Horsens Bioenergi/Bigadan (Foto: Claus Haagensen)
Farming plays a major role with regard to the alarming problem of global warming, but is also an important part of the solution. Today, the Danish agricultural sector accounts for 20 percent of Denmark’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The vision of the central farmers’ organization, Danish Agriculture & Food Council, is that the entire agricultural sector is climate neutral by 2050 – in line with the national Danish goal of developing a CO2 neutral Denmark within the same period.
On this tour, the participants will see some of the many research, development and industrial initiatives that contributing to realising the vision.
On the road
From moorland to farmland. The story of the Jutland landscape. (Tour leaders)
Changes to the programme can occur.
The company is among the top 10 among the 165 biogas plants in Denmark and a very good example of circular economy.
The plant produces biogas from three sources: 1. Livestock manure from farms in the region; 2. organic waste from the giant pig abattoir Danish Crown Horsens; and 3. food waste from supermarkets, food producers, restaurants etc., collected by the recycling company Daka ReeFood. In collaboration with the public energy company Ørsted, the product is purified to natural gas standards and supplies the national gas distribution network. The de-gassed biomass is recycled to the farmers as a valuable fertilizer.
Some facts: Capacity 340.000 metric tons biomass/year. Biogas production 20 million cubic metres pure methane/year. Estimated energy sales 67 GWh/year, corresponding to the consumption of 18.000 Danish households. Planned capacity expansion: up to 500.000 metric tons biomass/year.
Horsens Bioenergi was planned and built by the Danish company Bigadan A/S that also manages it. The company was founded during the major energy crises during the 1970s. Bigadan build the first common municipal biogas plant in Denmark in 1984-85 and has since then designed and built 40 biogas plants in 17 countries. Today, it is the owner and manager of five large biogas plants in Denmark.
Founder and owner: CEO Karsten Buchave, M.Sc. in Agriculture, B.Com.
Aarhus University, AU Foulum
AU Foulum, where much of the research in food and agriculture at Aarhus University takes place. It is also the location of DCA – Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture, which coordinates contact between the researchers and the authorities.
This visit will comprise presentations of a number of groundbreaking research and development projects:
How proteins from bio-refined grass can substitute cereals and imported soya as a source of protein for pigs and hens (monogastric animals), and protect the climate and environment.
Grasses and grass/clover crops grown on arable land have a huge potential of delivering high yields of biomass as well as protein with an appropriate amino acid profile.
With a change to multiannual grass crops on vulnerable areas, it might be possible to reach the goals of the Danish aquatic environment policy. A fibre fraction can be produced and used for cattle feed or energy production or refined even further into chemical bio-blocks or used for bio-materials.
At the national scale, estimates show obvious bio-technical options of producing green biomass which in turn can cover 25 percent of the Danish need for imported feed protein. Within the organic sector it seems possible to produce sufficient feed protein based on green biomass to cover three times the nutritional requirements for the Danish organic pig and poultry sector, thus representing a possibility for export.
https://dca.au.dk/en/ – www.biovalue.dk (search for DCA rapport 093, “Green biomass-protein production through bio-refining”)
Research fields at AU Foulum, Aarhus University (Photo: Claus Haagensen)
The refinery technology is by now so well developed that the first farm-scale plant for bio-refining grass, TailorGrass, will open at the farm Ausumgaard in Vejrum in western Jutland in 2020. Project partners are: Ausumgaard, Vestjyllands Andel (a cooperative agribusiness company – https://vja.dk (in Danish)), Seges (Danish farmers’ national advisory and development service), R&D (an international engineering company).
The project is supported by the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark.
AU Foulum – a few facts
- AU Foulum, AU Flakkebjerg and departments in Aarhus are home to Aarhus University’s research in food and agriculture.
- Research areas include crops, animals, food, organic farming, bioenergy, environment, climate, soil, genetics and technology.
- Staff: 700 members, of which 400 are scientific staff and PhD students.