The agricultural sector is a large consume of fossil resources that are used to produce fertilisers and fuel. However, the sector also plays a key role in the transition to society based on renewable energy. We study how products produced within the agricultural sector can replace fossil ones.
An outline of the environmental impact of farming is shown in the figure below. Sunlight together with fertiziliers, pesticides and fuel is used to produce food, biofuel, manure and other products. The production of fertilizers, pesticides and fuel as well as their use in the agricultural process itself lead to releases of pollutants to air and water. Plowing and other forms of tillage reduce the amount of carbon stored in the soil and leads to the emission of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times stronger than carbon oxide.
There is a demand for food products with a low impact on the environmental, such as products from organic farms (farms that do not use chermical pesticides or fertilizers). A problem with such farms is that they yield less than conventional farms (increasing the environmental impact per unit produced food). Their impact could however be lower with more efficient use of organic fertilizers and biomass from the own farm.
At SLU Energy & Technology we study these production systems; how they can be constructed and their environmental impact.
- Agricultural production of central heating
- Collaboration in farm-baser biogas production
- Green fertilizers