Equipping a Combine Harvester with Turbine Technology Increases the Recovery of Residual Biomass from Cereal Crops via the Collection of Chaff

Alessandro Suardi, Walter Stefanoni, Vincenzo Alfano, Simone Bergonzoli, Luigi Pari
2020 Energies  
In cereal crops, chaff is a valuable lignocellulosic by-product that accounts for more than 50 Mt y−1 in Europe and is suitable for bioenergy purposes. Chaff is usually not collected due to the lack of combine harvesters that have the capability to handle it properly. The present two years experimental study investigated the hypothesis that the overall biomass collected in wheat crop can be increased by equipping the combine harvester with an aftermarket device. Chaff, discharged from the
more » ... rged from the combine harvester-cleaning system, is collected by the turbine that delivers it either on the swath or on a lateral trailer towed by a tractor. The performance of all machines involved in the harvesting (combine harvester, tractor, baler, and trailer) were assessed. The chaff was collected in bales with the straw (A mode) and separately on a trailer (C mode). Comparisons with non-collected treatment (B mode) were performed in order to estimate the total chaff collected and the biomass losses. The results showed that 1.79 t FM ha−1 per year of chaff could be collected when baled with the straw, whereas 1.27 t FM ha−1 were collected separately on a trailer. Both field and material capacity were not negatively affected by the chaff collection. Therefore, our study confirmed the hypothesis that turbine technology is a valid solution for increasing the total residual biomass collected in cereal cropping for energy purposes.
doi:10.3390/en13071572 fatcat:naq62sn3ezewhatzdjnl6xslnq