Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering

Potsdam-Bornim, Germany
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-01 | Award Amount: 4.58M | Year: 2013

Agricultural residues could represent a good source of biomass to convert into energy in particular wherever it is impractical to convert cropland to energy crop cultivation . According to FAOs reportage (1997) , large quantities of ligneous biomass can be obtained from pruning operations carried out in Mediterranean fruit plantations. Agricultural residues therefore play an important role in any analysis of biomass availability for a specific area. For this reason it is important to conduct a thorough study of the types of permanent crops in Europe and the potential of biomass obtained by its pruning. There is a big potential market in pruning residues, mainly power generation but not only. Nowadays these types of residues are just taken apart from the filed and used locally, Leaving on the ground a potential profitable business for farmers, logistic companies and final users. Nowadays the pruning means just a cost for the farmers, but with a new implemented logistic chain they could take advantage in order to sell this product in the biomass market and providing a new business model for logistic operators, biomass sellers and final users, which could find a bigger amount of resources and a decreasing of the costs. It already exists and implemented and developed logistic chain for straw residues, but there is not for pruning.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2011-2 | Award Amount: 1.81M | Year: 2012

GREENFOODEC will set up novel and advanced decontamination technologies, overcoming existing limitations for high quality preservation and microbial decontamination of herbs & spices. To solve the present limitations related to the use of the current technologies used for the preservation of spices, this project will focus on four novel technologies: High pressure CO2\ultrasound (HPCD\US), cold plasma (CP), and electromagnetic energy (microwave (MW) and infrared irradiation (IR)). The presentation of each product may play an important role in the efficacy of the treatments and the selection of the proper operating parameters. Hence, three different formats of products will be studied, which are representative of the commercial herbs & spices: herb, powder and seed. In order to have a real application in the European spice sector, three products have been considered as a reference: pepper or similar seed product, paprika or similar as representative for powder presentation and oregano or similar product as representative of herbs format. During the development of the project, SME-AGs and individual companies will contribute to several RTD tasks, such as the multicriterium assessment of the treated products and the final assessment of the direct use of treated herbs & spices on selected foodstuffs. This will later guarantee the success of the knowledge transfer from R&D centres to the sector companies and the exploitation of the results. The participation of the Associations will enable the dissemination of the results to a high number of companies increasing the quality of the spices, their trading and their consumption. This project will contribute to generate new opportunities in the food sector to produce high value products in the market.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2011.4-04 | Award Amount: 614.55K | Year: 2011

Until now energy efficiency in agriculture has received little attention, except for energy use in greenhouses. Nevertheless, it is considerable, especially when indirect energy use is taken into account. AGREE has the objective of showing the potential of short term energy efficiency gains and the promise of the long term potential. Environmental effects of savings on direct and indirect energy use in agriculture are integrally considered, as energy use efficiency also implies reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Because energy savings in agriculture depend highly on the agri-environment (climate), AGREE will bring together south-eastern, south-western, north-eastern and north-western agroproduction systems. Evidence from energy saving potential and corresponding environmental and economical effects on country level are brought to the transnational level to identify an agenda for transnational collaboration to increase the learning curve on energy use efficiency. AGREE will set up a participatory process for two reasons. 1. Stakeholders will be involved in the set-up of the agenda which will facilitate the implementation of the results. 2. AGREE needs the opinions and views of stakeholders to produce an agenda that reflects the needs of and opportunities by practice. To ensure implementation, a link has been created with a European network of researchers committed to adopt the issue. This network (ENGAGE) is closely associated with the European Society of Agricultural Engineers (EuAgEng). This link will facilitate the adoption process. To ensure that the results will create relevant and effective R&D programmes, AGREE has established a close link with the Collaborative Working Group on Agriculture and Energy. This group is embedded in SCAR and the KBBE-Net and is thus positioned to translate the AGREE agenda, into commitment for effective R&D on energy efficiency. To this end, it is important that AGREE provides evidence of the added value of such research.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.1-02 | Award Amount: 7.96M | Year: 2012

Hemp is a sustainable high yielding crop well adapted to most European conditions, with advantageous environmental and agronomical characteristics. Traditionally cultivated for the fibres, seeds and psychoactive substances, it is now considered an ideal crop to produce innovative biomaterials. Once a key industrial crop for fibre, hemp production declined in the last century and was displaced by cotton and synthetic fibres. This explains why hemp has not been subject to the intensive breeding that has driven great improvements in major food crops in the last 50 years. However, cotton has one of the worst environmental footprints of any crop and there is renewed interest in hemp because it requires less water and agrochemicals and provides fibre and oil of superior quality. In the frame of multi-hemp, we will use cutting-edge genomic approaches to achieve rapid targeted improvements in hemp productivity and raw material quality for end-user requirements, whilst also advancing scientific understanding of gene-to-trait relationships in this crop. This work will be combined with innovations in agronomy, harvesting and processing methods to generate sustainable products from improved varieties. The project will include demonstration activities such as field trial and process scale up. The economic and environmental implications of each innovation will be assessed so as to maximise economic return and increase sustainability. This project brings together leading research groups with a vibrant group of industrial participants working from the level of molecular genetics through to end product demonstration. Our ambition is to develop an integrated hemp-based biorefinery in which improved feedstock is subject to efficient and modular processing steps to provide fibre, oil, construction materials, fine chemicals and biofuels using all components of the harvested biomass, and generating new opportunities within the developing knowledge based bioeconomy.

