Bioenergy and other High-Value Products to Enhance Soil Fertility and Mitigate Climate Change: The WOOD-UP Project on Woody Biomass Gasification in South-Tyrol
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WOOD-UP is an applied-research project that aims to produce expendable results, with an impact on key sectors (agriculture, energy, environment) of the economy of South-Tyrol (ST). Recent research findings has suggested that biochar, one of the gasification by-products, may represent a valuable resource, when used in agriculture as soil amendment. However, the characteristics of the biochar produced in ST are only partially known, and its ability to improve soil fertility is still unknown. Moreover, the woody biomass used is rich in secondary compounds, which could be used by the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry. These compounds could be extracted before the use of biomass for energy production, increasing the economic sustainability of the entire value chain. In this framework, the aims of this work were: 1. assess the state of the art of the gasification of woody biomass in ST; 2. physically and chemically characterize the biochar produced in ST; 3. study the effect of biochar application on the soil, through in vasu germination and phytotoxicity tests. © 2018 ETA-Florence Renewable Energies.