Production and quality of biomass fuels from mechanized collection and processing of vineyard pruning residues.
Spinelli, R.; Nati, C., Pari, L.; Mescalchin, E.; Magagnotti, N.
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|Abstract in English:|
Vineyards cover about eight millions of hectares worldwide and their annual pruning generates a large
amount of ligno-cellulosic biomass, potentially available for industrial and energy use. Commercial pruning
residue harvesters are now available, which may allow cost-effective recovery. The study aimed at
determining the quantity and the quality of pruning residues potentially derived from vineyard management.
Data were obtained from 17 fields in Northern and Central Italy. Fields were harvested with seven
different machines. The experimental design adapted to the necessities of field trials, but was adequate
for testing the main sources of variability. Net residue yield varies around 1 oven dry tonne per hectare,
with minor differences between grape varietals and harvesting technologies. Losses are still high, and are
generally related to ineffective management techniques. Moisture content at harvest varies between 40%
and 45%, whereas the higher heating value is slightly lower than that of forest fuels. Comminuted vineyard
residues are unsuitable for firing residential boilers, due to the frequent presence of oversize and/or
undersize particles. The application of pesticides does not result in any significant contamination with
noxious chemicals, because these products are almost completely weathered before residues are recovered.
In wine-producing regions, the recovery of vineyard pruning residue may represent a substantial
source of industrial bio-fuel.