Energy Properties and Biomass Yield of Miscanthus x Giganteus Fertilized by Municipal Sewage Sludge

Molecules. 2021 Jul 20;26(14):4371. doi: 10.3390/molecules26144371.


The application of municipal sewage sludge as fertilizer in the production of non-food energy crops is an environmentally and economically sustainable approach to sewage sludge management. In addition, the application of municipal sewage sludge to energy crops such as Miscanthus x giganteus is an alternative form of recycling nutrients and organic material from waste. Municipal sewage sludge is a potential source of heavy metals in the soil, some of which can be removed by growing energy crops that are also remediation agents. Therefore, the objective of the research was to investigate the effect of municipal sewage sludge applied at three different rates of 1.66, 3.22 and 6.44 t/ha on the production of Miscanthus. Based on the analyses conducted on the biomass of Miscanthus fertilized with sludge from the wastewater treatment plant in three fertilization treatments, it can be concluded that the biomass of Miscanthus is a good feedstock for the process of direct combustion. Moreover, the application of the largest amount of municipal sewage sludge during cultivation had no negative effect on the properties of Miscanthus biomass. Moreover, the cellulose and hemicellulose content of Miscanthus is ideal for the production of second-generation liquid biofuels. Fertilizer treatments had no effect on the content of cellulose and lignin, while a significant statistical difference was found for hemicellulose.

Keywords: agriculture; energy crops; non-food production; sludge utilization; waste management.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Biomass*
  • Fertilizers*
  • Poaceae / growth & development*
  • Sewage*


  • Fertilizers
  • Sewage