Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science)


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However it is still not common practice to include land use impacts in LCA studies and an agreed coherent and consistent method has yet to be defined, in the last years some interesting approaches have been proposed. Also five endpoint methods are selected, but all of them are considered too immature by the ILCD Handbook to be recommended. Selected midpoints and endpoints methods. ReCiPe: it takes into account the surface area occupied or transformed without any further characterization.

21st World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS)

Baitz : based on the method proposed by Baitz and further developed by Bos and Wittstock. This method describes the impacts related to land occupation and transformation using an inventory of seven indicators:.


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All indicators are calculated as elementary flows and until now, the different indicators cannot be combined or weighted at the midpoint level. SOM is qualified as a keystone soil quality indicator, especially for assessing the impact on the fertile land use.

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It influences properties like buffer capacity, soil structure and fertility. Evaluation of change in one indicator is interrelated to changes in other indicators: the loss of organic matter reduces soil fertility and degrades soil structure. Based in this, the LCA practitioners are expected to calculate the characterisation factor for the foreground system. The scientific criteria used in the ILCD Handbook are: completeness of scope, environmental relevance, scientific robustness and certainty, transparency, reproducibility and applicability.

Degree of stakeholder acceptance and suitability for communication in a business and policy contexts has been also evaluated. Each criterion has been specified through a number of sub criteria. Occupation process refers to the use of a land for a certain purpose, assuming no intended transformation of the land properties during this use.

In contrast, a transformation process implies the change quality of a land area according to the requirements of a given new type of occupation process. SOM is the indicator for quality definition of a land, but this methodology is easily adjustable to express impact of land occupation and transformation using different quality indicators.

ISBN 13: 9781439800737

The authors provide also considerations about the reference to measure occupation and transformation impact differentiating between attributional and consequential LCA studies. Thus the adequate reference situation for attributional LCA studies is natural relaxation natural recover of the land quality. On the other hand, if the study aims at evaluating the consequences of changes in land use consequential LCA , only the changes in land use impacts directly due to the studied system respect an alternative system are considered. Therefore the alternative system becomes the reference. This reference situation should be derived from statistical time series for land use [ 39 ].

The PE-Gabi database includes several land quality parameters as inventory flows based on this approach. Quality alteration is defined to be the change in quantifiable land characteristics.

3. Hydrogen and Biofuel Production; Design Process

Transformation [m 2 ] is the irreversibly affected area of a land use [ 41 ]. To represent land quality and their calculation some of the parameters proposed by Baitz are used:. Erosion resistance : input data required are soil texture, declination, summer precipitation, type of land use, skeletal content humus content, kind of surface.

Mechanical filtration: inputs needed are soil texture, distance surface to groundwater. Physicochemical filtration: for its calculation the effective cation exchange capacity and the type of land use are needed. Ground water replenishment: input data required are soil texture, type of land use, precipitation, evapotranspiration, distance surface to groundwater and declination.

Biotic production: depends on declination, spoil texture, skeleton content, nutrient supply, water supply, mean annual temperature and erosion sensibility. Figure 2 shows a possible quality alteration due to a defined land use: starting at a quality A in t1, an hypothetic land use change leads to a quality deterioration represented by the situation B in t2.

During use, it is assumed, that the quality is constant.

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Perennial Forages as Second Generation Bioenergy Crops

After the end of the use, the land quality can recover until reaching the situation C in t3. After the use the land is able to increase its quality via renaturation or succession from B to C. Accordingly C displays the land quality after regeneration and is thus the reference situation for the calculation of occupation.

Transformation is the quality difference of the land after use C and before the use A. These quality values are inventory flows for the Life Cycle Assessment. For instance differentiations between land use types such as conventional and organic farming are not possible yet. The intent is to propose an innovative agronomic solution that may affect the energy and the GHG emission balance in order to achieve a high level of sustainability in the oilseeds production.

As previously discussed in paragraph 2. To set up an agronomic proposal in compliance with the project objectives and the current needs of sustainability in this field, the authors studied a feedstock sustainable production plan facing the issues which follow:. The agronomic issues listed above were faced and for each of them the authors proposed a solution taking into account that the aim is to produce biodiesel, in Italy, and according to all the sustainability pillars.

For example, aproduction oriented definition establishes that a soil is considered marginal when the ratio of agricultural production to the inputs required to achieve that is low. The authors identified soils rendered marginal by nematode high pest pressure as a good candidate for sustainable production of feedstock for biodiesel market. Using these lands to grow energy crops, even though the lands are less productive, can provide some additional environmental benefits, including restoration of degraded land and carbon sequestration.

To face the ethical and economic problem of using edible crops for biodiesel production purposes, the authors made a selection of the most promising crops to be introduced in the Mediterranean zone among the non-edible ones, taking into account that currently the Mediterranean basin comprises also slightly-arid lands [ 1 ].

