A sustainable energy for greenhouses heating in Italy: Wood biomass

C. Bibbiani, C.A. Campiotti, E. Schettini, G. Vox

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Citation (Scopus)


More than 0.7 million ton of oil equivalent is the total requirement for thermal energy in the Italian greenhouse vegetable industry, derived mostly from fossil fuels, which corresponds to 2 Mt CO2emissions. The technology of wood biomass system is a good candidate for heating greenhouses, since this resource is considered as 'greenhouse gas' (GHG) neutral when converted to heat, excluding the GHG generation during harvesting, transportation, and pre-processing of raw materials. Besides, the CO2enrichment in greenhouses from the exhaust gas of a biomass heating system can bring benefits for greenhouse production, along with optimal management strategies to reduce fuel consumption. Unfortunately, CO2enrichment from the exhaust gas of biomass boilers is still challenging and expensive, considering that wood biomass boilers generate a higher volume of particulate matters (PM) and ash emissions than other fossil fuels. However, wet scrubbers and other recent flue gas conditioning devices could help to reduce costs and make this process more feasible. In the Italian peninsula, the power energy load for greenhouses heating was estimated to be between 30 and 175 W m-2, while the thermal energy consumption varies between 21 to 546 kWh m-2year-1according with internal air temperature and climatic zones. In general, the total cost of a heating system with boiler, loading system, accumulator, control system and safety, installation, and heat delivering can vary from a maximum of 1400 € kW-1for systems with power up to 100 kW, 600-800 € kW-1for power over 100 kW, to a minimum of 400 € kW-1for systems with power over 1000 kW. Thus, a techno-economic assessment is highly recommended to ascertain the economic feasibility of wood biomass boilers for the greenhouse industry, as related to the economic incentives by the National Decree of 28 December 2012, so-called "White Certifies".
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture

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