Evaluation of Common Reeds Potential for Heat Production: a Case Study in Caldaro Lake (Italy)
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In the last years, the interest concerning the energy utilization of common reed is considerably increased. This topic is of particular interest also in the region of South-Tyrol (Italy), in which the management of alpine lakes requires a regular harvesting of this wetland plant. Different possibilities exist for the utilization of this resource; one of them is the utilization for energy production. The aim of this work is to assess the energy potential of common reed for the case study of Caldaro lake (Italy), where the co-combustion of reeds in an existing woodchip boiler could be a feasible application. For this reason, different co-combustion tests have been performed in a 3 MW woodchip boiler, varying the reed share (about 30 % and 50 % in terms of dry matter) and pre-treatments (as harvested or crumbled material). According to the results of the campaign, the co-combustion of reeds did not significantly affect the operation of the furnace. The utilization of reed without pre-treatment (i.e., as harvested) has shown to be problematic for the feeding of the reed-woodchips mixture into the furnace. A share of about 30 % of crumbled reeds has be proven to be effectively fed to the furnace without any modification to the existing feeding system (i.e., rakes on the floor moving back and forward).