Library

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Title: Soil Compaction in Harvesting Operations of Phalaris Arundincea L.

Authors: Leonardo Bianchini, Riccardo Alemanno, Valerio Di Stefano, Massimo Cecchini and Andrea Colantoni

Publication Year: 2022

Proposed by: Andrea Colantoni (Tuscia University)

Project Areas: Biomass Resources, Biomass Availability, Phytoremediation

Abstract

Tillage and harvesting operations of perennial forage crops have problems with soil compaction. The effects of this phenomenon are soil deterioration with reduced crop performance and yield. This study aims to assess soil disturbance by measuring the level of compaction caused by the harvesting operations of Phalaris arundinacea L. P. arundinacea is a species that lends itself to biomass production and phytoremediation of contaminated soils; it adapts to difficult soil conditions, outperforming other species in terms of ease of planting, cost, maturity time, yield, and contamination levels. The crop was sown in three plots of the experimental teaching farm of the University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy. Following a detailed analysis of the chemical–physical characteristics of the soil, minimum tillage was chosen in order to concentrate on harvesting operations, which were carried out with a disc mower coupled to a tractor. This was followed by penetration resistance and soil moisture measurements to verify the incidence of the operations and the effect of the type of crop on compaction. On the study site, measurements were taken at points that the wheels of the tractor had gone over and at points that they had not. The soil analysis results indicate different chemical–physical characteristics between the two areas, the texture being frankly sandy to clayey. Penetration resistance measurements indicated differences for the first 20 cm between the part that was covered by the tractor’s tyres and the part that was left touched but also between the three plots. Moisture influenced penetration resistance. This study provides an evaluation of the first data obtained from a project that will last four years and which will explore the dynamics between soil, cultivation, and harvesting operations, giving a fundamental basis for further investigation of further harvesting operations and soil characteristics, which are crucial for planning and managing crops and reducing impacts on the soil in order to preserve it.

2

Title: Membrane and Electrochemical Based Technologies for the Decontamination of Exploitable Streams Produced by Thermochemical Processing of Contaminated Biomass

Authors: Dimitrios Koutsonikolas, George Karagiannakis, Konstantinos Plakas, Vasileios Chatzis, George Skevis, Paola Giudicianni, Davide Amato, Pino Sabia, Nikolaos Boukis, Katharina Stoll

Publication Year: 2022

Proposed by: Nikolaos Boukis

Project Areas: Biomass thermochemical conversion

Abstract

Phytoremediation is an emerging concept for contaminated soil restoration via the use of resilient plants that can absorb soil contaminants. The harvested contaminated biomass can be thermochemically converted to energy carriers/chemicals, linking soil decontamination with biomass-to-energy and aligning with circular economy principles. Two thermochemical conversion steps of contaminated biomass, both used for contaminated biomass treatment/exploitation, are considered: Supercritical Water Gasification and Fast Pyrolysis. For the former, the vast majority of contaminants are transferred into liquid and gaseous effluents, and thus the application of purification steps is necessary prior to further processing. In Fast Pyrolysis, contaminants are mainly retained in the solid phase, but a part appears in the liquid phase due to fine solids entrainment. Contaminants include heavy metals, particulate matter, and hydrogen sulfide. The purified streams allow the in-process re-use of water for the Super Critical Water Gasification, the sulfur-free catalytic conversion of the fuel-rich gaseous stream of the same process into liquid fuels and recovery of an exploitable bio-oil rich stream from the Fast Pyrolysis. Considering the fundamental importance of purification/decontamination to exploit the aforementioned streams in an integrated context, a review of available such technologies is conducted, and options are shortlisted. Technologies of choice include polymeric-based membrane gas absorption for desulfurization, electrooxidation/electrocoagulation for the liquid product of Supercritical Water Gasification and microfiltration via ceramic membranes for fine solids removal from the Fast Pyrolysis bio-oil. Challenges, risks, and suitable strategies to implement these options in the context of biomass-to-energy conversion are discussed and recommendations are made.

3

Title: Steam assisted slow pyrolysis of contaminated biomasses: Effect of plant parts and process temperature on heavy metals fate

Authors: Corinna Maria Grottola, Fernando Stanzione, Massimo Fagnano, Nunzio Fiorentino, Paola Giudicianni, Raffaele Ragucci, Salvatore Faugno, Stefania Pindozzi

Publication Year: 2019

Proposed by: Paola Giudicianni

Project Areas: Biomass thermochemical conversion

Abstract

The post-treatment of biomass from phytoremediation is not yet a well-established practice due to the risk induced by the presence of Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs). Pyrolysis is a thermochemical treat- ment that reduces the volume and weight of contaminated matter producing a combustible vapor phase and a solid residue (char). A key factor enhancing the economic and the environmental sustainability of biomass valorization through pyrolysis is the production of a market value char. A proper choice of the pyrolysis operating conditions should take into account the effect of final temperature on PTEs release, on the char physicochemical properties as well as on the mobility of retained PTEs.

In particular, in this work the influence of both the temperature and the plant parts is discussed (branches and leaves of Populus Nigra L. and rhizomes and culms of Arundo donax L.) on the release of Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn in the temperature range 653–873 K under steam assisted slow pyrolysis conditions. The mobility of the heavy metals retained in the chars was also studied as well as the product yields, the gas composition and char porosity.

The results suggested that in presence of Cd it is necessary to operate at low-temperature (lower than 703 K) to obtain a heavy metals free vapor phase fuel, whereas in presence of one or more metals among Pb, Cu, and Zn, it is possible to conduct a pyrolytic treatment at higher temperatures, thus obtaining a char with high BET surface area and lower metals mobility.

4

Title: Pyrolysis for exploitation of biomasses selected for soil phytoremediation: Characterization of gaseous and solid products

Authors: Corinna Maria Grottola, Fernando Stanzione, Massimo Fagnano, Nunzio Fiorentino, Paola Giudicianni, Raffaele Ragucci, Salvatore Faugno, Stefania Pindozzi

Publication Year: 2017

Proposed by: Paola Giudicianni

Project Areas: Biomass thermochemical conversion

Abstract

Biomasses to be used in the phytoremediation process are generally selected to match agronomic param- eters and heavy metals uptake ability. A proper selection can be made greatly effective if knowledge of the properties of the residual char from pyrolysis is available to identify possible valorization routes. In this study a comparative analysis of the yields and characteristics of char obtained from slow pyrolysis of five uncontaminated biomasses (Populus nigra, Salix alba, Fraxinus oxyphylla, Eucalyptus occidentalis and Arundo donax) was carried out under steam atmosphere to better develop char porosity. Moreover, the dependence of the properties of solid residue on the process final temperature was studied for E. occiden- talis in the temperature range of 688–967 K. The results demonstrate that, among the studied biomasses, chars from P. nigra and E. occidentalis have to be preferred for applications regulated by surface phenom- ena given their highest surface area (270–300 m2/g), whereas char from E. occidentalis is the best choice when the goal is to maximize energy recovery.

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Title: OPERATIVE HANDBOOK For eco-compatible remediation of degraded soils

Authors: M.Fagnano, D. Ducci, L. Boccia, M. Rigillo, F. Terribile, A. Agrillo, et al.

Publication Year: 2017

Proposed by: Paola Giudicianni

Project Areas: Phytoremediation

Abstract

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 101006717.