Energy of biomass sorghum irrigated with reclaimed wastewaters
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
European journal of agronomy: official journal of the European Society for Agronomy. - Montrouge
, p. 176-185
University of Antwerp
The sustainability of biomass sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) in the Mediterranean environments is linked to the potential to increasing the crop productivity using irrigation water of different qualities: fresh and wastewater. An experiment was conducted in Southern Italy during 2012 and 2013 growing seasons to determine the biomass production and to estimate the yielded energy from sorghum irrigated with fresh water and municipal wastewaters. Two stages of wastewater reclamation process were compared: tertiary and secondary treatments. During the growing seasons, the crop growth (biomass and LAI) was surveyed on sorghum crops irrigated with three water qualities. In order to determine the effects of the irrigation water qualities on the final energy yielded, on the harvested biomass, structural components (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin contents for deriving the ethanol production) and high heating value were analyzed. The data obtained during two crop seasons showed that, sorghum irrigated with municipal wastewater plant produced more dry biomass (23.3 vs 20.3 t ha−1), energy yield (383 vs 335 GJ ha−1), and ethanol (6824 vs 6092 L ha−1) than sorghum biomass with fresh water. As a consequence, the water efficiency for producing bioenergy increased when the waste waters were supplied in substitution of fresh waters. Different indices were calculated for comparing the effect of the water quality on the water use efficiency (WUE) of biomass sorghum crops.