Miscanthus for Contaminated and Marginal Lands PLUS
|Topic:||Bioeconomy, Sustainable Energy, Circular and Low-Carbon Industry|
|Scope of the project - Country:||, ,|
About the project
The challenge-led MISCOMAR+ project extended the evidence-base for Miscanthus as a leading perennial bioenergy crop for Marginal, Contaminated and industrially damaged Lands (MaCL) using interdisciplinary academic and industrial expertise with novel Miscanthus hybrids bred for climate change resilience.
The MISCOMAR+ consortium comprised Miscanthus breeders, agronomists, physiologists, soil scientists and biomass conversion engineers in the UK, France, Germany and Poland. Academics worked closely with SME partners to deliver 1) robust agronomies for crop establishment on challenging MaCL to enable intensive but sustainable biomass production, and 2) innovative bioreﬁnery options for the circular bioeconomy.
Miscanthus on MaCL represents smart bioenergy because biomass is produced by the most sustainable means on land that is currently unsuitable for food production. Our approaches have the potential to improve land economic productivity and ecosystem services.
MISCOMAR+ builds on knowledge from FACCE SURPLUS calls 1 (MISCOMAR) and 2 (Supervalue, led by RIC Pro-Akademia) and combines the learnings from both projects to maximize valorization. MISCOMAR showed the potential of Miscanthus on MaCL, but also that knowledge gaps relating to establishment optimization need research. Supervalue studied the recovery of elements from biomass ash in a small-scale bioreﬁnery setting. In MISCOMAR+ we aimed to de-risk crop establishment by developing innovative agronomies for MaCL.
The partners also continued long term trials on MaCL and use the biomass in innovative biomass values chains i.e. 1) gasiﬁcation with residue recovery and 2) ‘grass’ paper. Environmental, social, and economic sustainability of MISCOMAR+ value chains were evaluated with standard LCA approaches using real data.
The overarching outcome from MISCOMAR+ is that Miscanthus biomass produced on MaCL can meet commercially attractive biomass yield levels and quality thresholds for conversion to speciﬁc bio-based products which can be used to replace non-renewable and less sustainable alternatives.
The MISCOMAR+ valorization plan beneﬁts from consortium SME members Terravesta Ltd (TV), TerrAﬃx Soil Solutions Ltd (TFSS), and Gießereitechnik Kühn (GTK) who provided access to their extensive facilities and stakeholder end-user networks and events.
The academics disseminated project successes through newsletters, a website, conferences, and popular media (e.g. radio interviews) to improve societal understanding of sustainable bioenergy and its multiple beneﬁts.
MISCOMAR+ members provided evidence for expert consultations by farming and industrial associations, environment groups and policy makers. MISCOMAR+ drove innovation for a number of new technologies at TRL 3-5, which can rapidly move to TRL 6-9 through our SME partners. Research translation from this project delivered on most UNEP SDG’s, in particular 7, 8, 13 and 15.