Cribe Centro Of Ricerche Interuniversitario Biomasse Da Energia

Pisa, Italy

Cribe Centro Of Ricerche Interuniversitario Biomasse Da Energia

Pisa, Italy
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Dragoni F.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Giannini V.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Ragaglini G.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Ragaglini G.,Cribe Centro Of Ricerche Interuniversitario Biomasse Da Energia | And 4 more authors.
Bioenergy Research | Year: 2017

This study examined the effect of harvest time (from May to September) and dry matter partitioning on biomethane potential and methane yield per unit area of Phragmites australis cultivation under paludiculture conditions. The experimental site is part of a larger experimental platform (San Niccolò, Pisa) located within the Massaciuccoli Lake Basin in Central Italy (Tuscany, IT). The study also took into account the double cut strategy by evaluating the regrowth from June to September. Biomethane potentials ranged from 384 to 315 and from 412 to 283 NL CH4 kg VS−1 (normal liters of methane per kg of volatile solids) for leaves and stems, respectively. About digestion kinetics, maximum daily production rate (Rmax) was significantly affected by harvest time and not by plant partitioning. Along the harvest season, biomethane yield per unit area was mostly driven by the biomass yield showing an increasing trend from May (1659 Nm3 ha−1) to September (3817 Nm3 ha−1). The highest value was obtained with the double harvest option (4383 Nm3 ha−1), although it was not statistically different from the single harvest carried out in September. Owing to its remarkably lower yields, P. australis cannot be considered along the same lines as crops conventionally used for biogas production, but it may represent an interesting option for paludiculture cropping systems by coupling peatland restoration with bioenergy production. September harvest management seemed the most feasible option, although further investigation on crop lifespan is needed. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC


Dragoni F.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | o Di Nasso N.N.,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.
Bioenergy Research | Year: 2015

Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a perennial rhizomatous grass producing high biomass yields in temperate and warm climates under rainfed and reduced input conditions. Harvest time and frequency typically affect the productivity and suitability for energy conversion of energy crops. In order to evaluate the effect of different cutting managements on biomass yield and quality of giant reed, three single harvest (SH) and six double harvest (DH) systems were compared. Biomass yield, leaf mass ratio, dry matter (DM), and ash content were assessed for each harvest. Over the 2 years of study, giant reed demonstrated good productivity levels both when harvested once a year and twice a year (about 30 Mg ha−1) without significant differences between the treatments. Regarding double-cut regimes, overall yields were significantly reduced by delaying the second cut from autumn to winter (32.9 vs 30.2 Mg ha−1), and the percentage of the first cut with respect to the overall yield varied from 55 to 80 %. Biomass quality was also significantly affected by harvest time and frequency. The biomass obtained in double harvest systems showed higher average moisture levels (about 40 % DM) and ash concentrations ranging from 4.7 to 8.7 %. In contrast, single harvest systems led to a drier biomass (47–57 % DM) and reduced mineral contents (3.4–4.8 % ash). The feasibility of double-cut management should therefore be considered in terms of the specific giant reed-based supply chain, with particular regards to the storage and conversion technology adopted. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Roncucci N.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Nassi O Di Nasso N.,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.
GCB Bioenergy | Year: 2015

Fertilization has a great impact on GHG emissions and crop nutrient requirements play an important role on the sustainability of cropping systems. In the case of bioenergy production, low concentration of nutrients in the biomass is also required for specific conversion processes (e.g. combustion). In this work, we investigated the influence of soil texture, irrigation and nitrogen fertilization rate on nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium concentrations and uptakes in Miscanthus × giganteus when harvested at two different times: early (autumn) and late (winter). Our results confirmed winter harvest to significantly reduce nutrient removals by as much as 80% compared to autumn. On the other hand, a few attempts have been made to investigate the role of soil texture and irrigation on nutrients in miscanthus biomass, particularly in the Mediterranean. We observed an effect of soil mainly on nutrient concentrations. Similarly, irrigation led to higher nutrient concentrations, while its effect on nutrient uptakes was less straightforward. Overall, the observed differences in miscanthus nutrient uptakes as determined by the crop management (i.e. irrigation and nitrogen fertilization) were highlighted for autumn harvest only, while uptakes in all treatments were lowered to similar values when winter harvest was performed. This study stressed the importance of the time of harvest on nutrient removals regardless of the other management options. Further investigation on the environmental and economic issues should be addressed to support decisions on higher yields-higher nutrient requirements (early harvest) vs. lower yields-lower nutrient requirements (late harvest). © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Roncucci N.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Nassi O Di Nasso N.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Bonari E.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Bonari E.,Cribe Centro Of Ricerche Interuniversitario Biomasse Da Energia | Ragaglini G.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies
GCB Bioenergy | Year: 2015

