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

The world-wide bioeconomy is developing, but it need to triumph over hurdles including keeping away from competitiveness with land utilised for foods generation. An EU- and field-funded undertaking is checking out using contaminated and waste land for biocrops.


© Springfield Gallery #23873684, 2020

By 2050, the world-wide bioeconomy will need up to 24 billion tonnes of biomass, but the sector need to triumph over substantial hurdles to attain its entire possible. These include a absence of farmer self esteem in the sector for biomass, a absence of offer of biomass to the field and the need to assure that land for biomass crops does not compete with land utilised for foods generation.

The GRACE undertaking, funded by the Bio-dependent Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a general public-non-public partnership in between the EU and the field, is advancing the bioeconomy by bringing with each other 22 gamers from the agriculture sector, bioindustry and researchers. They are demonstrating the significant-scale generation of novel miscanthus hybrid crops and hemp crop varieties on marginal and contaminated land as effectively as the use of the biomass in developing a extensive assortment of products and solutions.

‘There are tens of millions of hectares of marginal and contaminated land in Europe which could be utilised to provide feedstock for the bioeconomy without having competing with foods generation and at the exact time contribute to revitalising rural economies,’ claims Moritz Wagner, GRACE undertaking manager and a researcher at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. ‘GRACE will present that bio-dependent value chains can contribute to local climate-adjust mitigation by replacing carbon-intensive fossil-dependent products and solutions with biobased products and solutions with low CO2 emissions.’

Hemp and miscanthus

The undertaking is focusing on two flexible crops – miscanthus and hemp. These can be utilised in a extensive assortment of programs central to the bioeconomy including basic chemical compounds, biofuels, bio-dependent creating products, composites and pharmaceuticals.

Project researchers have by now designed a new sort of miscanthus crop that can be grown from seed. Previously, miscanthus was planted using rhizomes a high priced planting system. The new varieties are created to be of a higher good quality, to be chilly- and drought-resistant and to have comparable yields to the typical miscanthus crop. Researchers are also learning the impacts of developing miscanthus on land polluted by large metals to see the extent to which the pollutants are taken up by the plants.

GRACE’s miscanthus crops can be utilised in creating insulation, light-weight concrete – or concrete not utilised for load-bearing purposes – bioplastics, bioethanol, chemical compounds and solvents utilised in industrial processes and client products and solutions, in textiles, vehicles and electronics and in composite fibres.

The undertaking has by now shown bioethanol generation from miscanthus straw at a pre-industrial bioethanol refinery in Straubing, Germany. It is also doing the job on using the extracted lignocellulosic sugars from miscanthus straw to develop biochemicals for building bioplastics.

A use for by-products and solutions

The GRACE undertaking is also checking out how to use by-products and solutions – for instance, the generation of light-weight concrete using milled miscanthus, and miscanthus dust, which can be utilised in paper generation. Just one undertaking partner is pursuing this using miscanthus crops grown on unused land at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

In the meantime, GRACE’s researchers have productively utilised unique components of hemp biomass including cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, which is underneath improvement for the cure of epilepsy.

The undertaking has set up much more than sixty hectares of miscanthus and hemp on contaminated and abandoned land. GRACE researchers hope to extend the project’s momentum outside of its formal endpoint through its ‘industry panel’, which connects unique sectors of the bioindustry to academics doing the job in the industry of biomass.

This undertaking was funded by BBI JU, a EUR 3.7-billion general public-non-public partnership in between the EU and the Bio-dependent Industries Consortium (BIC).