Photo: Danish Agriculture & Food Council

SkyClean significantly reduces climate impact

SkyClean is a technology with the potential to halve agriculture’s climate footprint and make aviation fuel climate neutral. A new report shows that SkyClean is likely to be less expensive compared to other climate technologies with similar potential.

Agriculture can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by deploying SkyClean technology. This is the conclusion reached by both Denmark’s Technical University and Aarhus University.

A recently published report from Ea Energianalyse a/s shows that SkyClean technology can significantly reduce carbon emissions and at considerably less socio-economic cost compared to other comparable technologies.

"In a comparison with realistic alternatives, our report clearly shows that there is a very good socio-economic rationale for storing CO2 and producing green fuel with SkyClean technology,” says Hans Henrik Lindboe, Partner, Ea Energianalyse a/s.

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A Danish invention
SkyClean was developed by inventor and entrepreneur Henrik Stiesdal. The technology uses agricultural waste – straw, slurry, deep litter and residual fibres from biogas plants – to create carbon neutral aviation fuel and store carbon in the soil.

SkyClean was launched in the early summer of 2019 in partnership with the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, SEGES, Denmark’s Technical University, Aarhus University and Siemens Gamesa.

From farm to sky
Stiesdal Fuel Technologies is now ready to build the first SkyClean pilot plant. The purpose of the plant, which will have an output of 2 MW, is to refine the technology so that all elements in a series-produced plant can be tested.

”If all goes well, next year we can begin a full-scale prototype of a series-produced plant with a 10-40 MW output. And with a little luck, we can start delivering commercial plants in 2023,” says Henrik Stiesdal.

SkyClean: A gamechanger for carbon emissions reduction
The Danish government has allocated DKK 200 million for the development of pyrolysis technology for agriculture in its budgets for 2021 and 2022.

"We hope that we can get a share of these funds to develop and refine SkyClean. But if everything in the supply chain is to be included, including research, we will need more targetted funding. But the key aspect is for there to be some long-term framework conditions that will enable farmers, heating plants and other investors to establish pyrolysis plants on commercial terms,” says Henrik Stiesdal.

If the SkyClean technology is to provide the breakthrough that can solve most of agriculture’s climate challenges, more political input is required,” says Thor Gunnar Kofoed, Vice-Chairman, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council.

"Ea Energianalyse’s work shows that the socio-economic cost of SkyClean is lower than other climate initiatives with similar potential, but it is the only one that puts the carbon from the CO2 in the atmosphere into the ground for long-term storage – longer than forests. We therefore hope that the government will lead the way and allocate sufficient funds to fully develop and commercialise SkyClean technology on a large scale,” adds Thor Gunnar Kofoed.

”Given the situation the world is facing, we cannot afford not to realise the potential. If this project can be rolled out, it will be a real gamechanger in terms of reducing carbon emissions in Denmark and then in the rest of the world,” he adds.