UK Silphie for Biogas Energy Systems
What is Silphie?
Silphie is a giant, yellow-bloom form of the common daisy plant that originates from North America. It is a perennial that comes up each year for approximately two decades without needing to be replanted.
The Silphie is a highly attractive substitute for maize as it has a similarly high yield and benefits the soil. Besides that, it requires significantly fewer doses of fertilizer and pesticides and is, therefore, less likely to cause soil erosion.
The Cultivation Process
One of the most important factors during the cultivation process is the optimal preparation of the seedbed by either mechanical or chemical treatment. This minimises competition from unwanted, wild plants. Since Silphie only forms a ground rosette during the first growing season and no yield is generated, it is recommended to establish it as a maize substitute. The maize is sown less densely so that the Silphie is exposed to enough sunlight. After the maize harvest in the first year, the Silphie will stay put and can be harvested in the second year.
To enhance the performance of biogas plants in Somerset, 4CleanTech planted the Silphie and experimented with different ground structures to give the plant the best growth conditions. Three years later, a total of five acres of 3m tall plants have grown successfully and are now fed into the anaerobic digestion plant.
If you are interested in using Silphie to optimise the performance of your AD plant, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be pleased to receive any enquiries about the supply of Silphie seed. Please contact us via our contacts page and we will call you to discuss your interest.