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Influences of nitrogen fertilization and harvest time on combustion quality of four perennial grasses in a semi-arid Mediterranean climate

Nazli, Recep Irfan, Tansi, Veyis
Industrial crops and products 2019 v.128 pp. 239-247
Arundo donax, Mediterranean climate, Miscanthus, Panicum virgatum, Phalaris canariensis, autumn, biomass production, calcium, combustion, energy crops, fertilizer rates, grasses, growing season, harvest date, lignin content, magnesium, mineral content, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, perennials, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sulfur, winter, Turkey (country)
In order to develop sustainable biomass production, bioenergy crops should have both high biomass productivity and good combustion quality. In this study, we investigated the effects of different N fertilization rates (0, 100, 150, and 200 kg ha–¹y–¹) and harvest times (autumn and winter) on the chemical compositions of 4 promising bioenergy crops (miscanthus, switchgrass, giant reed, and bulbous canary grass) in southern Turkey, over 3 growing seasons. All of the crops tested in the study showed a positive response to N fertilization. However, N fertilization significantly decreased the Si content in all of crops. Moreover, in miscanthus, switchgrass, and bulbous canary grass, the lignin content was considerably increased by 100 kg N ha–¹y–¹, while additional N fertilizer rates did not cause any further significant increases in the lignin content. On the other hand, the winter harvest significantly reduced all of the mineral contents (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, and Si) in miscanthus, switchgrass, and giant reed, while the opposite trend was observed for bulbous canary grass. Our results may indicate that miscanthus had a better combustion quality than the other crops because it generally had the lowest mineral contents and highest Ca/K and Si/K ratios.