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Yield and quality development comparison between miscanthus and switchgrass over a period of 10 years
- Iqbal, Y., Gauder, M., Claupein, W., Graeff-Hönninger, S., Lewandowski, I.
- Energy 2015 v.89 pp. 268-276
- Miscanthus, Panicum virgatum, biomass, data collection, emissions, energy, energy crops, fertilizer rates, field experimentation, harvest date, life cycle assessment, nitrogen content, nitrogen fertilizers, perennials
- The establishment of perennial crops has emerged as a very viable option for biomass-based energy production mainly due to their comparative ecological advantages over annual energy crops. This study is based on data collected from a field trial between 2002 and 2012 and was carried out with the main objective of evaluating the yield and quality performance of miscanthus and switchgrass using different harvest dates and N fertilization regimes (0 kg, 40 kg, 80 kg). Over the whole plantation period (including three years of establishment period), the mean yield of miscanthus was 16.2 t DM ha⁻¹ a⁻¹, while switchgrass yielded 10.2 t DM ha⁻¹ a⁻¹. In miscanthus, each increase in fertilizer level increased the N content in the harvested biomass, whereas in switchgrass, no significant difference was recorded for 0 kg and 40 kg N levels. The effect of N fertilization on ash was significant but independent of the crop. Both miscanthus and switchgrass biomass samples from the late harvests had a significantly lower N content than those from the early harvests. A Life Cycle Assessment covering the conducted field work and inputs of this trial showed relatively low energy input and emissions connected to the cropping of miscanthus.