The freshness smell of crops is not a smell usually associated with power plants — but this plant, 60 km southwest of Jinan, capital of east China’s Shandong Province, is no traditional power station. It uses such fuels as wheat and cotton straw, corn cobs, plant stems, branches and leaves to generate electricity, pioneering renewable energy in the region. “We burn everything — from crop straw to forestry residue — that has calorific value,” said Ding Jin, general manager of Jinan Weiquan Biomass Power Generation Company, which owns the plant…Full Article: Xinhua Apr 2016

Key Point

  • The Shandong Qiquan Group-owned biomass power plant located outside Jinan consumes approximately 300,000 MTs of biofuel annually. In 2015, the plant collected 131,000 MTs of straw (e.g. soybean stubble, wheat stubble, etc.). Shandong Qiquan Group is also present in Guizhou Province and Hong Kong.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In northern China, farmers generally burn leftover straw, also known as stubble burning, after the autumn harvest. Farmers then plough the land and use the burnt straw as a type of natural fertilizer. China has banned stubble burning, but the practice is still widespread.
  • By 2020, China hopes to ensure that 85% of crop stalks are reused, 80% of plastic agricultural film and forestry waste materials are recycled, and 75% of animal waste (e.g. livestock and poultry) undergoes reprocessing.
  • In October 2015, Taikang county, Henan province was fined CNY 20 million (~US$3.16 million) for burning straw (stubble burning) during China’s National Day holiday (1 to 3 October, 2015).
  • In December 2014, a local official from Heilongjiang was seeking to process 20,000 MTs of corn stalk into 10,000 MTs of industrial oil and 5,000 MTs of biochar (a type of “green” charcoal). In general, stalks can be processed into eco-fuel (e.g. biochar) or used to produce electricity. The burning of corn stalks typically produces black smoke, smog, and haze.

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