Special Issue "Sustainable and Innovative Utilization of Common Reed (Phragmites Australis) in the Bioeconomy"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Volker Beckmann
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Law and Economics & Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald, Soldmann Str. 15, 17487 Greifswald, Germany
Interests: institutional change; institutional economics; environmental and resource economics; governance of natural resources; agricultural and land economics; conservation; technology adoption; sustainable land management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Niels Thevs
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
World Agroforestry Centre, Central Asia Office, 138 Toktogol Street, 720001 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Interests: water resource management, remote sensing, wetland conservation, wetland utilization
Dr. Joachim Venus
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department Bioengineering, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
Interests: industrial biotechnology; biorefineries; scaling-up of bioprocesses; pre-treatment of biomass for microbial conversion processes; bioconversion of renewable resources
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Wendelin Wichtmann
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald, Soldmann Str. 15, 17487 Greifswald, Germany
Interests: paludiculture, soil physics, landscape–water balance, solute movement in soils, economy on farm level, water management, peatland utilisation, GHG emissions from agriculture, ecosystem services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Common reed (Phragmites australis) is a worldwide-spread wetland plant with a high biomass potential and plant features that can turn it into a valuable renewable resource for multiple purposes. Traditional utilizations, like its use for thatching in Europe or for pulp and paper production in China, are still common; however, research and development is exploring new innovative utilization options, for instance, for advanced building materials, biofuels, biogas, and bioplastics. Besides proving technical feasibility, many obstacles are usually related to the up-scaling of new utilizations. Securing the resource base, employing cost-efficient and environmentally friendly harvesting technologies, establishing profitable supply and values chains, and raising consumer acceptance are just a few of them. Furthermore, there are different social and ecological contexts in which the utilization of reed is embedded. Reed beds are sometimes considered to be a strongly protected habitat—as, for example, in Germany—or invasive, as in North America. This Special Issue focuses on the sustainable and innovative utilization of reed biomass in the bioeconomy. Research papers, reviews, and case studies are welcome that introduce new utilizations and/or discuss sustainability issues related to reed utilization. In particular, we encourage papers on the organization of supply chains, the acceptance of final consumers, sustainable harvesting techniques, property rights and governances structures, and governmental regulations of the utilization of common reed in the bioeconomy.

Prof. Dr. Volker Beckmann
Dr. Niels Thevs
Dr. Joachim Venus
Dr. Wendelin Wichtmann
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. Resources is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1600 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

  • bioeconomy
  • common reed
  • wetlands
  • renewable construction materials
  • biogas
  • bioplastics
  • biofuels

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Common Reed for Thatching in Northern Germany: Estimating the Market Potential of Reed of Regional Origin
Resources 2020, 9(12), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120146 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Reed has a long tradition as locally available thatching material, but nowadays thatch is a globally traded commodity. Germany and other major importing countries such as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Denmark rely on high import rates to meet the national consumption. [...] Read more.
Reed has a long tradition as locally available thatching material, but nowadays thatch is a globally traded commodity. Germany and other major importing countries such as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Denmark rely on high import rates to meet the national consumption. This study aimed at providing a detailed picture of the thatching reed market in Northern Germany and at assessing the market potential for reed of regional origin. A written survey among all thatchers in Northern Germany was carried out in 2019, arriving at an effective sample of 47 out of 141 companies. The results revealed that for the responding companies the majority of the reed (59%) was used for rethatching roofs completely, 24% for newly constructed roofs, and 17% for roof repairs. Reed from Germany held a low share of 17% of the total consumption in 2018. Own reed harvesting was conducted by less than 9% of the responding companies and given up during the last decades by another 26%. The total market volume of reed for thatching in Northern Germany was estimated for 2018 with a 95% confidence interval at 3 ± 0.8 million bundles of reed with a monetary value at sales prices of €11.6 ± 2.8 million. Based on the end consumer demand, the supply gap for reed of regional or German origin was estimated at 523,000 ± 392,000 bundles of reed equaling a market value of €1.9 ± 1.4 million, indicating high uncertainties. Most of the responding thatchers (70%) did not promote reed of regional origin, mainly due to insufficient availability but also a lack in quality was reported. The cultivation of reed in paludiculture, i.e., as climate-smart land use alternative to drainage-based agriculture on peatlands, can increase the availability of thatching reed in Germany and simultaneously reduce GHG emissions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Suitability of Wild Phragmites australis as Bio-Resource: Tissue Quality and Morphology of Populations from Three Continents
Resources 2020, 9(12), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120143 - 07 Dec 2020
Viewed by 861
Abstract
We collected and analyzed morphological characteristics and tissue nutrient concentrations of common reed (Phragmites australis) populations from Denmark, USA, and China, harvested late summer at the peak of the biomass production. The aim was to estimate the suitability of the biomass [...] Read more.
