Contributing tot a green world
Miscanthus sinensis giganteus (elephant grass) is very suitable for generating energy in biomass plants thanks to its low moisture content and high annual dry mass. In addition, after processing this crop, building materials, bioplastics and even paper can be made from it.
BKC BV has its own (wise) vision of sustainability and the environment. We grow the sustainable energy crop miscanthus on land that is not optimally used and along highways, which also brings out the various other advantages of the crop:
- Miscanthus is a C4 crop and thus very efficient in capturing CO2,
- More cellulose than wood,
- Virtually no pesticides needed due to rapid growth,
- Virtually no fertiliser requirement,
- Non-invasive crop (no problems when the crop is removed),
- Contributes to biodiversity.
We have now planted miscanthus in several municipalities in the Netherlands. For several years, we have been planting miscanthus in Hungary and several hectares have also been planted in Germany.
Miscanthus grows until mid-November, after which growth stops and the crop dries out. Lower temperatures in autumn cause the leaves to fall off and the plant lives on reserves. Around February, only leafless reeds remain. The fallen leaves of the miscanthus compost and the nutrients released are used by the new plants. This means that the miscanthus does not need fertiliser, but fertilises itself and the foliage ensures that there is no weed growth in spring.
After the second year, it can be harvested annually from February to mid-April. The later the harvest, the more suitable the chips are for green energy. The miscanthus has optimum dry mass (low moisture and mineral content). When harvesting, large bales of the miscanthus chips are made, which is cost-saving and more economical.
Sustainable heathing with miscanthus
Miscanthus is primarily used as a basis for biofuel. The chips can be used to sustainably heat buildings in heating systems. This happens at BKC BV’s premises and several livestock farms in the Netherlands.
In addition, a biomass power plant in the municipality of Fürstenwalde (East Germany) was taken over. Here, 400 houses are already sustainably heated by miscanthus and green waste.
Soft and durable stable covering
Miscanthus is much more versatile than just for bio-fuel and bioenergy. Miscanthus is also very suitable as stable litter. It is a clean, odourless and absorbent crop, which makes it very suitable as stable bedding. Our miscanthus is assessed by experts and with every harvest the chippings are checked for consistency and fibre length. This ensures that quality is maintained. In the United States, Great Britain and Germany, it has long been customary to use miscanthus as animal bedding. The Netherlands is now also being prepared for its use. The first buyers of the stable cover are experiencing the convenience and use and are very satisfied.
The advantages of miscanthus:
- Soft and ultra absorbent (3x more than straw and 2x more than sawdust),
- Longer use time,
- Can be mixed with flax or sawdust for an even softer bed,
- Neutral odour,
- Low dust content,
- Light in use,
- Natural and sustainable product.
Prices for miscanthus bedding depend on supply and demand.
Besides generating energy for biomass and sustainable stable coverings, miscanthus in all its versatility is also suitable for making paper.
The demand for cellulose is rising within various industries. The rapid growth of the miscanthus crop and the amount of cellulose make it a good substitute in the process of manufacturing paper.
After several studies on the best and most sustainable pulp release techniques, the first paper based on miscanthus fibres has now been produced. With the same quality as regular paper, but better for the environment!
Are you interested in miscanthus? Would you like more information about miscanthus or bioenergy or would you like to improve the quality of your dairy cattle?
Already common in other countries: miscanthus chips in dairy cattle rations.
As an addition to your dairy cattle’s rations, the unique benefits of the miscanthus crop ensure that the cow’s quality is visibly improved. The cow gets better digestion, is healthier and therefore needs less medication. Miscanthus has proved to be a good substitute for grass hay or fibre hemp, for example:
- It is harvested in the spring months, therefore the crop’s dry matter content is high (85%),
- The structure of miscanthus ensures good digestion in the cow,
- Manure becomes thicker.
Although the nutritional value of miscanthus is low, it is an excellent supplement due to its structure with low protein content. Miscanthus is suitable as a supplement to protein-rich grass or wet silage.