The European Union aims to provide as much as one quarter of its transportation fuels via biofuels derived from renewable sources by 2030. To put this into perspective, the Italian government has recently established an ambitious goal to support the wider uptake of advanced second-generation biofuels, including cellulosic biofuels for the transportation sector. A sustainable way forward is to grow perennial biomass crops on marginal lands, however the nationwide availability of those lands for lignocellulosic feedstock production remains uncertain. We identify and evaluate the potential of marginal lands in Italy to produce sizeable amounts of biomass for sustainable cellulosic biofuel production while limiting land use conflicts and negative ecological impacts. We applied spatial multi-criteria decision analysis techniques in geographic information systems to ultimately generate spatially-explicit national land suitability and availability maps at a fine resolution (250-m). We selected a broad range of leading cellulosic biomass crops that includes poplar (Populus × canadensis Moench), willow (Salix alba Linnaeus), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia Linnaeus), giant reed (Arundo donax Linnaeus), and vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides Linnaeus). Based on marginality criteria, our results suggest that such biomass plantations of perennial grasses and short rotation trees may produce 3.1–27.4 billion liters of cellulosic ethanol per year from 462,265 to 2,811,064 million hectares of available marginal lands. This estimated production may fulfill 7.8–69.1% of Italy's current liquid transportation fuel consumption, constrained by the requirement that each modelled location be within 70 km of a potential cellulosic biorefinery. Collectively, this study provides the cornerstone of efforts to rationally meet Italy's need for renewable fuels in a sustainable low-carbon economy future.

Evaluating the potential of marginal lands available for sustainable cellulosic biofuel production in Italy / Sallustio, L.; Harfouche, A. L.; Salvati, L.; Marchetti, M.; Corona, P.. - In: SOCIO-ECONOMIC PLANNING SCIENCES. - ISSN 0038-0121. - 82:(2022). [10.1016/j.seps.2022.101309]

Evaluating the potential of marginal lands available for sustainable cellulosic biofuel production in Italy

Salvati L.;
2022

Abstract

The European Union aims to provide as much as one quarter of its transportation fuels via biofuels derived from renewable sources by 2030. To put this into perspective, the Italian government has recently established an ambitious goal to support the wider uptake of advanced second-generation biofuels, including cellulosic biofuels for the transportation sector. A sustainable way forward is to grow perennial biomass crops on marginal lands, however the nationwide availability of those lands for lignocellulosic feedstock production remains uncertain. We identify and evaluate the potential of marginal lands in Italy to produce sizeable amounts of biomass for sustainable cellulosic biofuel production while limiting land use conflicts and negative ecological impacts. We applied spatial multi-criteria decision analysis techniques in geographic information systems to ultimately generate spatially-explicit national land suitability and availability maps at a fine resolution (250-m). We selected a broad range of leading cellulosic biomass crops that includes poplar (Populus × canadensis Moench), willow (Salix alba Linnaeus), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia Linnaeus), giant reed (Arundo donax Linnaeus), and vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides Linnaeus). Based on marginality criteria, our results suggest that such biomass plantations of perennial grasses and short rotation trees may produce 3.1–27.4 billion liters of cellulosic ethanol per year from 462,265 to 2,811,064 million hectares of available marginal lands. This estimated production may fulfill 7.8–69.1% of Italy's current liquid transportation fuel consumption, constrained by the requirement that each modelled location be within 70 km of a potential cellulosic biorefinery. Collectively, this study provides the cornerstone of efforts to rationally meet Italy's need for renewable fuels in a sustainable low-carbon economy future.
2022
Cellulosic feedstocks; Environmental sustainability; Land availability; Perennial grasses; Renewable bioenergy; Short rotation trees
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Evaluating the potential of marginal lands available for sustainable cellulosic biofuel production in Italy / Sallustio, L.; Harfouche, A. L.; Salvati, L.; Marchetti, M.; Corona, P.. - In: SOCIO-ECONOMIC PLANNING SCIENCES. - ISSN 0038-0121. - 82:(2022). [10.1016/j.seps.2022.101309]
File allegati a questo prodotto
File Dimensione Formato  
Salvati_Evaluating-the-potential_2022.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (versione pubblicata con il layout dell'editore)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 9.09 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
9.09 MB Adobe PDF

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1674877
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 12
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 9
social impact