Technical biomass potential

The technical biomass potential is derived from the theoretical biomass potential taking into account technical, physical and socio-ecological factors (Kaltschmitt et al. 2016). Technical and physical limitations include factors such as salvage rates and storage losses. The socio-ecological factors, which are also "insurmountable", include legally or socially anchored restrictions such as (nature) protected areas or the preservation of natural soil fertility.

"The technical biomass potential thus describes the time- and location-dependent amount of biomass that can be used primarily from a technical point of view for material or energetic purposes. For some wastes and residues, theoretical and technical biomass potential can be regarded as congruent, especially if the potential is directly linked to the production process of the main product". (Brosowski et al. 2015, p. 5)

Example forestry: Consideration of crop losses, inaccessible forest areas (e.g. in high mountain areas), core zones of national parks

Example agriculture: To preserve the natural fertility of the soil, certain amounts of straw remain on the field (soil balance), consideration of crop losses, cultivation methods (e.g. organic cereal production may have lower yields), husbandry models in livestock farming (pasture/stable).

Example residual waste: Losses due to the collection system, occurrence of impurities (e.g. plastic in the bio-waste bin)

Think about which restrictions you have to consider when determining the technical biomass potential, based on a biomass of your choice.

With agricultural by-products, such as straw, part of the biomass often has to remain on the field to maintain the humus balance. This is usually handled as a restriction. On the other hand, this could also be considered as material use. Think about how you would classify this and document it in the exercises.

What could be the 5 biomasses with the highest technical biomass potential in Germany? Compare your results with the DBFZ Ressourcendatenbank.