of landscape conservation grass to the production of biogas in model biogas plants. Decisive for the assessment were the comparisons to typical Baden-Württemberg biogas plants (two types) that do not use grass from landscape conservation.

The systems analysis was carried out in collaboration with the University of Hohenheim (State Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioenergy).

The techno-economic analysis of ITAS for this project focused on the following areas:

  • Supply of landscape conservation grass (harvest, transport, storage, processing)
  • Production of biogas from landscape conservation grass in appropriate biogas plants

The work on this project was completed in March 2015. The final report - published as KIT Scientific Report 7691 - is avaible as follows (only in German).

KIT Scientific Report to the project:


Leible, L.; Kälber, S.; Kappler, G.; Oechsner, H.; Mönch-Tegeder, M.
Biogas aus Landschaftspflegegras: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen.
Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing 2015
(KIT Scientific Reports, 7691)
Titelbild/jpg Volltext/pdf KIT press release



Dr. Ludwig Leible
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-24869