Biomass productivity is the main favorable trait of candidate bioenergy crops. Miscanthus × giganteus is a promising species, due to its high-yield potential and positive traits including low nutrient requirements and potential for C sequestration in soils. However, miscanthus productivity appears to be mostly related to water availability in the soil. This is important, particularly in Mediterranean regions where the risk of summer droughts is high. To date, there have been no studies on miscanthus responses under different soil conditions, while only a few have investigated the role of different crop managements, such as irrigation and nitrogen fertilization, in the Mediterranean. Therefore, the effects of contrasting soil textures (i.e. silty-clay-loam vs. sandy-loam) and alternative agricultural intensification regimes (i.e. rainfed vs. irrigated and 0, 50, 100 kg ha-1 nitrogen fertilization), on miscanthus productivity were evaluated at three different harvest times for two consecutive years. Our results confirmed the importance of water availability in determining satisfactory yields in Mediterranean environments, and how soil and site characteristics strongly affect biomass production. We found that the aboveground dry yields varied between 5 Mg ha-1 up to 29 Mg ha-1. Conversely, nitrogen fertilization played only a minor role on crop productivity, and high fertilization levels were relatively inefficient. Finally, a marked decrease, of up to -40%, in the aboveground yield occurred when the harvest time was delayed from autumn to winter. Overall, our results highlighted the importance of determining crop responses on a site-by-site basis, and that decisions on the optimal harvest time should be driven by the biomass end use and other long-term considerations, such as yield stability and the maintenance of soil fertility. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Nassi o Di Nasso N.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Roncucci N.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Bonari E.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Bonari E.,Cribe Centro Of Ricerche Interuniversitario Biomasse Da Energia
Bioenergy Research | Year: 2013

Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a perennial rhizomatous grass that shows promise as a bioenergy crop in the Mediterranean environment. The species has spread throughout the world, catalyzed by human activity, though also as a result of its intrinsic robustness, adaptability, and versatility. Giant reed is able to thrive across a wide range of soil types and is tolerant to drought, salinity, and flooding. This tolerance to environmental stresses is significant and could mean that growing energy crops on marginal land is one possible strategy for reducing competition for land with food production and for improving soil quality. We devised an experiment in which we cultivated giant reed in a sandy loam soil with low nutrient availability. Our goal was to evaluate the dynamics of aboveground and belowground biomass and assess the nutrient dynamics of this grass species, focusing particularly on nutrient accumulation and remobilization. The species demonstrated good productivity potential: In the third year, aboveground dry biomass yield reached around 20 t ha-1, with a corresponding rhizome dry biomass yield of 16 t ha-1. Results for this species were characterized by low nutrient contents in the aboveground biomass at the end of the growing season, and its rhizome proved able to support growth over the spring period and to store nutrients in the autumn. Nevertheless, the adaptability of giant reed to marginal land and the role of its belowground biomass should be investigated over the long-term, and any further research should focus on its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and maintain soil fertility. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Corneli E.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Adessi A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Adessi A.,Cribe Centro Of Ricerche Interuniversitario Biomasse Da Energia | Dragoni F.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | And 6 more authors.
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2016

