The EU-funded REHAP project to transform agricultural and forestry waste into bio-based materials

Researchers have examined which agroforestry residues are available for the development of bio-based materials.

Waste and other residues from agriculture and forestry are increasingly seen as a useful source for the production of clean sustainable and affordable high-value fuels or chemicals. To realise the full potential of cellulose-based non-edible biomass and agricultural waste as a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels it’s crucial to assess their prevalence. Supported by the EU-funded REHAP project researchers have addressed the issue of how to forecast the availability of such feedstock. Their findings were published in the ‘Journal of Cleaner Production’.

The questions raised by the paper are: “What feedstock shows the highest potential? Where is the feedstock spatially allocated? How will the supply develop in future?” The same journal article states: “The aim of this research was to develop a methodology for spatially explicit prediction of the theoretical, technical and bioeconomic potential of agricultural residues. The forecasting horizon is medium term and covers the period from 2017 to 2030.”

The research focused on wheat straw, corn stover (stalks, leaves and cobs), barley straw and rapeseed straw. These represent 80 % “of cereals and oil crops harvesting residues in the European Union,” according to the paper. It concluded: “The results indicate the largest increase of all investigated crops was for corn stover at up to 20 per cent between 2017 and 2030. Barley straw potentials are expected to stay rather constant within the coming decade. Rapeseed is the only crop likely to face a decreasing production in many regions in the coming years.”

Creating green buildings from waste

The REHAP (Systemic approach to Reduce Energy demand and CO2 emissions of processes that transform agroforestry waste into High Added value Products.) project was launched to transform agricultural and forestry waste into bio-based materials. A newsletter on the project website summarises its objective: “The broader aim of the Rehap project is to create new materials for the construction sector that are derived from agricultural and forestry waste.”

REHAP partners believe the forecast approach outlined in the ‘Journal of Cleaner Production’ article will ensure that the biomass used in Europe is sourced sustainably and will help the advancement of a circular economy without damaging other sectors. 

“The publication of this paper will also provide other researchers access to the new and improved forecast, facilitating a significant step towards a greener and more resourceful use of natural resources in Europe, whilst promoting a more competitive bioeconomy,” the same newsletter notes.

As explained in a factsheet on the project website agroforestry residues are already used in several areas including animal feed and bedding new farming technologies and horticulture. It notes that the project “is taking underutilised waste from agriculture and forestry and extracting lignin cellulose tannin and hemicellulose. It is then using these compounds to create biopolymers which can then be used to make high value-added construction materials which are normally derived from fossil fuels.” It adds: “These compounds have the potential to replace a substantial share of the 50 Million tonnes (Mt) of crude oil currently used in the EU chemical industry.”

Source: Cordis

Illustration Photo: Wheat straw (CC0 Creative Commons from Pixabay.com)

Read more

Comments

No comments to display.

Related posts

EU's Call for Proposals: RobotUnion acceleration program for European robotic startups and SMEs

The ideal project RobotUnion is looking for is disruptive and innovative, beyond the state of the art and with a degree of differentiation with its competitors. The ideal projects are also looking for additional investment for scaling their business globally.
Application Deadline in 2 months

Vietnamese Seafood export targets US$ 10 billion in turnover in 2019

The Vietnamese aquatic sector set a target of raising its export revenue to US$10 billion in 2019, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Australia Emerges as a Leading Innovator for Agriculture 4.0

Investors and researchers are looking to Australia to develop the agricultural and food technologies of the future.

Dubai’s RTA starts using robots in cleaning metro stations

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has embarked on using robots in cleaning metro stations as part of efforts to introduce new techniques driven by artificial intelligence technology.

India approves Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme for achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar Projects by the year 2022

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme for achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar (RTS) Projects by the year 2022. The programme will be implemented with total central financial support of Rs.11,814 crore (1,663 million USD)

EU's Call for Proposals: eIdentification & eSignature

The Core Service Platform of eID will continue to provide support to Member States at technical and operational level. Such assistance will comprise technical support and advice, including the maintenance of the reference implementation, as well as supporting a broader uptake of eID. In addition to the support provided in previous WPs, the assistance will be extended also to the operation of the eIDAS interoperability nodes after the entry into force of the eID mutual recognition in September 2018, as well as to addressing implementation questions derived from this mutual recognition (such as identity matching issues). The support to the onboarding of new domains will be continued, with a special focus on the re-use of eID in mobile environments.
Application Deadline in 3 months

EU's Call for Proposals: Automated Translation

In 2019, the main objectives are to support the collection of language tools and resources for specific domains and for under-resourced languages as well as to stimulate the integration and take-up of CEF AT services.
Application Deadline in 3 months

Call for Proposals: Promoting leadership and economic opportunities for women across the clean energy sector in Southern and East Africa

This call is focused on promoting leadership and economic opportunities for women across the clean energy sector. We are seeking applications that propose innovative approaches to gender inclusion while also supporting core business objectives and growth. Projects will be evaluated based on concept innovation, development impact, business model and financial sustainability. Applications from women entrepreneurs and women-led organisations are strongly encouraged.
Application Deadline in a month

Call for Nominations: 2019 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards

Nominations are open for 2019 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards that recognize fundamental contributions in a broad array of areas of scientific knowledge, technology, humanities and artistic creation.
Application Deadline in 4 months