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OPTUS, Optimised use of Salix

Salix is a fast growing crop with high biomass production.
The aim of the project is to study alternative uses of biomass from salix, e.g. as a raw material for the production of biofuels and of new biochemicals.

In order to understand the possibility of using salix as a raw material in different processes, we need to study the entire cultivation system of salix, including both above and below ground processes. Salix clones will be investigated for the chemical composition and ultrastructure of the wood, and in laboratory tests the clones' ability to be converted to biofuels and chemicals will be evaluated. We also study the biodiversity for various salix clones as well as the potential to improve carbon binding in the soil. All information will be used in life cycle analyzes to quantify the environmental impact and investigate the economic potential of various system solutions. Commercially available salix clones and a population of Salix viral individuals with each clone characterized by a large number of genetic markers will be used. The relationship between wood characteristics and markers will map the genetic background of the wood characteristics and identify gene variants that are important for phenotypic variation and correlate these gene and phenotypic variants to a specific end product. The results of the project will provide tools for a diversified product development of Salix for eg. biodiesel, biogas and valuable chemicals.


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5 years



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