News & Events

This newsletter aims to present the progress made in the first 18 months of CERESiS project.

The focus of this first issue is on Regulatory & Legal issues.

Two trial sites in Ukraine with fuel and mineral oil contamination and pesticides contamination were planted with Reed Canary Grass (RCG) and Miscanthus in spring 2021. As of the end of summer, Reed Canary Grass has grown up to more than 0.8 meters and Miscanthus - up to more than 2 meters. Biomass harvesting is planned for February 2022, when the moisture content in plants is expected to decrease and reach 20-25%.

7th December 2021: Mechanized harvesting trials of Phalaris arundinacea by means of a disc mower began at the experimental site of the University of Tuscia – Viterbo, Italy.

During the harvesting process, data on soil compaction and harvest time were also acquired; moreover, the biomass to be used by the partners Karlsruher Institut für Technologie in Germany (KIT) and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Italy (CNR) of the CERESiS project was also collected, for Fast pyrolysis (FP) and Supercritical water gasification (SCWG) testing.

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.

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