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Nizami, Abdul-Sattar; Murphy, Jerry D;
Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews
What type of digester configurations should be employed to produce biomethane from grass silage?
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Grass is an excellent energy crop; it may be classified as a high yielding, low energy input, perennial crop. Over 90\% of Irish agricultural land is under grass: thus farmers are familiar with, and comfortable with, this crop as opposed to a ``new energy crop'' such as Miscanthus. Of issue therefore is not the crop, but the methodology of generating energy from the crop. Numerous farmers across Europe (in particular Germany and Austria) use grass silage as a feedstock for biogas production; in a number of cases the produced biogas is scrubbed to biomethane and used as a transport fuel or injected into the natural gas grid. Many Irish farmers are considering converting from conventional farming such as beef production to grass biomethane production. Numerous technologies and combinations of such technologies are available; from one-stage batch dry systems to two-stage wet continuous systems; from one-stage continuous wet systems to two-stage systems incorporating a batch dry reactor coupled with a second stage high-rate reactor. This paper reviews work carried out both in the scientific literature and in practice at commercial scale. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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