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Roncucci N.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Triana F.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Tozzini C.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Bonari E.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | And 2 more authors.
Italian Journal of Agronomy | Year: 2014

The effect of two row spacing configurations and four water supply levels was investigated on sweet and fibre sorghum in Central Italy for two consecutive years. Results highlighted the influence of both irrigation and row spatial configuration on crop productivity. Indeed, several studies have pointed out the positive response of sorghum to irrigation in Mediterranean climate, as in this environment water stress represents one of the main limiting factors on crop productivity. On the other hand, few attempts have been made to explore the role of row spacing on energy sorghum productivity. Results outlined an average increase in sorghum dry biomass yield ranging from +23% to +79% at variable rates of water supply as compared to rainfed control. The positive effect of irrigation was also observed on leaf area index and radiation use efficiency. Moreover, we observed a crop yield increase, from 9% to 20%, under double row spacing compared to the standard planting pattern (i.e. single row spacing). Finally, it was confirmed the efficient use of water by sorghum and the great ability of sorghum to increase its biomass yield in response to increasing volumes of water supplied. Therefore, this work suggests how row spacing configuration and drip irrigation could be feasible technical options to increase sorghum biomass yields in Mediterranean environments. These techniques should be experienced by farmers towards a sustainable intensification of current cropping systems. © Neri Roncucci et al., 2014.

Simone M.,University of Pisa | Simone M.,Centro Of Ricerca Interuniversitario Biomasse Da Energia | Barontini F.,University of Pisa | Barontini F.,Centro Of Ricerca Interuniversitario Biomasse Da Energia | And 4 more authors.
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2012

This work presents a pilot-scale investigation aimed at assessing the feasibility and reliability of biomass pellet gasification. Wood sawdust and sunflower seeds pellets were tested in a 200kW downdraft gasifier operating with air as gasifying agent. The gasification of pelletized biomass led to rather high and unstable pressure drops, reducing the gasifier productivity and stability. Furthermore the generation of fine residues compromised the operation of wet ash removal systems. On the other hand, good syngas compositions (H 2 17.2%, N 2 46.0%, CH 4 2.5%, CO 21.2%, CO 2 12.6%, and C 2H 4 0.4%), specific gas production (2.2-2.4Nm 3kg -1) and cold gas efficiency (67.7-70.0%) were achieved. For these reasons pelletized biomass should be considered only as complementary fuel in co-gasification with other feedstock. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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