PEAT AS A MODERN SOURCE of ENERGY

Although new fields of peat and natural gas are discovered across the world, and new technologies enable to increase the amounts extracted significantly, yet renewable energy sources which include solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power as well as biomass, have been gaining a greater weight recently. Biomass is a product of photosynthesis and its is one of the most widely spread and used renewable energy sources, because the amount of energy accumulated in stems, branches and leaves of plants during photosynthesis exceeds the world’s energy needs several times. The very concept of “biomass” is very wide and it includes wood, wood waste from preparation and processing, peat, agricultural crops and its waste (rape, straws), organic waste of food industry, organic materials concentrated in effluent sludge, etc.

Peat is organic material composed of partially decayed vegetation, wood remains and humus. It most often forms in depressed reliefs, where permanent or temporary excessive waterlogging is observed. The process of peat formation is very slow. A layer of peat grows at a rate of about only a millimeter per year. Fuel peat includes milled peat and sod peat, as well as its briquettes, granules and other types of products. When burning fuel peat, the amount of energy received depends on calorific value, moisture, type and degree of decomposition of peat, as well as on boilers’ useful action rates and adjustment of their operation modes.

From old times, peat was used for fuel in Lithuania, alongside with firewood. During the last interwar years of independent Lithuania, 230 thousand tons of peat were extracted and a major part of it was burned. After the World War II, peat mining increased considerably, i.e. over 2 million tons of peat was extracted every year, whereas in 1975 the number reached even 3.2 million tons. Until 1970, about 1.5 million tons of peat was burned every year, yet in subsequent years, when usage of coal, gas, oil fuel and other inexpensive oil products imported from abroad had been increasing, less peat was used for fuel. In 1975, about 280 thousand tons of peat was still burned in thermoelectric power stations and building materials industry companies, yet after ten years only about 50 thousand tons (i.e. 2-3 % of the total amount of the peat extracted) was used for this purpose. Peat was started to be used in large collective farms for litter (up to 85% of the total amount of the peat extracted), as well as for planting, composts, etc.

After restoring the independence of Lithuania and when restructuring economy, peat industry, like many other mining trades, experienced a decline. The large farms which had been using the biggest amounts of peat were liquidated; after the costs of peat transportation increased, its demand decreased either. In 1995-1997 the amount of peat extracted was only slightly bigger than that during the interwar period in Lithuania, i.e. 250 – 280 thousand tons.

With an increase of the prices of energy resources and when being on a full dependence on their import, discussions started whether it would be worth to use more Lithuanian peat extracted for fuel. A program was set and approved by the Government in 1994, which states peat usage for fuel to be a priority in peat extraction.

Interesting facts

  • Activated coal is produced from dark decomposed peat, which is used for filtering liquids, gases and precious metals from pollutants, i.e. in food, drinking water and medicine industry.
  • Our ancestors would give a piece of charcoal to eat, especially for children intoxicated by food, since even back then they noticed that coal mitigates the consequences of intoxication.
  • From old times, peat was used for fuel in Lithuania. Records reveal that even in the beginning of the 19th century peat was extracted and used for fuel in the places where forests were sparse.

News

2016-09-22 News

Klasmann-Deilmann takes over leading provider of biomass in the Baltic region

Klasmann-Deilmann takes over leading provider of biomass in the Baltic region

Latvian group will strengthen the company’s Renewable Energy Business Unit. Klasmann-Deilmann reiterates its ambitious targets for the Baltics.

2015-04-23 News

The Energy Union: A big opportunity to think local?

The Energy Union: A big opportunity to think local?

The struggling EU economy and the Ukraine-Russia gas dispute are not temporary issues. Many EU countries still suffer from unemployment and gas disputes remain a chronic threat to the European energy system and its entire economic development.

Asociation members / peat production and processing

Patyrio samana

The company is mainly involved in peat extraction, sales and transport services.

Dr. Romas Pakalnis

Environmental scientific research is the main activity.

Legra

The company is mainly involved in peat extraction.

Klasmann-Deilmann Laukėsa

The company is mainly involved in peat extraction and processing.

Sulinkiai

The company is mainly involved in peat extraction, processing and sales.

Web design and programming: Creative Partner