Demand for biomass and organic material from the agricultural and forestry industries is increasing throughout the world. At the same time, this is the number one basic material for organic carbon storage on land and in soil.
VITO has committed itself to the smart management of carbon, organic material and biomass via time-space modelling.
A need for carbon
Plants produce biomass aided by solar energy, carbon dioxide from the air and soil water; this is referred to carbon storage. Added to the above, 50% of organic material - this is what remains of living organisms - consists of carbon. Following degradation and reactions, this material seeps into the soil or water, meaning that soil is the main source of carbon stocks. Soil absorbs double the amount of carbon than vegetation or the atmosphere does, for example.
Because organic material is becoming less available throughout the world, environmental problems are presenting themselves that are impacting on soil fertility and as, such, on our food security. The stabilisation and reduction of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are being compromised as a result of the above too.
Points for consideration and solutions via models
VITO solves this problem via its spatial-dynamic computer models, which simulate the dynamics or organic matter where land use, land management and climate changes are concerned. We can create a soil-plant-air continuum of this nature for agricultural crops, deciduous woods and forests, pine woods and forests and bio-energy crops. We have also developed agri-meteorological models that map out current and future impact and risks, aided by various time series on precipitation, temperature and evaporation.
The European Union and the Flemish government commissioned VITO to implement projects relating to the sustainable production of biomass for bio-energy.
Customers and partners where we implemented this technology.