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

The world wide bioeconomy is growing, but it ought to get over hurdles including avoiding competitors with land applied for food stuff generation. An EU- and industry-funded venture is discovering employing contaminated and squander land for biocrops.


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By 2050, the world wide bioeconomy will need up to 24 billion tonnes of biomass, but the sector ought to get over considerable hurdles to achieve its full possible. These include things like a lack of farmer self confidence in the current market for biomass, a lack of supply of biomass to the industry and the want to make certain that land for biomass crops does not contend with land applied for food stuff generation.

The GRACE venture, funded by the Bio-based Industries Joint Enterprise (BBI JU), a community-non-public partnership concerning the EU and the industry, is advancing the bioeconomy by bringing together 22 players from the agriculture sector, bioindustry and experts. They are demonstrating the large-scale generation of novel miscanthus hybrid crops and hemp crop versions on marginal and contaminated land as very well as the use of the biomass in generating a wide array of goods.

‘There are millions of hectares of marginal and contaminated land in Europe which could be applied to deliver feedstock for the bioeconomy without competing with food stuff generation and at the similar time contribute toward revitalising rural economies,’ says Moritz Wagner, GRACE venture manager and a researcher at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. ‘GRACE will demonstrate that bio-based price chains can contribute to climate-change mitigation by replacing carbon-intensive fossil-based goods with biobased goods with very low CO2 emissions.’

Hemp and miscanthus

The venture is concentrating on two multipurpose crops – miscanthus and hemp. These can be applied in a wide array of purposes central to the bioeconomy including essential substances, biofuels, bio-based building materials, composites and prescription drugs.

Venture experts have by now formulated a new variety of miscanthus crop that can be grown from seed. Previously, miscanthus was planted employing rhizomes a highly-priced planting technique. The new versions are developed to be of a greater high-quality, to be chilly- and drought-resistant and to have similar yields to the regular miscanthus crop. Scientists are also finding out the impacts of growing miscanthus on land polluted by hefty metals to see the extent to which the pollutants are taken up by the plants.

GRACE’s miscanthus crops can be applied in building insulation, lightweight concrete – or concrete not applied for load-bearing uses – bioplastics, bioethanol, substances and solvents applied in industrial processes and customer goods, in textiles, cars and electronics and in composite fibres.

The venture has by now shown bioethanol generation from miscanthus straw at a pre-commercial bioethanol refinery in Straubing, Germany. It is also performing on employing the extracted lignocellulosic sugars from miscanthus straw to deliver biochemicals for building bioplastics.

A use for by-goods

The GRACE venture is also discovering how to use by-goods – for instance, the generation of lightweight concrete employing milled miscanthus, and miscanthus dust, which can be applied in paper generation. 1 venture partner is pursuing this employing miscanthus crops grown on unused land at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, GRACE’s experts have successfully applied distinctive factors of hemp biomass including cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, which is less than enhancement for the therapy of epilepsy.

The venture has founded a lot more than 60 hectares of miscanthus and hemp on contaminated and abandoned land. GRACE researchers hope to lengthen the project’s momentum over and above its formal endpoint via its ‘industry panel’, which connects distinctive sectors of the bioindustry to lecturers performing in the field of biomass.

This venture was funded by BBI JU, a EUR three.7-billion community-non-public partnership concerning the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC).