The EuroPruning project has now closed. More information on its final results can be found at the EuroPruning website. Information about EuroPruning's Policy Implications can be found in the EuroPruning Policy Recommendations, and the article on EuroPruning's Final Event.
The European Union currently creates more than 25 million tonnes of agricultural wood prunings each year, but only a marginal percentage is used as solid biofuel. The EuroPruning project seeks to turn prunings into a valuable fuel source by developing solutions for their collection, transportation and storage to create growth in the European biofuels market.
Horticultural pruning by-products are an essentially unexploited biomass resource. In order to modify this, new logistics need to be developed to make the collection and use of prunings economically, technically and environmentally sound. The mobilisation of available pruning residues could generate more than 30,000 jobs in Europe, bringing social and economic benefits to rural communities by diversifying their economies.
EuroPruning developed new machinery for harvesting and treating prunings from the field, investigated solutions for cost-effective storage options, and developed a decision-support tool for improving logistics from farm to final user. EuroPruning monitored the value chain in terms of economic performance, biomass quality, sustainability, and conservation of soil properties. Demonstrations of the identified value chains for Mediterranean, Oceanic and Continental climates were held in Spain, France and Germany to show their feasibility and to evaluate the performance of the project results.