Kruse A.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Kruse A.,University of Hohenheim | Funke A.,Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering | Titirici M.-M.,Queen Mary, University of London
Current Opinion in Chemical Biology | Year: 2013

Available biomass, preferentially residues, can be divided in two groups: biomass with a high or natural water content ('wet' or 'green' biomass) and biomass with low water content such as wood and straw. In 'dry' biomass gasification processes, originating in most coal processing technologies, biomass of low water content is necessary to avoid the energy loss by water evaporation. In contrast, hydrothermal processes need water as reaction medium; therefore, these processes are preferentially used for wet or 'green' biomass.In this review paper we will describe the main research directions in the hydrothermal conversion of biomass into fuels and carbon throughout gasification to produce H2 or CH4, liquefaction to produce crude oils and phenols from lignin as well as carbonization to produce carbonaceous materials which can be either used as fuels (carbon negative chars) or interesting energetic materials (hydrothermal carbons). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CIP-EIP-EI-PMRP | Phase: | Award Amount: 5.52M | Year: 2012

The main objective of the CELLULAC project is to scale-up the technology of an innovative processing pathway which can make use of cellulose feedstock for the production of value added products such as lactic acid (LA). Within the project a fully operational demonstration plant for lactic acid production is to be engineered, constructed and operated in order to soundly prove the technological and economical feasibility of the new technology. The implementation at demonstration scale (app. 1000 t LA/a) will deliver highly specific results to underpin the maturity of the technology and to provide clear evidence that the processing technology is ready for market uptake. The CELLULAC project brings together highly successful national technology developments to form an integrated new production process for LA which is driven by conjoined forces at European level. It targets the establishment of a technology front runner position built upon sound facts and data which are highly relevant for the European economy.

Gebbers R.,Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering | Adamchuk V.I.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Science | Year: 2010

Precision agriculture comprises a set of technologies that combines sensors, information systems, enhanced machinery, and informed management to optimize production by accounting for variability and uncertainties within agricultural systems. Adapting production inputs site-specifically within a field and individually for each animal allows better use of resources to maintain the quality of the environment while improving the sustainability of the food supply. Precision agriculture provides a means to monitor the food production chain and manage both the quantity and quality of agricultural produce. © 2010 American Association for the Advancement for Science. All Rights Reserved.

Rumpold B.A.,Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering | Schluter O.K.,Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering
Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies | Year: 2013

Edible insects, a traditional food all over the world, are highly nutritious with high fat, protein and mineral contents depending on the species and thus represent a noteworthy alternative food and feed source and a potential substitute e. g. for fishmeal in feed formulae. Research is required to develop and automatize cost-effective, energy-efficient and microbially safe rearing, harvest and post harvest processing technologies as well as sanitation procedures to ensure food and feed safety and produce safe insect products at a reasonable price on an industrial scale especially in comparison to meat products. In addition, consumer acceptance needs to be established. Potential and challenges along the production chain of insects for food and feed are discussed based on published data and future research needs are derived from recent literature. Industrial relevance text With the increasing demand in alternative protein sources world-wide, insects represent an innovative food and feed source rich in high quality protein as well as other beneficial nutritional ingredients such as fat, minerals and vitamins. Despite traditional knowledge about insects and their harvest in the wild, for the industrial mass production of safe insects and insect products for consumption and for processing into food and feed, the development of rearing, harvest as well as post-harvest technologies is required. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Rumpold B.A.,Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering | Schluter O.K.,Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering
Molecular Nutrition and Food Research | Year: 2013

Insects, a traditional food in many parts of the world, are highly nutritious and especially rich in proteins and thus represent a potential food and protein source. A compilation of 236 nutrient compositions in addition to amino acid spectra and fatty acid compositions as well as mineral and vitamin contents of various edible insects as derived from literature is given and the risks and benefits of entomophagy are discussed. Although the data were subject to a large variation, it could be concluded that many edible insects provide satisfactorily with energy and protein, meet amino acid requirements for humans, are high in MUFA and/or PUFA, and rich in several micronutrients such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, and zinc as well as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and in some cases folic acid. Liabilities of entomophagy include the possible content of allergenic and toxic substances as well as antinutrients and the presence of pathogens. More data are required for a thorough assessment of the nutritional potential of edible insects and proper processing and decontamination methods have to be developed to ensure food safety. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Germer S.,Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2013

Rainfall falling on canopies is redistributed and reaches the soil surface as throughfall or stemflow. I investigate stemflow generation by babassu palms (Attalea speciosa Mart.) in a Brazilian agroforestry system and its fate once the stemflow water reached the soil surface. Rainfall, stemflow and perched water tables were monitored on rainfall-event basis. Dye tracer experiments monitored stemflow-induced preferential flow paths. Root distributions were related to soil water redistribution. Perched water tables and roots were studied only on adult palms, while stemflow measurements and dye tracer experiments were performed on young palms, too. Average rainfall-collecting area per adult palm was 6.4±0.3m2 (±SE). Funneling ratios (ratio of stemflow volume and basal area normalized by rainfall depth) ranged between 16-71 and 4-55 for adult and young palms, respectively. On average, 9.1±3.1L (±SE) of adult palm stemflow were intercepted. For adult palms, stemflow induced soil saturation and, hence, perched water tables were detected more frequently near adult palm stems than further away. Tracer experiments at adult palms revealed initial preferential horizontal flow, with subsequent downward water movement towards the lower wetting front. Meanwhile, young palms funneled rainfall via their fronds directly to their subterranean stems. Coarse roots density of adult palms was highest next to the subterranean stem and, consequently, palms might profit from increased water input compared to open area rainfall. Beside this positive effect for this very abundant palm species in Brazil, the generation of soil saturation next to the palm stems might also lead to negative environmental impacts. As discussed soil saturation and simultaneous input of nitrate and presumably dissolved organic carbon could lead to hotspots of denitrification and, hence, greenhouse gas emissions. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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