Fast-growing trees, which are becoming an increasingly important source of renewable energy, are planted on Short Rotation Coppices (SRCs). In order to fulfil the high demand for plant material, the parent tree nurseries must be efficiently harvested and the rods for cutting production sorted and packaged.
Year-old willows are harvested in a parent tree nursery. Picture: ROD-PICKER
The sorting of harvested rods is subject to set criteria and currently still performed by hand. The ROD-PICKER project targets a higher level of automation and greater economy. Picture: ROD-PICKER
This however currently involves manual work on a considerable scale. ROD-PICKER, an EU-funded project, is developing an automated harvesting and processing system for SRC parent nurseries which aims to multiply production efficiency.
Bremerhaven, March 2013. Short Rotation Coppices (SRCs), in which fast-growing types of tree such as willows or poplars are cultivated as a bio-energy source, are very efficient biomass production systems with many advantages for the environment. Biological diversity is raised and soil protection and stabilization of the regional climate are improved.
The ROD-PICKER project has the task of developing an automated harvesting and processing system for parent tree nurseries, which combines the harvesting, the sorting and packaging of the rods and thus makes the harvesting process more efficient. In order to satisfy the sector’s demand economically, cost-efficient harvesting techniques are urgently required here. At present, harvesting, sorting and packaging are however still performed by hand or by self-built prototypes through which demand, above all in the near future, cannot be satisfied.
The method to be developed within ROD-PICKER is expected to result in a harvesting speed which is ten times faster. The target is an automated system for European biomass farmers which will allow an extensive use of SRCs in Europe thanks to time and cost reductions. The prototype to be developed aims to unite all the processes which occur in the course of harvesting and at the same time to be compatible with existing processing and transport equipment.
Through the cost-efficient production of cuttings, wood production in the European biomass sector could be increased by 30 % per year, whilst production efficiency could be raised by at least 500 % in comparison to manual harvesting methods. An improved competitiveness amongst European farmers would preserve jobs in rural regions as well as generate new employment in the manufacture, maintenance and operation of the proposed system. Field trials with ROD-PICKER will commence in November 2013 in Dresden.
All the small and medium-sized enterprises participating in the project are operating in the area of manufacture of agricultural harvesting machines and auxiliary equipment, cultivation of energy crops or the biomass production chain. Coordinator of the ROD-PICKER project is Egedal Maskinfabrik A/S from Denmark. The other partners involved in the project are Salixenergi Europa AB from Sweden, Politehnica University of Timisoara from Romania and from Germany Lempe GbR., the Technical University of Dresden and ttz Bremerhaven, which is responsible for research and technological development including scientific coordination. The project is funded as “Research for the benefit of SMEs” within the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union. One of the main objectives of this programme is to strengthen the industrial competitiveness of European SMEs. The project is running from October 2012 to September 2014 and has a total budget of around € 1.700.000, of which about € 1.300.000 is EU funding.
ttz Bremerhaven is an independent research institute and performs application-related research and development. Under the umbrella of ttz Bremerhaven, an international team of experts is working in the fields of food, environment and health.Contact:
Christian Colmer | idw
Silicon as a new storage material for the batteries of the future
24.04.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Improved stability of plastic light-emitting diodes
19.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
24.04.2018 | Information Technology
24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences
24.04.2018 | Life Sciences