New EU project will investigate biomass potential of growers' prunings

A European Union project has been launched to investigate the viability of turning fruit and vine prunings into biomass for fuel.

A pruned vine. Most prunings are left to decompose or are burnt on-site. Image: Flickr/daBinsi
A pruned vine. Most prunings are left to decompose or are burnt on-site. Image: Flickr/daBinsi

The EuroPruning project will develop new machinery for harvesting and treating prunings from the field, provide solutions for cost-effective storage options, and develop a decision-support tool to improve logistics from farm to final user. With a budget of  €4.6 million, it will will run until July 2016.

EU growers currently creates more than 25 million tonnes of woody prunings.

According to project co-ordinator Fernando Sebastián of Spain's Research Center for Energy Resources and Consumption (CIRCE): "The mobilisation of available pruning residues could generate more than 30,000 jobs in Europe, bringing social and economic benefits to rural communities by diversifying their economies."

The project consortium consists of 17 members from Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and Belgium. Three pilot installations have also been planned in Zaragoza, Spain; Potsdam, Germany; and Bordeaux, France.

A project website - www.EuroPruning.eu - will go live next month.


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