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Biomass Resource Allocation for Bioenergy Production on Cutaway Peatlands with Geographical Information (GI) Analyses

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University
Number of pages105
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-1389-0
ISBN (Print)978-952-03-1388-3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2019
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University Dissertations
ISSN (Print)2489-9860
ISSN (Electronic)2490-0028


In recent years, technical and economic challenges in combustion of spring harvested dry reed canary grass (RCG, Phalaris arundinacea) has led into a situation where a significant amount of cutaway peatlands were out of intensive RCG growing in Finland. At the same time, thousands of hectares of cutaway peatlands were released annually from peat extraction, which still would allow energy crop growing without competition with food production. The objective of this work was to assess alternative uses for the cutaway peatlands for fresh RCG growing for bioenergy production. It was studied where are the most favourable areas for such practices at national and regional level and finally location optimization of bioenergy plants was made in a local scale inside a Finnish study area. In this work, fresh harvested RCG was shown to be a feasible energy crop on the cutaway peatlands if the cultivation is optimized. Compared to the traditional RCG combustion, fresh harvested RCG can have higher biomass yields, lower lignin content and better digestibility in biogas process. Land suitability assessment showed that, theoretically, ca. 300 km2 of future cutaway peatlands are suitable for biogas energy crop production by 2045 in Finland. It could be possible to grow energy crops, over 100 Gg total solids (TS) a year and having biogas potential of ca. 300 GWh. Especially, North and South Ostrobothnia regions are potential locations for this practice due to high peat extraction intensity in national level. Consequently, the precise local potential of cutaway peatlands was studied also with a questionnaire in a case study area in South Ostrobothnia. It was found that landowners of the cutaway peatlands are interested in bioenergy production, and they usually prefer forestry as an after-use method. In the final part of the thesis, bioenergy plant location optimization was done with multiple feedstocks including a biogas plant scenario and a wood terminal scenario. The R and ArcGIS software programs were used to identify potential locations for 13 farm-scale biogas plants (>100 kW) and 8 centralized biogas plants (>300 kW), and two potential wood terminals. These tools could be applied for different biomass resources and used in relevant decision makings to plan the locations of bioenergy plants in other countries as well.

Field of science, Statistics Finland