Agricultural Waste as a Biofuel

Cities and industry aren’t the only source of waste in Ukraine. The country’s agricultural sector, which produces over 50 million tons of grain annually, generates huge amounts of straw as a by-product. When compressed into pellets, it burns at temperatures high enough to substitute for natural gas or coal to provide heating.

In Malyn, a town of 27,000 in Ukraine’s Zhytomyr Region, USAID is advising city officials on a PPP to heat schools using straw pellets as an alternative, renewable biofuel. The PPP will reduce costs, enable the schools to operate at warmer temperatures, and provide local producers of pellets with a new market.

Furthermore, heating with agricultural waste doesn’t contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions, as the carbon released by burning equals the carbon absorbed by crops during the growing season. The PPP tender was completed in the first quarter of 2014.