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Energy Recovery of the Biomass from Livestock Farms in Italy: The Case of Modena Province

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2018, pp 464-480
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d6.0199
Massimo Milani, Luca Montorsi
Department of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Amendola 2 ‒ Pad. Morselli, Reggio Emilia, Italy


The overall energy conversion efficiency of the waste-to-energy technologies is strongly affected by the distance of the biomass supply and the rate available during the year. Therefore, a simulation tool for the evaluation of the main outputs of a power plant for the wastes exploitation is a useful instrument for investigating the best trade-off between the plant size and the biomass supply. Nevertheless, it usually involves a large number of data and an extensive training and expertise. This paper focuses on the development of a numerical tool for the comparison of different waste-to-energy technologies and thus supporting the selection of the best exploitation strategy based on the data usually accessible to administrations. The numerical approach employs validated numerical models for the considered biomass exploitation technologies and its capabilities are demonstrated by simulating a reference case: the energy recovery from manure of different livestock farms in the province of Modena (Italy). The electric and thermal power production from the manure available in the considered territory is estimated and the produced electric energy is balanced with the energy requirements of the local animal farms. The remaining amount of wastes that has to be disposed is also calculated and compared with the initial input to the systems. Finally, different strategies for distributed and centralized exploitation of the manure are investigated and the related plant size and production of electric and thermal energy are evaluated. The proposed approach and the developed numerical tool prove to be useful instruments for decision makers and can help the efficient exploitation of the biomasses available in a region.

Keywords: Biomass, Waste-to-energy, Anaerobic digestion, Gasification, Water purification, Simulation.

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