Straw is generated as by-product in agricultural processes during harvesting of cereal and other plants. In Northrhine-Westfalia, its energy potential of 4,3–7,6 PJ/a would suffice to heat up to 500,000 homes. Straw has a low energy density and poor combustion behaviour. Its composition results in high emissions, corrosion and low ash melting temperatures. Therefore, it has not been thermally used so far.
The project is pursuing two goals: Producing a tailor made fuel as well as modifying the combustion system. Pelletizing straw using additives will lead to optimal combustion properties, coping with ash melting behaviour and corrosive constituents as well as providing the necessary stability for handling. Adapting the furnace will further lower emissions. The project has been chosen from the operational programme „Regional competitivenes and Employment“ 2007–2013 in NRW and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.