News & Events

The CERESiS project aims to provide a win-win sustainable solution to (a) scaling up non-ILUC biofuels production and (b) cleaning contaminated lands by facilitating land decontamination through phytoremediation, growing energy crops and producing clean biofuels.

To do so, an open access, modular and expandable Decision Support System (DSS) is under development, able to identify optimal solutions for each application. It will incorporate land, phytoremediation, technological, economic, environmental parameters providing critical information to stakeholders & policy makers on the suitability of combinations of phytoremediation strategies and conversion technologies for particular sites, contaminants, environmental restrictions etc.

A new Glasgow Declaration on Sustainable Bioenergy sets out how wood-based bioenergy can help tackle climate change, with a world-wide industry standard for sustainability at its core.

By 2030, sustainable wood-based bioenergy is projected to reduce net global emissions by 600 million tonnes of CO2e annually and one billion tonnes of CO2e by 2050 – more than is currently emitted by the world’s entire aviation industry.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says: “Bioenergy use is substantial in 1.5°C pathways with or without BECCS due to its multiple roles in decarbonizing energy use.”

The CERESiS (ContaminatEd land Remediation through Energy crops for Soil improvement to liquid biofuel Strategies) consortium partners have virtually met the 11th and 12th of November 2021 to celebrate the successful completion of the project’s first year. The main objective of this internal meeting was to perform a follow up of the project and define the next steps in order to achieve its success. All consortium partners have had the chance to show the project progress and coordinate the next steps.

At the end of October 2021, a new plot of P. arundinacea was sown at the experimental teaching farm of the University of Tuscia - Viterbo (IT). With the creation of 24 plots, the phytoremediation capacity of reed canary grass on Arsenic-rich soils will be evaluated, by studying how the growth of the plant varies in a different sowing season compared to that of spring. It will be tested whether autumn sowing has better adaptability and competitiveness and if this will in turn lead to a change in the uptake and storage capacity of arsenic in the plant biomass.

Last week as Glasgow prepared for COP26 we were busy planting reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) on our latest phytoremediation trial site. The brownfield site at the former Govan Graving Docks is a stone’s throw away from the venue for the UN Climate Conference and shares its heritage as a brownfield site left derelict from Glasgow’s carbon-intensive maritime industry. Access to the site has been negotiated through Seawater Solutions who are rewilding another part of the site using wetland species, including samphire (Salicornia europaea). The phytoremediation site will be monitored for growth and passive carbon capture capabilities before harvesting biomass for processing into sustainable liquid biofuel.

At the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Strathclyde we are using X-ray computed tomography (XCT) to gain a better understanding of the location and nature of contaminants within plants.  This XCT image shows a blade of Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), a novel energy grass crop, which has been successfully grown on a historic mine site in the North East of England.

In October the second sampling in the fields of the experimental teaching farm at the University of Tuscia – Viterbo (IT) was carried out and an average of 672.4 kg / ha in dry weight was found. A drone monitoring of the growth of the Phalaris L. was carried out in order to ensure greater precision and better image quality.

CERESiS will participate in the 5th H2020 Biofuels Workshop, an online event organised by CINEA for representatives of H2020 projects dealing with Biofuels.

The goal of the workshop is to bring together all ongoing Biofuels projects so that they can exchange experiences and information, present their project to relevant Commission staff, and explore the possibility of collaboration and synergies regarding project execution, research and dissemination activities.

The event will be fully remote and will take place on the 14th and 15th of October.

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