|Abstract in English:|
The CRA-ING took part to the Cynara cardunculus harvesting tests organized in Spain in 2007, where UPM has experimental cultivations in the Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario (IMIDRA) de la Consejería de Economía y Innovación Tecnológica de la Comunidad de Madrid in El Encìn, near Alcalà De Henarez. The harvesting tests were carried out in week 33 (August 13th-17th); the cultivation was found part in good condition of maturity, part still not ready for harvesting. The test was carried out on the dried part of the crops. The tests aimed at evaluating a new mechanical equipment (head) working connected to a self-propelled combine for separated harvesting of the different fractions obtainable by the cultivation assigned to different transformation: oil extraction from seeds and energy production from epigeous biomass combustion. During the tests carried out in 2006 in Portugal and Spain, it was observed how a combine harvester with a maize head was able to separate the seed with good accuracy. Likewise the difficulty of collecting the lignocellulosic fraction after its passage was highlighted. A combine with a wheat head could cut the stalk in an appropriate height range, but could not separate the head from the stalk. A sunflower head cut the capitula, but not the stalk. The project concept, supplied to a Firm that already builds heads for maize, wheat, sunflowers, soybean and so on, included the upper devices of a maize head and a classic wheat head (without the paddle wheel) in the lower part, to obtain capitula detachment and effective threshing and, at the same time, the stalk cut. Some modifications were specified to allow the cut of the stalk next to the ground and its successive tier in the space between the front wheels, where the discharge system of the threshing device would then provide to drop the remains of the capitula threshing. The basic concept of the machine, to separate and thresh the capitula and to drop in windrow the biomass and then pick it up with a baler with a minimum soil presence, was proved to be feasible. The effective working capacity was good, so the costs should be sustainable; the machine, after the field set up and fine tuning, worked at 0,9 m/s speed, harvesting 1,57 ha in 1 hour.