c8.6.6 – Feedstocks for lignocellulosic biofuels: productivity forecast and land suitability in Italy

Harfouche A (1), Sabatti M (1), Corona P (1), Scarascia Mugnozza G (2), Fabbrini F (1), Paris P (3), Salvati R (1)

(1) Dipartimento per l’Innovazione dei sistemi Biologici, Agroalimentari e Forestali (DIBAF), Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis snc, 01100 Viterbo, Italy; (2) Dipartimento Agronomia, Foreste e Territorio, Consiglio per la Ricerca e Sperimentazione in Agricoltura (CRA), Via Nazionale 82, 00184 Roma, Italy; (3) Istituto di Biologia Agroambientale e Forestale, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Via G. Marconi 2, 05010 Porano, Italy
Collocazione: c8.6.6 – Tipo Comunicazione: Presentazione orale
8° Congresso SISEF *
Sessione 6: “Arboricoltura da legno e Biomasse forestali” *

Contatto: Riccardo Salvati (riccardo.salvati@unitus.it)

Abstract: A major constraint to the development of biofuels to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels is the availability of suitable land for growing crops for biofuel production without compromising land currently being used for food, feed, fiber, and ecosystem services. By focusing on the use of lignocellulosic feedstocks it should be possible to overcome this constraint. However, pending implementation of cost-effective technologies to convert lignocellulosic biomass to liquid fuels, a continuous supply of high-yielding, low-input biomass feedstocks will be needed. In this study, a multiple approach combining field data, GIS upscaling and modelling tools to assess land suitability and GIS-based land suitability assessment, and ecosystem management models to project biomass production isare used for a number of dedicated energy crops such as poplar (Populus spp.), giant reed (Arundo donax) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). S. bicolor is a multi-purpose crop that can be harvested multiple times per year and thus, it fits well in a crop mix with woody perennial species such as Populus and A. donax. This study also examines how much of Italy’s liquid fuel consumption could rely on lignocellulosic biofuels. In addition, when biotechnology scenarios are used to maximize biomass yield per unit land, and to alter lignin content and composition to improve biofuels yields, the total biofuel production can increase and consequently the required land can decrease. Likewise, if marginal lands are considered for planting low-input biotech energy crops, less farmland will be required. Moreover, this study uses GIS and maps to examine the spatial distribution of input resources in combination with proximity to infrastructure considered favorable to the production of lignocellulosic biofuels to determine which regions in Italy might be best suited for the possible location of biorefineries. The results will provide a basis for future research and will likely offer a useful tool for investment framework for second-generation biofuels and biorefineries development.

Parole chiave: Lignocellulosic Biofuels, Land Suitability, Biomass Productivity, Biorefinery

Citazione: Harfouche A , Sabatti M , Corona P , Scarascia Mugnozza G , Fabbrini F , Paris P , Salvati R (2011). Feedstocks for lignocellulosic biofuels: productivity forecast and land suitability in Italy . 8° Congresso Nazionale SISEF, Rende (CS), 04 – 07 Ott 2011, Contributo no. #c8.6.6