We collected and analyzed morphological characteristics and tissue nutrient concentrations of common reed (Phragmites australis) populations from Denmark, USA, and China, harvested late summer at the peak of the biomass production. The aim was to estimate the suitability of the biomass for different bioenergy purposes. The potential of reed as bioenergy feedstock is increasingly recognized, as the species already is utilized for construction, water purification, and pulp production. Our morphological data showed that biomass yield can be allometrically predicted to be high, especially in the reed populations of the US. However, no consistent pattern according to geographical origin was detected, and especially tissue nutrient concentrations varied within and between populations. Some mineral concentrations were above the desirable threshold for biocombustion, such as nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S). Iron (Fe) was higher than the critical toxicity concentration in many populations and hence, negatively correlated with morphological and growth traits. A different harvest time is likely to result in lower ion concentrations. Some populations had low C to N ratios, which are suitable for biomethane production, while the relatively low ash content of all populations (ranging from 3.9% to 8.5%) suggested a high heating value and theoretical energy potential. Reed biomass production is a promising alternative to fossil fuels and potentially suitable for other bio-based product. Improved knowledge is needed to examine local needs and application possibilities for reed biomass. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Utilization of Common Reed (Phragmites australis) as Bedding for Housed Suckler Cows: Practical and Economic Aspects for Farmers
Resources 2020, 9(12), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120140 - 26 Nov 2020
Viewed by 773
Abstract
The common reed (Phragmites australis) has long been used in wetlands of the French Atlantic coast as fodder and bedding or roof thatching, among other uses. This article explores the practical and economic aspects of utilizing common reed for housing suckler [...] Read more.
The common reed (Phragmites australis) has long been used in wetlands of the French Atlantic coast as fodder and bedding or roof thatching, among other uses. This article explores the practical and economic aspects of utilizing common reed for housing suckler cows compared to straw. Based on a study conducted over two years on a research farm of the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE), located in the marshes of Rochefort-sur-Mer, we show that reed is a good alternative to cereal straw and its cost is quite competitive compared to straw; the closer the reed bed is to the farm, the more competitive it is. By mobilizing the concept of restoration of natural capital, we lay the foundations for a debate on a possible revival of this ancient practice, with the idea that ecological restoration of reed beds can benefit biodiversity and the economy of wetlands farms. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
L-(+)-Lactic Acid from Reed: Comparing Various Resources for the Nutrient Provision of B. coagulans
Resources 2020, 9(7), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9070089 - 20 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1556
Abstract
Biotechnological production of lactic acid (LA) is based on the so-called first generation feedstocks, meaning sugars derived from food and feed crops such as corn, sugarcane and cassava. The aim of this study was to exploit the potential of a second generation resource: [...] Read more.
