Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 2479–2490 | Cite as

Assessment of energy potential from wetland plants along the minor channel network on an agricultural floodplain

  • Salvatore Eugenio PappalardoEmail author
  • Massimo Prosdocimi
  • Paolo Tarolli
  • Maurizio Borin
Wetland Systems: Ecology, Functions and Management


Renewable energy sources such as biomasses can play a pivotal role to ensure security of energy supply and reduce greenhouse gases through the substitution of fossil fuels. At present, bioenergy is mainly derived from cultivated crops that mirror the environmental impacts from the intensification of agricultural systems for food production. Instead, biomass from perennial herbaceous species growing in wetland ecosystems and marginal lands has recently aroused interest as bioenergy for electricity and heat, methane and 2nd-generation bioethanol. The aim of this paper is to assess, at local scale, the energy potential of wetland vegetation growing along the minor hydrographic network of a reclamation area in Northeast Italy, by performing energy scenarios for combustion, methane and 2nd-generation ethanol. The research is based on a cross-methodology that combines survey analyses in the field with a GIS-based approach: the former consists of direct measurements and biomass sampling, the latter of spatial analyses and scaling up simulations at the minor channel network level. Results highlight that biomass from riparian zones could represent a significant source of bioenergy for combustion transformation, turning the disposal problem to cut and store in situ wetland vegetation into an opportunity to produce sustainable renewable energy at local scale.


Bioenergy Biomass Wetland GIS Energy security Renewable resources 



This research was carried out with financial support of GRIMiCID project 2013–2015, within the Plan for the Rural Development (Piano per lo Sviluppo Rurale) of the Veneto Region. LiDAR data were provided by the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea (Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare), within the framework of the ‘Extraordinary Plan of Environmental Remote Sensing’ (Piano Straordinario di Telerilevamento Ambientale (PST-A)). The authors wish to acknowledge Ing. Giuseppe Gasparetto of the Reclamation Authority ‘Consorzio di Bonifica Adige Euganeo’ for supporting the research project. Special thanks go to Massimo Barbetta for facilitating field survey and for his willingness.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salvatore Eugenio Pappalardo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Massimo Prosdocimi
    • 2
  • Paolo Tarolli
    • 2
  • Maurizio Borin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padua-Agripolis CampusLegnaroItaly
  2. 2.Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (T.e.S.A.F.)University of Padua-Agripolis CampusLegnaroItaly

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