This Area comprises the study of the biomass production and biomass logistics from selected energy crops and for the specific biomass energy applications considered in Area 2.
This Area includes an extensive Commercial Demonstration Programme of several previously selected energy crops in different Spanish Autonomous Communities that comprises most of the national agricultural land. Associated to this activity a R&D Programme (Experimental Programme) is developed. Initially, and on the basis of data available in literature, a study to determine the potential of the crops at the level of Spanish Agricultural Region is carried out.
The main objective of the Comercial Demonstration Programme is the determination of the studied crops biomass yield under real and sustainable conditions in the most representative Spanish agricultural areas, meanwhile, the Experimental Programme covers subjects like the selection and improvement of crop varieties, optimisation of crop inputs and development of crop machinery.
The Experimental Programme covers the study of different issues to improve the sustainable biomass production from the demonstrated crops. Moreover, tests with the following additional species are envisaged:
In this Area the demonstration of the utilization of energy crops biomass and derived biofuels in commercial or demonstration existing plants is made. The following energy applications are considered:
- Domestic heating.
The work programme within this application includes the development of a biomass burner suitable for the new biomasses as well as an extensive R&D programme for the production of pellets from the new biomasses that will be finally demonstrated in commercial boilers under real conditions.
- Electricity generation.
The commercial demonstration of energy crops biomass include centralised (bioelectricity plants, co-combustion) and decentralised (small gasification plant, dual-fuel engines for electricity production) applications.
- Transport biofuels production and use.
Among the new technologies the work programme includes the utilization of lignocellulosic biomass from the studied energy crops in a 5Ml/y bioethanol commercial demonstration plant.
AREA 3: EVALUATION LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS
The evaluation of the energy crops sustainability will be carried out by developing, taking into account the results of previous Areas, and evaluating the energetic, environmental (GHG emissions, water use, soil effects) and economic Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) of the considered energy crops chains. These LCAs will be compared with the corresponding of fossil fuels and/or agricultural crops.
AREA 4: DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOTATION
This Area includes, among other, training activities, technical visits and workshops specifically designed for farmers, industrials and students, as well as presentations of the Project in Conferences, Technical Exhibitions etc. A web page is also available.