© Johnathan J. Stegeman and Tom Hilton/SINCFlowers of a Brassica plant. Brassica offers a greater production of biomass per hectare and has a lesser environmental impact than flax.
Surplus biomass from the production of flax shives, and generated from Brassica carinata
, a yellow-flowered plant related to those which engulf fields in spring, can be used to produce bioethanol. This has been suggested by two studies carried out by Spanish and Dutch researchers and published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
"These studies evaluate, from an environmental point of view, the production of bioethanol from two, as yet unexploited sources of biomass: agricultural residue from flax (for the production of paper fibres for animal bedding), and Brassica carinata
crops (herbaceous plant with yellow flowers, similar to those which carpet the countryside in spring)," Sara González-García, researcher of the Bioprocesses and Environmental Engineering Group of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), said.
González-García, along with other researchers from USC, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Leiden (Holland), has confirmed that if bioethanol is produced from these two types of biomass "both CO2 emissions and fossil fuel consumption will be reduced, meeting two of the objectives established by the European Union to promote biofuels."