The bioenergy subproject investigates the relationship between biodiversity and the energetic conversion potential along a floristic gradient of distinct grassland species compositions. Furthermore, the accuracy of calibrations predicting energy parameter by measurements of spectral signatures will be identified and analysed regarding the diversity effects involved.
The design of the Jena-Experiment with diversity gradients of up to 60 species and 4 functional groups is a powerful background to quantify the range of energy properties in conversion processes like anaerobic fermentation (of silage) and combustion (of hay) affected by biodiversity characteristics. To efficiently estimate substrate attributes, spectral reflection signatures are measured on different stages of plant biomass processing including undisturbed swards in the field, unprocessed silage and hay as far as dried and grinded lab samples.On each stage, calibrations are developed to estimate substrate quality rapidly and early, in order to optimize process control during energy conversion.
This subproject develops basic knowledge for a sward specific conversion management considering the whole process chain of bioenergy utilization. The unique experimental design of the Jena-Experiment with its distinct diversity criteria along with the adoption of innovative sensor based methods facilitates new basic benchmarks for an energetic use of extensively managed grassland.