At the BLC3 Campus of Technology and Innovation in Oliveira do Hospital, a project to use the waste from pruning vines and fruit trees to produce advanced biofuel is being developed. The BLC3 association “is developing a circular economy project in the agricultural sector, where it aims to use the waste from agricultural activities, such as pruning waste from olive trees, vines and other fruit trees” to “produce advanced biofuel”. This was a statement of the president of the BLC3 Technology and Innovation Campus, João Nunes.
Production will be conducted “in an efficient way and with carbon emission levels much lower than from fossils”, João Nunes highlighted. The advanced biofuel produced by this method is “similar and equivalent to agricultural diesel”. “Agriculture is very important for the economy, and if we can integrate the efficient use of resources, it has a potential for growth, in terms of competitiveness.”
Portugal has 3.6 million hectares of agriculture (39.5% of the total land area), with more than 360,000 farms, which represents an average of 10 hectares per farm. With this average farm size, the sector is naturally not very competitive in terms of scale and this has an impact on the use of resources and carbon emissions.
Around 360,000 hectares of the land area are olive groves, while 178,000 hectares are vineyards and 45,000 are used for producing fresh fruit. João Nunes said these generate a high amount of biomass waste and explained that this could amount to about one million tons of waste annually in these sectors alone.