Renewable energy potential of roadside grass cuttings

Richard Tennent MacIver, Slobodan B. Mickovski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

Roadside grass verges are an important part of transport corridors and have a critical role in ensuring road user safety. However, the verges require ongoing maintenance on a regular basis throughout the growth season and throughout the design life of the transport infrastructure. The collection of the verge cuttings, which are currently left in situ, may create environmental benefits such as economic and energy benefits from biogas production. This study focuses on Scotland where there are 56,000 km of verge potential and where the grassed verges commonly receive a 1.2 m swath cut two times per year. Our investigations revealed that the potential productive land along Scotland’s road network was of the order of 270x106 m2. Using comparative statistical analysis, we have estimated the potential average dry mass of cuttings per kilometer to be between 300 kg and 400 kg, yielding a biochemical methane potential of 0.271 m3 per kilogram of volatile solids added. The cautious estimate showed that potentially 18.2x106 m3 methane (CH4) could be produced, while, in the best-case scenario, up to 24.3x106 m3 CH4 may be produced through regular maintenance of the grass verge strips in Scotland. Cost-benefit analysis showed that considering the availability of cutting machinery and a potential increase in the swath cutting to 1.6 m would potentially yield between 24.3 x106 - 32,4 x106 m3 CH4. The sustainable treatment of cuttings arising can promote a healthy roadside verge environment and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions as Scotland looks to achieve their 80% emission target by 2050.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWEENTECH Proceedings in Energy
EditorsAvlokita Agarwal, R Singh
PublisherWeentech
Pages122-128
Number of pages7
Volume5
ISBN (Electronic)9780993279539
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2018

Fingerprint

potential energy
grass
roadside environment
methane
cost-benefit analysis
biogas
machinery
statistical analysis
greenhouse gas
infrastructure
cutting (process)
safety
road
economics
energy

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • environment
  • grass
  • biogas
  • bio-engineering

Cite this

Tennent MacIver, R., & Mickovski, S. B. (2018). Renewable energy potential of roadside grass cuttings. In A. Agarwal, & R. Singh (Eds.), WEENTECH Proceedings in Energy (Vol. 5, pp. 122-128). Weentech.
Tennent MacIver, Richard ; Mickovski, Slobodan B. / Renewable energy potential of roadside grass cuttings. WEENTECH Proceedings in Energy. editor / Avlokita Agarwal ; R Singh. Vol. 5 Weentech, 2018. pp. 122-128
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Tennent MacIver, R & Mickovski, SB 2018, Renewable energy potential of roadside grass cuttings. in A Agarwal & R Singh (eds), WEENTECH Proceedings in Energy. vol. 5, Weentech, pp. 122-128.

Renewable energy potential of roadside grass cuttings. / Tennent MacIver, Richard; Mickovski, Slobodan B.

WEENTECH Proceedings in Energy. ed. / Avlokita Agarwal; R Singh. Vol. 5 Weentech, 2018. p. 122-128.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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AU - Mickovski, Slobodan B.

N1 - Created as chapter, changed to proc. has ISSN - ET Acceptance date from email attached, pub date is same date. File looks like VoR, author confirmed this is the format for the AAM (email 23-5-18) Exception added by library ET ^Exception status: agreed no exception can be applied (library exception review, October 2018)

PY - 2018/1/30

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N2 - Roadside grass verges are an important part of transport corridors and have a critical role in ensuring road user safety. However, the verges require ongoing maintenance on a regular basis throughout the growth season and throughout the design life of the transport infrastructure. The collection of the verge cuttings, which are currently left in situ, may create environmental benefits such as economic and energy benefits from biogas production. This study focuses on Scotland where there are 56,000 km of verge potential and where the grassed verges commonly receive a 1.2 m swath cut two times per year. Our investigations revealed that the potential productive land along Scotland’s road network was of the order of 270x106 m2. Using comparative statistical analysis, we have estimated the potential average dry mass of cuttings per kilometer to be between 300 kg and 400 kg, yielding a biochemical methane potential of 0.271 m3 per kilogram of volatile solids added. The cautious estimate showed that potentially 18.2x106 m3 methane (CH4) could be produced, while, in the best-case scenario, up to 24.3x106 m3 CH4 may be produced through regular maintenance of the grass verge strips in Scotland. Cost-benefit analysis showed that considering the availability of cutting machinery and a potential increase in the swath cutting to 1.6 m would potentially yield between 24.3 x106 - 32,4 x106 m3 CH4. The sustainable treatment of cuttings arising can promote a healthy roadside verge environment and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions as Scotland looks to achieve their 80% emission target by 2050.

AB - Roadside grass verges are an important part of transport corridors and have a critical role in ensuring road user safety. However, the verges require ongoing maintenance on a regular basis throughout the growth season and throughout the design life of the transport infrastructure. The collection of the verge cuttings, which are currently left in situ, may create environmental benefits such as economic and energy benefits from biogas production. This study focuses on Scotland where there are 56,000 km of verge potential and where the grassed verges commonly receive a 1.2 m swath cut two times per year. Our investigations revealed that the potential productive land along Scotland’s road network was of the order of 270x106 m2. Using comparative statistical analysis, we have estimated the potential average dry mass of cuttings per kilometer to be between 300 kg and 400 kg, yielding a biochemical methane potential of 0.271 m3 per kilogram of volatile solids added. The cautious estimate showed that potentially 18.2x106 m3 methane (CH4) could be produced, while, in the best-case scenario, up to 24.3x106 m3 CH4 may be produced through regular maintenance of the grass verge strips in Scotland. Cost-benefit analysis showed that considering the availability of cutting machinery and a potential increase in the swath cutting to 1.6 m would potentially yield between 24.3 x106 - 32,4 x106 m3 CH4. The sustainable treatment of cuttings arising can promote a healthy roadside verge environment and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions as Scotland looks to achieve their 80% emission target by 2050.

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BT - WEENTECH Proceedings in Energy

A2 - Agarwal, Avlokita

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PB - Weentech

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Tennent MacIver R, Mickovski SB. Renewable energy potential of roadside grass cuttings. In Agarwal A, Singh R, editors, WEENTECH Proceedings in Energy. Vol. 5. Weentech. 2018. p. 122-128