Infres sister Project: EuroPruning

About project

EuroPruning project aims to be the take-off for an extensive utilisation of the agricultural prunings for energy in Europe.

The overall objective of the project is to develop and demonstrate a, non existent, new logistic chain for the biomass from pruning residues.  The logistic chain includes the harvesting methods, the transport and the storage of the biomass, along all the chain the quality of the biomass, the cost effectiveness of the processes and the environmental concerns will be taking into account.

Project scope

The project concentrates on an almost unexploited source of biomass resources obtained from the agrarian ecosystems of permanent crops: fruit trees, vineyards and olive grove. This source of biomass consists of the prunings that yearly are produced in the permanent crops and the branches (or stems) from up-rooted plantations.

Even though most of the agricultural surface in Europe corresponds to herbaceous crops (about 60%), permanent crops (which only represent about 6%) could contribute to the diversification of the biomass feedstock in Europe with a similar potential to those still available from the annual herbaceous crops.

In contrast to herbaceous, logistics of agricultural prunings are undeveloped. Wherever the agricultural prunings are utilised, the methods are rudimentary or not optimised. Obtaining biomass from permanent crop plantations imply several barriers, like the small size of plantations scattered in the territory, the slopes, the different plantation frames (width between rows) and the limitation in height for the machinery.

An effective utilisation of prunings as feedstock require the development of new machinery, tools and logistic concepts capable to overcome the specific barriers of this feedstock.

How to achieve it?

EuroPruning concentrates in:

- The development of two new prototypes for the optimization of pruning harvesting

- The improvement of biomass storage in open air condition and biomass handling along the whole chain

- The development of a smart system for decision making: integration of hub location, best route and quality (including a biomass traceability system).

These developments will be intensively demonstrated in three pilot-scale real operation demonstrations sited in three different European bio-geographical regions: Aragón (Spain), Bordeaux (France) and Potsdam (Germany). Biomass quality will be traced along the whole chain, involving local co-operatives, transport/logistic companies and final consumers.

Environmental, economic and social impacts will be assessed, and best logistic chains will be determined. The work will be accompanied with a follow-up of the impact of pruning withdrawal on soil dynamics. Impacts on carbon content, soil structure, nitrate leaching and emission of greenhouse gases will be determined.

Main project results

- novel prototypes covering the current gap of machinery

- open air storage know-how and expert guide for farmers and logistic actors

- smart toolbox and centralised system able to determine best route ensuring quality demanded by final user

- sustainable potentials for the use of agricultural prunings in Europe and user handbook for farmers on the best use of prunings (organic amendment or energy feedstock)

- best logistic paths for the supply of agricultural prunings (including economic, social, environmental and logistic implications)

- benchmarking of pruning collection methods and best practices for the handling of this feedstock

- feasibility of the machinery, performance and feasibility of utilisation of agricultural prunings as biomass feedstock through three demosntrations in Europe





CIRCE (Spain)

Fernando Sebastián Nogués – Coordinator

Daniel García Galindo – Technical coordinator

Phone: +34 976 762 573