A promising non-edible energy crop seems to be the tobacco Nicotiana tabacum , which currently exists both in the non-GMO and GMO version for improved oilseed yield and resistance factors against herbicides and insects [ 44 ]. In addition, from the climatic point of view its taproot system, widely branched, make it able to survive also in arid condition with limited water needing. Considering all these characteristics, its high oil yield makes it very competitive in front of mainstream oil crops as rapeseed, sunflower and soybean. The remaining meal revealed to be relevant for combustion or to be used as a protein source for livestock.

In addition, the presence of consolidate agricultural practices and know-how make clear the advantage of using a well-known species as tobacco as alternative feedstock for biodiesel. The large biodiversity of Brassicaceae reveal incipient species, among which Brassica juncea and Brassica carinata.

NC_old1178: Impacts of Crop Residue Removal for Biofuel on Soils

Besides the potential as raw material for biodiesel, their high content of glucosinolates GSL make them able to recover soils made marginal by soil-borne pests as nematodes e. Many researchers also report weed-suppressive effects of Brassicaceae [ 48 , 49 ] as well as filtering-buffering effects against heavy metals pollution [ 50 ]. Considering the characteristics of tobacco, about high adaptability to hard pedo-climatic conditions, the authors tested the possibility to produce tobacco oilseeds for the biodiesel market on marginal soils.

According to a sustainable agriculture approach, the harvest should be achieved in full compliance and in an attempt to restore the soil quality. The authors set up a crop rotation between a cover crop with naturally biocidal effects B. The cultivation and green manuring of the Brassicaceae is expected to improve soil quality, providing soil pest control and organic matter to land. This crop rotation would substitute chemical approaches with highly toxic products e. Thanks to this practice the soil could be rapidly good enough to produce oilseeds with satisfying yields for industrial destination.

Furthermore a reduction in inputs of fertilizers is also expected due to preservation of organic matter content of soil. This practice offers the possibility to rescue soils availability for food production. Indeed, after some cycles of this rotation, the pest control and the progressive increase of organic matter should make the soil eligible again for quality productions. Besides the energetic and economic point of view, conventional tillage is reported to have negative long term influence on soil quality.

In relation to some B. Considering the crop rotation between a Brassicaceae B. For the Brassicaceae, as pre-sowing land operation, the authors choose to apply only one low input tillage technique among those suggested by published official local specifications for integrated production. At Brassicaceae flowering time, the green manuring of this crop was tested to evaluate the possibility of exploiting this operation to also prepare the soil surface for successive transplant of tobacco plantlets. Soil born pest, and nematode in particular, are the main issues of marginal soils chosen for the agronomic system to be tested by the authors.

Nematodes are worm-like invertebrates known since a long time but the development of plant protection products effective against these parasites is still a challenge of research and development for agrochemical industries. From one side the agrochemicals dedicate low budget for this field of research compared to other sectors such as insecticides and fungicides, but from the other side, researchers have to face some hot pointspeculiar to nematicides development which can be summarized as follow [ 52 ]:.

For all these reasons, nematicides have tended to be broad-spectrum toxicants possessing high volatility, resulting in highly toxic compounds for the environment e. Some selectivity improvement is being achieved by using agrochemicals with a less wide spectrum, for example fungicides against nematodes but anyway currently the management of plant-parasitic nematodes through alternative strategies seems to become more and more pressing. Among the non-chemical alternatives, biofumigation and solarization are outstanding, and so are crop rotation, use of resistant varieties, and grafting, which are effective means of control when included in an integrated crop management system.

According to this school of thought, the authors tested the possibility to halt the marginalization of contaminated soils introducing a crop rotation system between a Brassicaceae, able to fight nematodes and improving soil organic matter at the same time, and a promising oilseeds non-edible crop, the tobacco plant.

Soil fertility can be improved by managing nutrient stocks and flows. A range of intervention strategies are available to farmers. Land users tend to purchase and use fertilizer nutrients in areas with good market access and higher agricultural potential. Combining manures with inorganic fertilizers can result in significant synergy and increased nutrient and water use efficiencies [ 53 ]. The authors decided to exploit the green manure as partial source of nutrients, complementing the nutrient needs of the successive oilseeds crop with organic poultry manure.

This characteristic depends on the peculiarities of crops involved in the crop rotation and it is in favour of a sustainable agronomic management.

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Indeed, the Brassicaceae take advantage of the water naturally supplied by the winter season of growing, while the tobacco plant due to itstaproot system, widely branched, is able to survive also in arid condition with limited water needing. The authors tested the production supplying only emergency irrigation for the tobacco crop. After two years of experimentation, the author decided to maintain two of these locations, in order to concentrate the attention on the most representative sites [1] -.

Experimental design was thought to produce oilseeds from N. For the third year of experimentation, the authors decided to dedicate more land to the tobacco, limiting the space available for the traditional oilseed crops. They chose to compare tobacco only with soybean, since physic-chemical characteristics of its oil is the most comparable. Each field was divided into two parts and the Brassicaceae B.

Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science) Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science)
Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science) Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science)
Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science) Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science)
Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science) Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science)
Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science) Soil Quality and Biofuel Production (Advances in Soil Science)

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