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Research Article

JCR. 2020; 7(9): 1185-1192


MANAGEMENT OF ENERGY PRODUCTION WITH THERMOCHEMICAL COMBUSTION: THE CASE OF SWITCHGRASS PERENNIAL CROP IN MEDITERRANEAN ENVIRONMENT

Dario Siggia, Maria Valentina Lasorella, Ashutosh Kolte, Avinash Pawar.

Abstract
The effects of soil texture (silty-clay vs. sandy-loam), irrigation (rainfed vs. 75 percent ET0), nitrogen fertilization (0, 50, 100 kg N ha-1) and variety (Alamo and Blackwell) on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) were investigated in two field trials in central Italy. Results stressed variety as the most significant factor influencing crop yield and quality of biomass. Besides, except for the year of creation, Alamo and Blackwell exceeded 30 and 15 (t ha-1) above ground dry yields, while Alamo tended to be less suitable for conversion to combustion than Blackwell. While some research contributions have deliberated the different yields in the Mediterranean climate of lowland and upland varieties, few studies have investigated the role of soil texture and alternative crop management practices on yield and quality switchgrass. Our analysis underlines how switchgrass achieved better yields under minimal conditions (i.e., sandy-loam soil and no supply of irrigation). Furthermore, while the correct crop management option, the crop yields increased mainly by irrigation and to a lesser extent by nitrogen fertilization (+ 30 percent) without any adverse impact on the quality of biomass. Nonetheless, more studies are required to examine the impact of external inputs on the environmental and economic sustainability of the switchgrass-based energy chains.

Key words: Energy Management, Irrigation, Nitrogen Fertilization, Variety, Ultimate Analysis, Proximate Analysis, Ash Composition.



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