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Biofuel laboratory

Straw, energy crops and other biomass are increasingly used for the production of heat. To be able to test and develop boilers for biofuels, AU Foulum started using a new lab in September 2011.

The primary object of the lab is to improve the efficiency of smaller biofuel plants, reduce emission of environmentally damaging substances including carrying out incineration experiments with new types and different combinations of biomass.

The lab is built next to the AU's biogas plant and can be used for testing incineration of fibre fractions from the biogas process. The lab is used by the university's researchers and students, but it may also be used by private companies who may test and optimise their boilers in collaboration with the university's staff.

Research project with straw and manure fibres

An example of a project that has been completed at the lab is a study of the incineration in connection with co-firing manure fibres with straw. (Read more: Grøn Viden Husdyrbrug nr. 50).

The purpose was to investigate how different fibre types and mixture proportions of straw and fibre influence the energy use and environmental effect, and which mixtures are practically possible and most optimal for the incineration process. Furthermore, it was also investigated how the mixture proportion influences the environmental effect of the incineration by emission of particles, CO and nitrogenoxid (NOx).

Capacity of the lab

The lab is 115 m2 with a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 6 metres. It is dimension for boilers up to 1MW and can be connected to one to three boilers at the time depending on the size of the boiler/plant. In connection with the lab, there is also an instrument room and an office. Presently, the lab is equipped with a 200 kW biomass boiler, a shredder for large straw bales, a silo with a bottom unloader for e.g. manure fibres and a chamber for mixing straw and manure fibre before feeding into the boiler.

Current measurement possibilities

Campell CR1000 datalogger with network connection
Inlet temperature (Pt-100)
Outlet temperature (Pt-100)
Water flow (Inductive flow meter)
Waste gas temperature (Thermo element)
Available draught (Micromanometer)
Oxygen percentage in waste gas (Paramagnetic detector)
CO-content in waste gas, 0-1000 ppm (infrared detector)
CO-content in waste gas, 0-1% (infrared detector)
(CO-content in waste gas, 0-10% (infrared detector))
CO2 detector
NOx detector
Hydrocarbon detector
SO2 detector and waste gas conditioning (heating coil + refrigerant type dryer)

Boiler surface temperature (Thermoelement)
Fuel weight (Platform scale)
Fuel water content (Drying oven)
Fuel ash content (Annealing Furnace)
Waste gas dust content (Ströhlein equipment)


Erik Fløjgaard Kristensen

Academic employee Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering - Communication, Control and Automation - Foulum

Jens Kr Kristensen

Agricultural Technician Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering - Communication, Control and Automation - Foulum


Burrehøjvej 43
DK-8830 Tjele