The present study was aimed at assessing the biotransformation of dark fermented agroindustrial residues and energy crops for the production of hydrogen and poly-β-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), in lab-scale photofermentation. The investigation on novel substrates for photofermentation is needed in order to enlarge the range of sustainable feedstocks. Dark fermentation effluents of ensiled maize, ensiled giant reed, ensiled olive pomace, and wheat bran were inoculated with Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA676, a mutant strain suitable for hydrogen production in ammonium-rich media. The highest hydrogen producing performances were observed in wheat bran and maize effluents (648.6 and 320.3 mL L-1, respectively), both characterized by high initial volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentrations. Giant reed and olive pomace effluents led to poor hydrogen production due to low initial VFAs concentrations, as the original substrates are rich in fiber. The highest PHB content was accumulated in olive pomace effluent (11.53%TS), ascribable to magnesium deficiency. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Ragaglini G.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Dragoni F.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Simone M.,University of Pisa | Bonari E.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Bonari E.,Cribe Centro Of Ricerche Interuniversitario Biomasse Da Energia
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2014

This study aimed to investigate the potential of giant reed for biomethane production by examining the influence of harvest time and frequency on the Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP), the kinetics of biomethane accumulation in batch reactors and the expected methane yield per hectare. The crop was cut at five different times, regrowths from early cuts were harvested in autumn and BMP of each cut was assessed. The highest BMP (392NLkgVS-1) and the best kinetics of methane production were associated to juvenile traits of the crop. By coupling the early cuts with the corresponding regrowths (double harvest), the dry biomass (from 35 to 40Mgha-1) equaled that obtained by a single cut at end of the season (38Mgha-1), while the methane yield per hectare (11,585-12,981Nm3ha-1) exceeded up to 35% the methane produced with a single harvest at crop maturity (9452Nm3ha-1). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Dragoni F.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Nassi O Di Nasso N.,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.
Bioenergy Research | Year: 2016

The underlying aim of biomass crops is to combine high yields and low nutrient contents. Delayed harvests of perennial grasses can reduce nutrient concentrations, while higher levels are generally observed at early harvests. However, depending on the supply chain and the conversion technology, harvesting before senescence could be viable, leading to multiple harvesting, improved feedstock digestibility, and wet biomass storage. In this study, the influence of harvest time and frequency of giant reed (Arundo donax L.) was assessed on aboveground nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium concentrations, removal, and nutrient use efficiency. In order to evaluate the effects of different cutting regimes, three single harvest (SH) and six double harvest systems (DH) were compared. Nutrient concentrations declined over the season from 10.3 to 2.5 gN kg−1, from 1.8 to 0.8 gP kg−1, and from 30.0 to 8.2 gK kg−1. Overall, DH led to higher nutrient concentrations than SH. Biomass at second cut tended to be richer in nutrients when harvested in autumn compared with winter, and when first cuts were delayed. Nutrient removal was markedly higher in DH for all the elements considered (on average, 196 kgN, 43 kgP, 530 kgK ha−1 in DH, 111 kgN, 29 kgP, 297 kg Kha−1 in SH). In DH systems, nitrogen and potassium use efficiencies were nearly halved compared with single late cuts, while phosphorus use efficiency decreased by about 30 %. The high nutrient removal rates of double-cut management suggest that it may be not sustainable, unless nutrient cycles are closed and nitrogen losses are evaluated. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Corneli E.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Dragoni F.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Adessi A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | De Philippis R.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 5 more authors.
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2016

Aim of this study was to evaluate the suitability of ensiled giant reed, ensiled maize, ensiled olive pomace, wheat bran for combined systems (CS: dark fermentation + anaerobic digestion (AD)) producing hydrogen-rich biogas (biohythane), tested in batch under basic operational conditions (mesophilic temperatures, no pH control). Substrates were also analyzed under a single stage AD batch test, in order to investigate the effects of DF on estimated energy recovery (ER) in combined systems. In CS, maize and wheat bran exhibited the highest hydrogen potential (13.8 and 18.9 NL kgVS-1) and wheat bran the highest methane potential (243.5 NL kgVS-1). In one-stage AD, giant reed, maize and wheat bran showed the highest methane production (239.5, 267.3 and 260.0 NL kgVS-1). Butyrate/acetate ratio properly described the dark fermentation, correlating with hydrogen production (r = 0.92). Wheat bran proved to be a promising residue for CS in terms of hydrogen/methane potential and ER. © 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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