CEO is conducting a series of research projects in order to make the production process more efficient and to improve the environment quality, for example the use of biomass to reduce the influence of CO2 in operating costs.
1. The waste dumps cultivation with Miscanthus is a superior form of their recovery, for the following reasons:
– Miscanthus Giganteus crop improves the environment and air quality and protects against diseases, in compliance with European Directives for large combustion plants, being also a complementary measure for additional settlement of waste dumps;
– Briquettes or pellets have very good combustion capacity and the use of lignite mixed with Miscanthus is significantly reducing the noxae;
– The plant can also be used to produce lightweight construction materials (concrete blocks), especially for animal shelters, or shredded can be used for ornamental purposes in parks and green spaces;
– Plant covers ground very well, it settles it and acts as a protective screen against dust and noise.
– Miscanthus Giganteus is one of C4 plants (plants with high efficiency of CO2 assimilation, 3-4 times higher than C3 plants: wheat, oats, sugar beet etc. The C4 plants do not remove CO2 in post-illumination phase), it is highly resistant and perennial with reduced needs regarding the environmental conditions;
– Miscanthus is an energetic plant, being an unconventional fuel source, with energetic value of 4.40KWh/kg;
– Culture duration is at least 25 years;
– Excepting for the first year, it is not necessary soil fertilization (falling leaves in winter are a natural fertilizer) and does not require any maintenance works, except the harvesting, which is made with combines or baling presses;
– In the second year of culture it can be obtained the first harvest, in the third year production is 15 t/ha, and in the next years the production level increases to 20 t/ha;
– Annual amount of biomass produced per hectare is at least double the amount of biomass resulting from forestry plantations.
– First culture of Miscanthus Giganteus in Gorj County was established in 2011 on Cicani ash dump, on a surface of 2,500 m2 at EMC Rovinari;
– First results were promising, so in 2013, it was established a 10 hectares culture of Miscanthus on Beterega ash deposit;
– In 2014 Miscanthus plantation was established on a surface of 10 ha at UMC Pinoasa, Negomir waste dump.
Other research themes
Paulownia is an energetic tree with a very rapid growth (in six months grows 2-3 m tall and 4-6 cm in diameter).It is cultivated for the very valuable timber used for furniture, plywood, construction of boats and biomass (processing residues, thin branches).Culture Establishment costs about 3,000 Euros/ha.Revenue per hectare is about 30,000 Euro.Biomass harvesting is done once every 3 years.The plant annually retains 1,200 t of carbon dioxide per hectare, helping the improvement of environmental quality.
In order to identify agricultural and forestry species that contribute to stabilise waste piles, to use them efficiently and to accelerate the soil formation process, a service agreement was concluded with the National Research and Development Institute for Soil Science, Agrochemistry and Environmental Protection – I.C.P.A. Bucharest.
The experimental field of 5 ha was established on a waste pile of Pesteana Open Mine, and the species subject to research were pea, sunflower, corn, camelina (agricultural crops) and Paulownia (forestry); Paulownia and Camelina are energy crops.
The results obtained in two agricultural years were very promising for most crops (except Camelina), and Paulownia being remarkable, a particularly valuable tree with extremely rapid growth.
Up to now, the waste piles were reintegrated within the forestry circuit mainly by establishing Acacia tree plantations. This specie has the advantage that it is very little pretentious towards the environmental factors, it has adapted well on the waste piles, it has rapid growth but wood is less valuable. Unlike Acacia, the Paulownia wood is very valuable, with the fastest growing rate of the Romanian tree species.