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Sorghum Biomass Production for Energy Purpose Using Treated Urban Wastewater and Different Fertilization in a Mediterranean Environment

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  • Carmelo Maucieri

    () (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania, Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania, Italy
    Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment—DAFNAE, University of Padua, Agripolis Campus, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy)

  • Valeria Cavallaro

    () (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche-Istituto per la Valorizzazione del Legno e delle Specie Arboree (IVALSA), Via Gaifami 18, 95123 Catania, Italy)

  • Caterina Caruso

    () (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania, Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania, Italy
    Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment—DAFNAE, University of Padua, Agripolis Campus, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy)

  • Maurizio Borin

    () (Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment—DAFNAE, University of Padua, Agripolis Campus, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy)

  • Mirco Milani

    () (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania, Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania, Italy)

  • Antonio C. Barbera

    () (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania, Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania, Italy)

Abstract

With the aim at enhancing the sustainability of biomass production in the Mediterranean area, this paper analyzes, for the first time, the production of sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) biomass for bioenergy production using urban treated wastewaters and bio-fertilization. For this purpose, the effects on biomass production of three different fertilizations (no-nitrogen control, biofertilizer, and mineral ammonium nitrate), four levels of constructed wetland (CW) wastewater restitutions (0%, 33%, 66% and 100%) of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) and three harvesting dates (at full plant maturity, at the initial senescence stage, and at the post-senescence stage) were evaluated in a two year trial. For bio-fertilization, a commercial product based on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi was used. Mineral nitrogen (N) fertilization significantly increased dry biomass (+22.8% in the first year and +16.8% in the second year) compared to the control (95.9 and 188.2 g·plant −1 , respectively). The lowest and highest biomass production, in 2008 and 2009, was found at 0% (67.1 and 118.2 g·plant −1 ) and 100% (139.2 and 297.4 g·plant −1 ) ETc restitutions. In both years, the first harvest gave the highest biomass yield (124.3 g·plant −1 in the first year and 321.3 g·plant −1 in the second), followed by the second and the third one. The results showed that in Mediterranean areas, constructed wetlands treated wastewaters, when complying with the European restrictions for their use in agriculture, may represent an important tool to enhance and stabilize the biomass of energy crops by recycling scarce quality water and nutrients otherwise lost in the environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Carmelo Maucieri & Valeria Cavallaro & Caterina Caruso & Maurizio Borin & Mirco Milani & Antonio C. Barbera, 2016. "Sorghum Biomass Production for Energy Purpose Using Treated Urban Wastewater and Different Fertilization in a Mediterranean Environment," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-15, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:6:y:2016:i:4:p:67-:d:85785
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pedrero, Francisco & Kalavrouziotis, Ioannis & Alarcón, Juan José & Koukoulakis, Prodromos & Asano, Takashi, 2010. "Use of treated municipal wastewater in irrigated agriculture--Review of some practices in Spain and Greece," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(9), pages 1233-1241, September.
    2. Ana Iglesias & Luis Garrote & Francisco Flores & Marta Moneo, 2007. "Challenges to Manage the Risk of Water Scarcity and Climate Change in the Mediterranean," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 21(5), pages 775-788, May.
    3. Cirelli, G.L. & Consoli, S. & Licciardello, F. & Aiello, R. & Giuffrida, F. & Leonardi, C., 2012. "Treated municipal wastewater reuse in vegetable production," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 163-170.
    4. Pereira, Luis Santos & Oweis, Theib & Zairi, Abdelaziz, 2002. "Irrigation management under water scarcity," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 175-206, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench; biomass production; constructed wetland; wastewater; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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