Evaluation of biomass yield and methane potential of catch crops in organic crop rotations
Manure-based biogas plants in Denmark are dependent on high yielding biomass feedstock in order to secure economically feasible operation. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of ten different catch crop species or mixtures as feedstock for biogas production in co-digestion with manure. The biomass yield per hectare and the specific methane yield of the catch crops in two different locations, namely Holstebro and Aabenraa, were investigated. The volatile solids (VS) yield per hectare was notably influenced by the differences in climate and soil conditions between the locations, being in the ranges of 1.4–3.0 t ha−1 and 0.3–1.7 t ha−1 for Holstebro and Aabenraa, respectively. Specific methane yields were in the range of 229–450 m3 t−1 of VS. Methane yields per hectare of up to 800 m3 ha−1 were obtained, making catch crops a promising source of feedstock for manure-based biogas plants in Denmark since this biomass is not competing with food/feed production.