Sustainable biomass alternatives: Marginal land biomass and the engineering of holistic systems

John Corton, Sreenivas Ravella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Marginal land biomass, purpose grown or otherwise, encapsulates a range of species with diverse compositions. In this chapter processing options that lead to a variety of energy carriers are discussed with a focus on their application to biomass types with low levels of available carbohydrate (pre-processing). The growth of the green refinery model for conservation biomass may well be applicable to many feedstocks and this is examined with reference to the potential of integrating thermochemical and biological conversion routes into a unified process.

National/local requirements, legislative support and current technology readiness levels are likely to influence the choice of process technique for marginal land biomass which requires a holistic approach. Integrated processing may be route to optimisation and screening for high value products is a priority area. High value side streams offer economical support and therefore stability to commercial ventures that focus on low value energy carriers.

Marginal land derived biomass can potentially contribute substantially to the renewable energy effort if optimisation is implemented at all stages of the process and supply chain. It is likely that feasibility will depend upon creative processing to realise the potential.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWastelands
Subtitle of host publicationNew Paradigms in Sustainable Biomass Cropping Systems in Marginal Lands
EditorsEmiliano Maletta, Hans Langeveld, Maria Valentina Lasorella
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISBN (Print)9781498784498
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Sept 2016


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