June 18, 2024

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Crops grown on contaminated land co… – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

The world bioeconomy is increasing, but it must triumph over hurdles which include avoiding level of competition with land used for foodstuff manufacturing. An EU- and field-funded undertaking is exploring making use of contaminated and waste land for biocrops.


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By 2050, the world bioeconomy will demand up to 24 billion tonnes of biomass, but the sector must triumph over sizeable hurdles to access its entire prospective. These contain a deficiency of farmer confidence in the sector for biomass, a deficiency of offer of biomass to the field and the need to make certain that land for biomass crops does not contend with land used for foodstuff manufacturing.

The GRACE undertaking, funded by the Bio-based Industries Joint Enterprise (BBI JU), a public-personal partnership in between the EU and the field, is advancing the bioeconomy by bringing with each other 22 players from the agriculture sector, bioindustry and scientists. They are demonstrating the huge-scale manufacturing of novel miscanthus hybrid crops and hemp crop kinds on marginal and contaminated land as effectively as the use of the biomass in making a extensive vary of goods.

‘There are hundreds of thousands of hectares of marginal and contaminated land in Europe which could be used to present feedstock for the bioeconomy without the need of competing with foodstuff manufacturing and at the identical time contribute towards revitalising rural economies,’ states Moritz Wagner, GRACE undertaking supervisor and a researcher at the College of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. ‘GRACE will present that bio-based worth chains can contribute to climate-modify mitigation by changing carbon-intensive fossil-based goods with biobased goods with minimal CO2 emissions.’

Hemp and miscanthus

The undertaking is concentrating on two multipurpose crops – miscanthus and hemp. These can be used in a extensive vary of purposes central to the bioeconomy which include simple chemicals, biofuels, bio-based setting up resources, composites and pharmaceuticals.

Challenge scientists have previously produced a new variety of miscanthus crop that can be developed from seed. Beforehand, miscanthus was planted making use of rhizomes a costly planting process. The new kinds are made to be of a higher good quality, to be cold- and drought-resistant and to have comparable yields to the conventional miscanthus crop. Researchers are also finding out the impacts of increasing miscanthus on land polluted by heavy metals to see the extent to which the pollutants are taken up by the plants.

GRACE’s miscanthus crops can be used in setting up insulation, lightweight concrete – or concrete not used for load-bearing functions – bioplastics, bioethanol, chemicals and solvents used in industrial processes and purchaser goods, in textiles, vehicles and electronics and in composite fibres.

The undertaking has previously shown bioethanol manufacturing from miscanthus straw at a pre-commercial bioethanol refinery in Straubing, Germany. It is also functioning on making use of the extracted lignocellulosic sugars from miscanthus straw to produce biochemicals for earning bioplastics.

A use for by-goods

The GRACE undertaking is also exploring how to use by-goods – for instance, the manufacturing of lightweight concrete making use of milled miscanthus, and miscanthus dust, which can be used in paper manufacturing. One undertaking husband or wife is pursuing this making use of miscanthus crops developed on unused land at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, GRACE’s scientists have efficiently used different factors of hemp biomass which include cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, which is less than enhancement for the treatment of epilepsy.

The undertaking has proven extra than 60 hectares of miscanthus and hemp on contaminated and abandoned land. GRACE researchers hope to lengthen the project’s momentum further than its official endpoint through its ‘industry panel’, which connects different sectors of the bioindustry to lecturers functioning in the subject of biomass.

This undertaking was funded by BBI JU, a EUR 3.seven-billion public-personal partnership in between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC).