Evaluation of the characteristics of vineyard pruning residues for energy applications: effect of different copper-based treatments
AbstractThe role of biomass for increasing renewable energy sources mix is considered fundamental, despite some negative environmental impact of first-generation biofuels. The use of biomass obtained in a more sustainable way, as represented by agricultural wastes, should be favoured. The Mediterranean area and Italy in particular offer a large amount of vineyard pruning residues that can be converted into bioenergy. Since vineyards are exposed to treatments based on copper (Cu) and zinc, these metals last in wood residues during pruning and accumulate in the soil. In this study an evaluation of the concentrations of copper and other heavy metals in grapevine pruning wastes, when treated with common plant protection products, was carried out. The study was also extended to the soil, being potentially mixed to the biomass in the case of mechanical collection of pruning residues. The grapevine residues free of impurities that were collected during this study have typical values of copper in pruning wood, varying from 8.5 mg kg–1 when treated with low Cu product, to 19.2 mg kg–1 when treated with high Cu product. It was observed that contaminations during pruning with soil could increase the amount of copper in the residues. More in detail, every percentage point of soil that winds up on pruning residues involves an increase of 1 mg of Cu every kg of biomass. For this reason, we recommend the use of appropriate systems for the harvest of grapevine residues, particularly mechanical systems that avoid soil lifting. Moreover, we suggest the use of pruning residues preferably in large-scale power plants with appropriate emission filters instead of small-scale domestic boilers.
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Copyright (c) 2016 Daniele Duca, Giuseppe Toscano, Andrea Pizzi, Giorgio Rossini, Sara Fabrizi, Giulia Lucesoli, Andrea Servili, Valeria Mancini, Gianfranco Romanazzi, Chiara Mengarelli
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