The main objective of this work package is to;

  • Give an overview of the state-of-the-art regarding current concepts of agricultural and forestry waste management from both an academic and a practical perspective
  • Work on the forecasting of future waste arisings in agriculture and forestry in the European Union
  • Work on the location and transport planning to determine the optimal collection network structure
  • Develop a roadmap for an optimal European network for the transformation of harvesting waste into high added value product

Results

On-going studies have been looking at the agriculture and forestry waste that is available in the European Union and tests have revealed which product has the most potential economically and environmentally.

The four agroforestry products that were tested were:
- Wheat straw
- Grain maize straw
- Barley straw
- Rape straw

The three-step approach that was used to test these products revealed that wheat straw is the most important agroforestry waste product, with the potential to be the most economic and offer the most environmentally-friendly replacement for petrochemicals.

Results from the research also revealed other materials that are of importance for industrial use in the bioeconomy as well as the potential barriers facing the use of EU agroforestry waste such as:
- Changing to farming technologies
- Availability of waste due to second-generation biofuels competing for feedstock.

An assessment of the availability and future potentials of lignocellulose residues was recently determined, and full results were be presented at the EUBCE 2018.

Some interesting results show that:
- There is a forecast for increasing arisings for wheat straw, maize stover and barley straw across Europe.
- Extreme weather such as heatwaves, will have an adverse effect on biomass, causing a strong negative influence on their annual production.

This study will help forecast the bioeconomic potential of each agricultural residue and future farming possibilities and a future bioeconomy. Some of the findings reveal that:
- Wheat straw has the highest potential, plus an expected growth of 10 per cent
-Grain Maize stover shows the highest growth rate of about 17 per cent

Research is currently underway to develop a price methodology tool for agroforestry residue waste.

Dissemination

Poster – “Raw material potential for biopolymers in Europe”

Poster – “Assessment of European Union’s agricultural residue potentials available for high added-value products: Current state and future development”

Paper – “Assessment of agroforestry residue potentials for the bioeconomy in the European Union”

Poster - "A novel and quick method for characterising lignocellulosic materials in biorefinery processes: Thermogravimetric analysis and predictive kinetic model (TGA-PKM) method"

Paper - Spatially explicit forecast of feedstock potentials for second generation bioconversion industry from the EU agricultural sector until the year 2030


Work package leader

Andrea Thorenz - andrea.thorenz@mrm.uni-augsburg.de

Andrea Thorenz is a senior researcher and leader of the Resource Lab at the Institute of Materials Resource Management, University of Augsburg. Her interdisciplinary team work on the design of circular economy systems (e.g. recycling, remanufacturing, reuse) and the assessment of strategic raw materials and technology metals. She has a PhD in socio-economics with experience in resource and environmental management. Main research topics in the field of Industrial Ecology are criticality assessments, life-cycle-assessment, social life-cycle-assessment and waste management.

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