Pig barns to fuel biogas plants in Denmark
The Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Rasmus Prehn is asking pig farmers in the country to become part of the solution of using manure from the barns in biogas plants in order to reduce CO2 emissions. This is one of the conclusions of a 3-year project in which 405 farmers and 28 biogas plants have mapped the opportunities, barriers and benefits of reducing the time that the manure lies in the pig houses before it reaches the biogas plants.
"Agriculture accounts for a large part of Denmark's CO2 emissions, so if we are to be ambitious on behalf of the climate, we must look at how we can reduce emissions. These results give us and the farmers important knowledge that there is great potential to be gained by sending manure more frequently from the barn to biogas plants," says Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Rasmus Prehn.
The project has shown that it is possible to reduce the time during which manure is stored in pig pens from an average of 15 to 10 days. This is good for the climate, as it avoids the manure lying unnecessarily long in the stables and emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Great economic potential
In addition, the results indicate that the biogas plants can both produce more climate-friendly energy and make a good deal out of getting manure in faster from the stables. The freshness of the manure also means that the biogas plants can produce more energy out of the same amount. This is because frequent leaching delays the conversion to methane of the organic material in the manure, whereby the gas potential is better preserved. The fresher manure thus has a higher gas potential, and a larger part of the material can be reacted at the biogas plant, rather than the reaction taking place in the barn, where the methane cannot be utilized.
"It is a wish scenario that we can relatively easily increase the reduction of agricultural emissions of greenhouse gases at the same time as we produce more climate-friendly energy from manure. That is why I think the project's results are very exciting," says Rasmus Prehn. The average cost for farmers is about 180 kroner per reduced tonne of CO2, which makes it a relatively cheap tool. However, there is variation in cost. The expenses go, among other things, to increased working hours. The report recommends that biogas plants and farmers discuss how the economic benefits can be distributed, as it is the farmers who will bear the costs of frequent decommissioning and the biogas plants that receive the economic benefits.
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