New insights from the Biokenaf Project
AuthorAlexopoulou, E.; Cosentino, S. L.; Danalatos, N.; Picco, D.; Lips, S.; van den Berg, D.; Fernando, A. L.; Monti, A.; Tenorio, J. L.; Kipriotis, E.; Cadoux, S.; Cook, S.
This chapter summarizes the most important achievements of the European research project entitled "BIOKENAF-Biomass Production Chain and Growth Simulation Model for Kenaf" (www.cres.gr/biokenaf) that carried out for 2003-2007. The overall objective of the BIOKENAF project was to introduce and evaluate kenaf as a non-food crop through an integrated approach for alternative land use in South EU that will provide diversified opportunities for farmers and biological materials for the "bio-based industries" of the future. Several fields' trials were carried out in South EU aiming to identify the appropriate crop management for yields maximization (sowing dates, plant densities, best varieties, irrigation and fertilization needs, harvesting time). A dynamic crop-growth simulation model was developed to produce quantitative estimates of the yielding potential of kenaf at regional level. The model was based on the detailed crop data that were collected from the field trials and were included in photosynthetic capacity, respiratory losses, phenology, dry matter distribution, and data on leaf area. The appropriate harvesting time for south EU countries that ensure the highest possible yields with the lowest possible moisture content investigated as well as best storage method in order to the minimum losses in the quality and quantity of the feedstock to be achieved. The suitability of kenaf for both selected industrial products (composites, building materials, nonwovens, paper, and board and absorption particles) and for thermo-chemical energy applications (combustion, gasification, and pyrolysis) was investigated. Following an environmental/economic assessment and market studies insight in the feasibility of kenaf for industrial and energy applications was provided that was used not only for comparison of the crop with other conventional crops with similar cultural practices but also for the development of scenarios for alternative land use and diversified opportunities for farmers in order to produce industrial bio-products that will supply the "bio-based industries" of the future. © Springer-Verlag London 2013.