Special Issue "Biomass Crops, Agronomic Performance & Emerging Renewable Energy Technologies"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "B3: Bio-Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giuseppe Pulighe
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
CREA Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Via Po 14, 00198 Rome, Italy
Interests: watershed modeling; bioenergy development; urban agriculture; land use/land cover; geoinformation; remote sensing; spatial analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Renewable energy technologies encompass technologies for transforming renewable energy resources into energy. They include wind, solar–thermal, hydropower and biomass/bioenergy technologies. Plant biomass is a renewable energy source derived from the cultivation of dedicated bioenergy crops. The agronomic aspects of these crops are under extensive evaluation and optimization, while their cultivation in marginal lands is of great interest. The effects of various agronomic practices (e.g., genotype selection, seedbed manipulation, crop rotation, irrigation, fertilization, and weed and pest management) on the growth and yield performance of both herbaceous and woody biomass crops should be evaluated extensively. Research needs to address the challenges of the high cost of processing and the increased oil synthesis in the relevant oilseed crops. For lignocellulosic crops, intensive research is needed to optimize biomass pretreatment methods to achieve the rapid degradation of cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin to fermentable sugars. There is also interest in exploring gasification technologies for biomass processing and applications. This Special Issue welcomes research analyzing multiple aspects, from initial sources to the final stage of bioenergy production. Research should be carried out under different soil/climatic conditions, and the different renewable energy technologies should also be evaluated in terms of both the socioeconomic and the environmental aspects. Critical reviews targeted at generating research are also encouraged.

Please share your studies on several topics related to biomass crops and emerging renewable energy technologies in this Special Issue. In particular, submissions on the following topics (but not limited to these topics) are invited: (1) biomass crops and alternative energy crops; (2) biogas plants; (3) new crops, including oil and fiber crops; (4) agronomic practices; (5) weed/pest management; (6) renewable energy technologies; (7) biomass pretreatment, conversion and gasification; and (10) bioenergy and biofuels.

Prof. Dr. Ilias Travlos
Dr. Giuseppe Pulighe
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biomass crops
  • Alternative energy crops
  • Biogas plants
  • Agronomic practices
  • Weed/Pest management
  • Renewable energy technologies
  • Biomass pretreatment
  • Biomass conversion
  • Gasification
  • Bioenergy
  • Biofuels
  • New crops
  • Oil crops
  • Fiber crops
  • Marginal lands

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Impacts of Long- and Short-Term of Irrigation with Treated Wastewater and Synthetic Fertilizers on the Growth, Biomass, Heavy Metal Content, and Energy Traits of Three Potential Bioenergy Crops in Arid Regions
Energies 2021, 14(11), 3037; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14113037 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 728
Abstract
The availability of suitable water is an important factor for increasing the cultivated areas and sustainability in arid (i.e., less than 200 mm precipitation per year) and semiarid regions (i.e., 200–700 mm precipitation per year). Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the impact [...] Read more.
The availability of suitable water is an important factor for increasing the cultivated areas and sustainability in arid (i.e., less than 200 mm precipitation per year) and semiarid regions (i.e., 200–700 mm precipitation per year). Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the impact of treated wastewater (TWW) and groundwater (GW) as well as synthetic fertilizers (50% and 100% of the recommended NPK dose; 150–150–60 kg N–P2O5–K2O ha−1) on the growth, biomass, energy traits, and macro and trace elements of maize (Zea mays L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L) grown in old cultivated (first location; L1) and virgin soil (L2 and L3) as potential bioenergy crops. The soil in L1 has been irrigated with treated wastewater for the last 15 years and continued to be irrigated with treated wastewater in this investigation. The virgin soil was divided into two parts: the first part was irrigated with TWW, and the second part was irrigated with GW. The experiments were laid out in a split-plot with a randomized complete block design with water treatments (TWW in old and virgin soil, and GW in virgin soil) in main plots, and the two treatments of fertilization (50% and 100% of the recommended NPK dose) were distributed randomly in subplots. Compared with the crops irrigated with GW, the crops irrigated with TWW, whether grown on old or virgin soil, showed higher plant height, total chlorophyll content, leaf area per plant, total biomass, energy content, and gross energy with low ash. They also contained higher (but lower than permissible limits) concentrations of macro-elements (NPK) and trace elements (Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Ni, and Co). In addition, the application of a 50% recommended dose of NPK with TWW showed equivalent results to a 100% recommended dose of NPK on all measured parameters with few exceptions. In conclusion, the TWW can be used to irrigate field crops allocated for bioenergy production in arid regions because it does not harm the plants and environment. In addition, the 50% recommended dose of NPK fertilizer exerted no negative effects on the growth and energy production of field crops, thereby protecting the environment and reducing the leaching of excessive fertilizers into GW. Full article
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Review
Weed Management Practices to Improve Establishment of Selected Lignocellulosic Crops
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2478; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092478 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 626
Abstract
Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the dominant renewable energy resources suited for the production of sustainable biofuels and other energy purposes. This study was focused on weed management strategies that can improve the establishment of six lignocellulosic crops. The studied crops included: giant [...] Read more.
Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the dominant renewable energy resources suited for the production of sustainable biofuels and other energy purposes. This study was focused on weed management strategies that can improve the establishment of six lignocellulosic crops. The studied crops included: giant miscanthus, switchgrass, giant reed, cardoon, sweet sorghum, and kenaf. Delayed planting, increased planting densities, and mulching techniques can suppress weeds in giant miscanthus. Weed competition is detrimental for switchgrass establishment. Seedbed preparation and cultivar selection can determine its ability to compete with weeds. Giant reed is unlikely to get outcompeted by weeds, and any weed control operation is required only for the first growing season. Competitive cultivars and increased seeding rates maximize the competitiveness of cardoon against weeds. Several cultural practices can be used for non-chemical weed management in sweet sorghum and kenaf. For all crops, pre-emergence herbicides can be applied. The available safe post-emergence herbicides are limited. Mechanical weed control during crucial growth stages can provide solutions for sweet sorghum, kenaf, and perennial grasses. Further research is required to develop effective weed management strategies, with emphasis on cultural practices, that can improve the establishment of these prominent lignocellulosic crops. Full article
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