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Energies 2016, 9(7), 526; doi:10.3390/en9070526

An Innovative Agro-Forestry Supply Chain for Residual Biomass: Physicochemical Characterisation of Biochar from Olive and Hazelnut Pellets

1
Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Via San Camillo de Lellis snc, Viterbo 01100, Italy
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow G1 1XJ, UK
3
Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economy Analysis (CREA) Research Unit for Agricultural Engineering, Via della Pascolare 16, Monterotondo, Rome 00015, Italy
4
Department of Agriculture, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria, Feo di Vito, Reggio Calabria 89122, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mejdi Jeguirim
Received: 9 April 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Chars: Elaboration, Characterization and Applications)
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Abstract

Concerns about climate change and food productivity have spurred interest in biochar, a form of charred organic material typically used in agriculture to improve soil productivity and as a means of carbon sequestration. An innovative approach in agriculture is the use of agro-forestry waste for the production of soil fertilisers for agricultural purposes and as a source of energy. A common agricultural practice is to burn crop residues in the field to produce ashes that can be used as soil fertilisers. This approach is able to supply plants with certain nutrients, such as Ca, K, Mg, Na, B, S, and Mo. However, the low concentration of N and P in the ashes, together with the occasional presence of heavy metals (Ni, Pb, Cd, Se, Al, etc.), has a negative effect on soil and, therefore, crop productivity. This work describes the opportunity to create an innovative supply chain from agricultural waste biomass. Olive (Olea europaea) and hazelnut (Corylus avellana) pruning residues represent a major component of biomass waste in the area of Viterbo (Italy). In this study, we evaluated the production of biochar from these residues. Furthermore, a physicochemical characterisation of the produced biochar was performed to assess the quality of the two biochars according to the standards of the European Biochar Certificate (EBC). The results of this study indicate the cost-effective production of high-quality biochar from olive and hazelnut biomass residues. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; biomass; soil fertiliser; olive; hazelnut biochar; biomass; soil fertiliser; olive; hazelnut
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zambon, I.; Colosimo, F.; Monarca, D.; Cecchini, M.; Gallucci, F.; Proto, A.R.; Lord, R.; Colantoni, A. An Innovative Agro-Forestry Supply Chain for Residual Biomass: Physicochemical Characterisation of Biochar from Olive and Hazelnut Pellets. Energies 2016, 9, 526.

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