Biotechnological production of lactic acid (LA) is based on the so-called first generation feedstocks, meaning sugars derived from food and feed crops such as corn, sugarcane and cassava. The aim of this study was to exploit the potential of a second generation resource: Common reed (Phragmites australis) is a powerfully reproducing sweet grass which grows in wetlands and creates vast monocultural populations. This lignocellulose biomass bears the possibility to be refined to value-added products, without competing with agro industrial land. Besides utilizing reed as a renewable and inexpensive substrate, low-cost nutritional supplementation was analyzed for the fermentation of thermophilic Bacillus coagulans. Various nutritional sources such as baker’s and brewer’s yeast, lucerne green juice and tryptone were investigated for the replacement of yeast extract. The structure of the lignocellulosic material was tackled by chemical treatment (1% NaOH) and enzymatic hydrolysis (Cellic® CTec2). B. coagulans DSM ID 14-300 was employed for the homofermentative conversion of the released hexose and pentose sugars to polymerizable L-(+)-LA of over 99.5% optical purity. The addition of autolyzed baker’s yeast led to the best results of fermentation, enabling an LA titer of 28.3 g L−1 and a yield of 91.6%. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Biomethane Yield from Different European Phragmites australis Genotypes, Compared with Other Herbaceous Wetland Species Grown at Different Fertilization Regimes
Resources 2020, 9(5), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9050057 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Phragmites australis, Typha latifolia, T. angustifolia and Arundo donax are tall wetland graminoids with the potential to replace fossil fuels under sustainable cultivation conditions. We investigated the biomethane (CH4) production of these four species, including four different genotypes of [...] Read more.
Phragmites australis, Typha latifolia, T. angustifolia and Arundo donax are tall wetland graminoids with the potential to replace fossil fuels under sustainable cultivation conditions. We investigated the biomethane (CH4) production of these four species, including four different genotypes of P. australis, which represent the high intraspecific diversity of European reed. All plants were grown under three different macronutrient supplies (no nutrients added, an equivalent of 75 kg N ha−1 year−1 added and an equivalent of 500 kg N ha−1 year−1 added). Biomethane production was measured in four independent batch digestion tests. Across all experiments, fertilization regime had little effect on CH4 yield, which was on average 222 ± 31 L kg−1 volatile solids (VS). The lowest yield was produced by T. angustifolia (140 L kgVS−1) receiving no nutrients, while the highest yield was produced by A. donax (305 L kgVS−1) in the highest nutrient treatment. The intraspecific diversity of P. australis did not affect biomethane production. All P. australis genotypes produced on average 226 ± 19 L CH4 kgVS−1, which, although high, was still lower than conventional biogas species. The biomass production of P. australis was less increased by fertilization than that of Typha sp. and A. donax, but all species had similar biomass without fertilization. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Biomass Resources of Phragmites australis in Kazakhstan: Historical Developments, Utilization, and Prospects
Resources 2020, 9(6), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060074 - 16 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1933
Abstract
Common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steud.) is a highly productive wetland plant and a potentially valuable source of renewable biomass worldwide. There is more than 10 million ha of reed area globally, distributed mainly across Eurasia followed by America and [...] Read more.
Common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steud.) is a highly productive wetland plant and a potentially valuable source of renewable biomass worldwide. There is more than 10 million ha of reed area globally, distributed mainly across Eurasia followed by America and Africa. The literature analysis in this paper revealed that Kazakhstan alone harbored ca. 1,600,000–3,000,000 ha of reed area, mostly distributed in the deltas and along the rivers of the country. Herein, we explored the total reed biomass stock of 17 million t year−1 which is potentially available for harvesting in the context of wise use of wetlands. The aim of this paper is to reveal the distribution of reed resource potential in wetland areas of 13 provinces of Kazakhstan and the prospects for its sustainable utilization. Reed can be used as feedstock as an energy source for the production of pellets and biofuels, as lignocellulosic biomass for the production of high strength fibers for novel construction and packaging materials, and innovative polymers for lightweight engineering plastics and adhesive coatings. Thereby, it is unlikely that reed competes for land that otherwise is used for food production. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop