Dual Nature of Agricultural Renewable Energy Substances as Energies and Resources

Agricultural renewable energy refers to certain biological substances generated in the course of agricultural production or labor, including rural firewood, crop straw, animal excrement, and waste residues of agricultural products. They provide energy for economic production and household uses. Rural firewood includes reeds, Mao bamboo, shrubs, weeds, and tree branches. Crop straw includes the stem, leaf, vine, root, core,

5 General Editorial Board of Encyclopedia of China, Encyclopedia of China (Agriculture Volume I), Encyclopedia of China Publishing House (Beijing, 1994) at 737.

and bran of grain crops, such as wheat, paddy rice, corn, sorghum, cotton, and soybean. Animal excrement includes the excrement of livestock and poultry, whether or not they are fed in pens, as well as sludge in aquaculture ponds. Waste residues of agricultural products include the waste residues from industrial processing of grain crops, oil crops, and sugar crops, such as distillers' grains, bean cakes, and bagasse.

Biomass energy, produced using traditional and modern methods, can be used as fuel in rural China for the daily ordinary activities of rural people. Firewood, straw, and animal excrement could be used directly for such activities. Alternatively, renewable energy substances could be used indirectly as fuels in the context of activities of urban and rural people after being processed into marsh gas, liquefied gas, or solid fuels. For instance, substances such as straw, animal excrement, and waste residues of agricultural products could be processed into refined fuels. Further, such renewable energy substances could be made into building materials or feedstuffs after industrial processing with fiber, proteins, or other useful components of wastes in agricultural production.

Since biomass energy can be used directly for fuel, or be processed into fuel, agricultural renewable energy substances can be classified not only as "energy," but also as "resources."

Substances used to generate agricultural renewable energy can be also used as a resource in the following areas:

1. for paper making, for example, wheat straw, rice straw, reeds, and Mao bamboo can be used to produce paper pulp, paper board, packing cases, and packing boxes;

2. as building materials, for example, cotton straw and tree branches can be used to produce density board and fiberboard, while reeds, wheat straw, and rice straw can be woven into reed mats, straw curtains, and hay bands;

3. as feed, for example, agricultural wastes such as crop straw can be used as livestock feed directly or after being disposed of through silage or ammonization, while the waste liquid and residues of carbohydrate-bearing crops, oil crops, or sugar crops after brewing and pressing can be also used as livestock feed directly or after reprocessing;

4. as fertilizer, for example, crop straw, animal excrement, and sludge in aquaculture ponds can be used as agricultural fertilizers or be used to produce organic fertilizer products, such as bacterial manure and microelement fertilizers, for special use through innocuous and industrialized processing;

5. in art wares, for example, straw, reeds, cattail leaves, and corn peels can be used to weave or to make various kinds of art wares and daily household goods, such as straw hats, straw shoes, straw raincoats, curtains, portiere, and kang mats; and

6. for integrated utilization, to use all agricultural wastes according to its highest utilization efficiency, adopting scientific utilization techniques and a friendly ecological environment, so that the utilization potential of resources can be enhanced and exploited and pollution, caused by such wastes, can be reduced.

Understanding the dual nature of agricultural renewable energy as both energy and a resource is important for the following reasons:

1. in a broad sense, both managers and users of agricultural renewable energy substances should understand the dual nature of agricultural renewable energy so that they can pay attention to both these elements, when deciding how best to utilize such substances. In this way, the irrational utilization of energies and resources can be avoided and the sustainable development of agriculture and the environment can be promoted; and

2. in a narrow sense, such analysis establishes a premise for researchers, managers, and law makers to scientifically and objectively discuss the management of, and enactment of legislation in relation to, agricultural renewable energy. This should prevent the development of flawed methods or laws and regulations. This is because all relevant parties understand the concept of agricultural renewable energy.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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