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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 725;

Driftwood Biomass in Italy: Estimation and Characterization

CIRIAF—Interuniversity Research Center, University of Perugia, Perugia 67-06125, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francesco Asdrubali and Pietro Buzzini
Received: 20 June 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
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In Italy, the accumulation of driftwood along the shore is a significant issue, especially for the coastal municipalities of the Central and Northern regions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the distribution and availability of the coastal driftwood in Italy and its impacts, as well as analyzing its chemical–physical properties to evaluate possible employment in combustion applications. On the basis of a data gathering campaign for the period 2010–2014, about 60,000 tons of driftwood are reported to accumulate along the Italian shores every year. The two regions hardest-hit were Liguria and Veneto, with about 15,000 tons and 12,000 tons, respectively. Three sites were selected for driftwood sampling. The main issue deriving from chemical characterization was the high chlorine content (up to 2% on dry basis) and metal oxides in the ashes. Driftwood samples were then subjected to a natural washing cycle for 1 month; results revealed a significant drop in chlorine and metal oxides contents (up to 80%) and a low decrease of the lower heating value (about 20%). Furthermore, the percolated water was analyzed in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD), showing values (up to 1100 mg O2/L) above the Italian limits for discharges into surface waters. View Full-Text
Keywords: driftwood; seawater salt; biomass; washing; fouling; slagging driftwood; seawater salt; biomass; washing; fouling; slagging

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Cotana, F.; Buratti, C.; Barbanera, M.; Cavalaglio, G.; Foschini, D.; Nicolini, A.; Pisello, A.L. Driftwood Biomass in Italy: Estimation and Characterization. Sustainability 2016, 8, 725.

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