There is nothing like doing something slightly different to encourage the development of new partnerships with the common desire to solve a problem. New proposals such as turning soft rush into briquettes has brought AB Systems (UK) Ltd, the Forestry Commission, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the RSPB at Dingle Marshes together to work towards a common goal. The latter three organisations all have a problem with dealing with biomass off their sites and AB Systems’ solution of drying in AgBags followed by briquetting is being trialled as a possible solution.
The material harvested for this trial on the Suffolk Coast, as part of the Wetland Biomass to Bioenergy Project, is predominately rush off Dingle Marshes. The strength of solution proposed is its mobile nature and ability to process on site – so avoiding movements if large amounts of material. However on sites designated for nature conservation it can be a challenge to find an area not restricted by the designation. But at Dingle Marshes seeing the benefit of the project the Forestry Commission kindly stepped in and provided a site at their adjacent Dunwich Forest. Martin Webb from the Commission explained: “…we are very keen to be involved in this scheme as it fits well with other uses of forest residues.”
Thanks to everyone working together the harvesting has now been completed and the AgBag full of foraged rush is position on one of the rides in the forest, where the material will be dried ready for processing. As part of the delivery of the Biomass to Bioenergy project the material will be converted into briquettes later in the year. These will then be fully analysed and placed alongside the life cycle analysis results for the full end to end process, to assess its sustainability and viability as a proposal for dealing with this material in the future.