Biothek, a company devoted to biomass research and production from Arundo k-12, and the chipping machine manufacturer Serrat from Aragon in Spain, have presented a chipping head that can be coupled to a baler for energy crops
The chipping head replaces the traditional system for feeding balers or pick-up by attaining more compact, denser bales. In the first demonstration carried out on Arundo the head worked coupled to a baler belonging to Biothek. The set-up was towed by a 200 CV tractor. The yield obtained was 25t/h, for bundles measuring 0.8 x 0.7 x 2.4 m and weighing 260-280 kg (with less than 15% humidity), and an energy contents of 3,900 kcal/kg (Net Calorific Value - NCV).
The head is also being tested with woody materials: 2-year-old black poplar up to 15 cm in diameter, and olive cuttings.
The trials were carried out on 14th March, 2012 at the El Encín farm, owned by IMIDRA (Madrid Institute for Rural, Agricultural and Food Research and Development), with the collaboration of GA-UPM (the Agro-energy Group from the Universidad Politécnica in Madrid).
15 years of Arundo
GA-UPM's priority research is into the development of specific energy crops that do not compete with traditional food crops. Since 1997 they have been researching the Arundo crop or common cane for energy uses. The El Encín plantation, where trials take place, is part of the R+D+i activities of the Singular and Strategic PSE-On Crops Project, with all the plant material coming from clones attained at the Madrid agricultural engineering school, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos de Madrid
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