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Publisher DOI: 10.3390/su15064923
Title: Using landfill sites and marginal lands for socio-economically sustainable biomass production through cultivation of non-food energy crops : an analysis focused on South Asia and Europe
Language: English
Authors: Shah, Tavseef Mairaj  
Khan, Anzar Hussain 
Nicholls, Cherisa 
Ihsanullah, Sohoo  
Otterpohl, Ralf 
Keywords: clean energy; ecosystem services; energy policy; non-food energy crops; soil regeneration; water-energy-agriculture nexus
Issue Date: 9-Mar-2023
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Source: Sustainability 15 (6): 4923 (2023)
Abstract (english): 
Food security and energy transition are among the current major global environmental challenges. Although these issues individually are significant in their own right, they are connected to each other in a nexus with different interrelationships and dependencies. In the quest for non-fossil alternatives for energy, cultivation of bioenergy crops has become an important part of the energy policy in many countries. In this regard, the use of fertile agricultural land for growing crops for energy production rather than for food supply affects the global food security. Recent conflicts and the geopolitical crisis in Europe, leading to increased food, fuel, and fertiliser prices, the existing climate crisis, and the crisis caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have further reinforced the understanding of this nexus, with certain countries mulling limiting biofuel production from agricultural land and others banning food grain exports to safeguard food supply. The idea of growing non-food energy crops on marginal lands in general and closed landfill sites in particular is hence ever more relevant, to avoid land-use concurrence between food needs and energy needs. Landfilling has been the dominant waste management strategy until recently in European countries and is still the dominant mode of waste management in low-income regions like South Asia. This paper provides a review of the economic as well as environmental benefits of growing Ricinus communis L., Jatropha curcas L., and Populus deltoides as energy crops on closed landfill sites in the South Asian context. While as the cultivation of Miscanthus X Giganteus, Silphium perfoliatum L., and Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass) is reviewed in the European context. The cultivation of non-food energy crops like these on closed landfill sites and marginal lands is presented as a potential component of an integrated food-energy policy, with an increased relevance in the current times. In the current times of multiple crises, this measure is of increasing relevance as a part of the overall strategy to achieve resilience and environmental sustainability.
DOI: 10.15480/882.4991
ISSN: 2071-1050
Journal: Sustainability 
Other Identifiers: doi: 10.3390/su15064923
Institute: Abwasserwirtschaft und Gewässerschutz B-2 
Document Type: Article
License: CC BY 4.0 (Attribution) CC BY 4.0 (Attribution)
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