Development of new lines of brassica carinata for energy production

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective of the work is to reduce the cost of bioenergetics crops cultivation. The sustainable supply and use of energy for transportation represents a real challenge. Terrestrial as well as aerial mobility are strong affected by petrol shortage. 84% of all petroleum extracted is processed as fuels, including gasoline, diesel, fuel oils and liquefied petroleum gas [1]. Burning oil releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere contributing to global warming. Consumption of oil is currently around 30 109barrels per year. The accepted estimation of oil reserves amount to 1200 109barrels [2]. At current consumption levels, world oil supply would be gone in about 40 years, around 2050. The growing social, economical and political interest for the development of alternative fuel sources is not only due to general concerns of sustainability but also related to human development and geopolitical stability. The possibility to obtain internal combustion liquid engine fuels starting from vegetable products represents an attractive challenge. Biodiesel as well as bioethanol can be mixed with fossil fuels in varying percentages, without changing physiochemical properties of the fuel. The manufacture of biofuel requires that suitable quantities of biomass be grown, harvested and transported to the conversion plant site. Many question must be studied in great detail to select the proper species or mixture of species for operation of the system. These questions concern such matters as growth cycle, fertilization, sun availability, temperature, precipitation, propagation and planting procedure, soil and water needs, harvesting methods, diseases resistance, growth area competition with food, feed and fiber, growth area availability, simultaneous or sequential growth of biomass for biofuel and foodstuff or other applications. In the ideal case, biomass chosen for energy application should be high-yield, low-cash-value species that have short growth cycles and that grow well in the area and climate chosen for biomass production. Fertilization requirement should be minimized. The species grown should have low water needs and be able to utilize efficiently available precipitation. For land-based biomass, the requirements should be such that the crops can grow well on low-grade soils and do not need the best classes of agriculture land.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553 - 554
Number of pages2
JournalItalian Journal of Agronomy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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