Miscanthus for Contaminated and Marginal Lands PLUS

The challenge-led MISCOMAR+ project will extend the evidence-base for Miscanthus as a leading perennial bioenergy crop for Marginal, Contaminated and industrially damaged Lands (MaCL) using interdisciplinary academic and industrial expertise with novel Miscanthus hybrids bred for climate change resilience.

The MISCOMAR+ consortium comprises Miscanthus breeders, agronomists, physiologists, soil scientists and biomass conversion engineers in the UK, France, Germany and Poland. Academics will work closely with SME partners to deliver 1) robust agronomies for crop establishment on challenging MaCL to enable intensive but sustainable biomass production, and 2) innovative biorefinery options for the circular bioeconomy.

Miscanthus on MaCL represents smart bioenergy because biomass is produced by the most sustainable means on land that is currently unsuitable for food production. Our approaches have the potential to improve land economic productivity and ecosystem services.

MISCOMAR+ builds on knowledge from FACCE SURPLUS calls 1 (MISCOMAR) and 2 (Supervalue) and combines the learnings from both projects to maximize valorization. MISCOMAR showed the potential of Miscanthus on MaCL, but also that knowledge gaps relating to establishment optimization need research.

Supervalue studied the recovery of elements from biomass ash in a small-scale biorefinery setting. In MISCOMAR+ we aim to de-risk crop establishment by developing innovative agronomies for MaCL.

The partners will also continue long term trials on MaCL and use the biomass in innovative biomass values chains i.e. 1) gasification with residue recovery and 2) ‘grass’ paper. Environmental, social, and economic sustainability of MISCOMAR+ value chains will be evaluated with standard LCA approaches using real data.

The expected overarching outcome from MISCOMAR+ is that Miscanthus biomass produced on MaCL can meet commercially attractive biomass yield levels and quality thresholds for conversion to specific bio-based products which can be used to replace non-renewable and less sustainable alternatives.

The MISCOMAR+ valorization plan benefits from consortium SME members Terravesta Ltd (TV), Novabiom (NB), TerrAffix Soil Solutions Ltd (TFSS), and Gießereitechnik Kühn (GTK) who will provide access to their extensive facilities and stakeholder end-user networks and events.

The academics will disseminate project successes through newsletters, a website, conferences, and popular media (e.g. radio interviews) to improve societal understanding of sustainable bioenergy and its multiple benefits.

MISCOMAR+ members will provide evidence for expert consultations by farming and industrial associations, environment groups and policy makers. MISCOMAR+ drives innovation for a number of new technologies at TRL 3-5, which can rapidly move to TRL 6-9 through our SME partners. Research translation from this project can deliver on most UNEP SDG’s, in particular 7, 8, 13 and 15.

Photo: Colourbox


Mrs Elaine Jensen
Aberystwyth University, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 1970 823136
Email: fft@aber.ac.uk

Project partners

  • Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas, Poland
  • Research and Innovation Centre Pro-Akademia, Poland
  • University of Hohenheim, Germany
  • French National Institute for Agricultural Research, France
  • Gießereitechnik Kühn, Germany
  • University of Nottingham, UK
  • Imperial College of London, UK
  • TerrAffix Soil Solutions Ltd, UK
  • Novabiom, France