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Using Grass Cuttings from Sports Fields for Anaerobic Digestion and Combustion
Sports fields provide a recreation space for citizens, but also generate grass biomass, which is cut weekly during the main seasons and therefore could be used in energy generation (combustion or anaerobic digestion). To evaluate the technical suitability of the grass cuttings, silage was produced from four sports fields during one vegetation period and investigated for relevant properties. Potential methane yield was determined with batch tests. Mean methane yield was 291.86 lN·kg−1 VSadded (VS, volatile solid). Neutral detergent fiber concentration was low (44.47% DM, dry matter), yet mineral concentration was high in comparison to grass types cut at a lower frequency. Concentrations of Cl, N, and S, which may lead to unfavorable emissions, fouling, and corrosion during combustion, were too high for an unproblematic combustion process. This was still the case even after applying a mineral-reducing pretreatment, which generates a fiber-rich press cake and a press fluid rich in easy soluble substances. Digestion of the press fluid led to methane yields of 340.10 lN·kg−1 VSadded and the press cake had a higher heating value of 19.61 MJ·kg−1 DM, which is close to that of coniferous wood. It can be concluded that biomass from sports fields could be a suitable co-substrate in bio-energy generation.