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LIFE ECOCITRIC - Citric Waste Integrated Management

LIFE13 ENV/ES/000889


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Noelia MARTINEZ
Email: nmartinez@lavallduixo.es



Project description:

Background

Currently, there is no proper management of waste from the pruning of citrus trees. The most prevalent method remains the burning of the pruned material directly in the field. However, this poses environment risks and challenges associated with the emission of greenhouse gases, the impact on soil fertility, desertification, pollution of surface waters and the increased risk of fire spreading.

In Spain, 311 584 hectares of citrus crops are cultivated. The main areas of production are in the regions of Valencia (177 157 ha) and Murcia. In Valencia, burning is the main waste management technique for the pruning waste in around 30% of the cultivated area, amounting to more than 53 000 ha.

The project area is in the municipality of La Vall d'Uixo, a traditional citrus area with characteristics that are also common in many other citrus-growing areas of Europe, and even the world. Around 1 250 hectares of citrus trees are cultivated in the municipality.


Objectives

The LIFE ECOCITRIC project aims to demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental viability of a new system for exploiting agricultural waste from the pruning of citrus trees. It seeks to promote the sustainable management of agricultural waste and provide environmental and economic benefits for the citrus fruit industry.

The process proposed by the project will divide the treatment of the pruning waste into two distinct stages: one for the leaves; and another for the wood. This will be demonstrated through the development and operation of a pilot treatment plant in the territory of La Vall d'Uixó.

The plant will treat the citrus-tree leaves through a series of chemical and physical processes - including distillation and hydrolysis - to obtain essential oils, fertiliser and animal feed. It will process the wood to produce pellets to be used as fuel and animal bedding. All these products will then be commercialised.

In addition, the project will carry out an assessment of the agricultural practices on the local citrus fruit farm. This information will be used in the implementation of the project and also to help in developing better ways to manage the agricultural land in the municipality.

Expected results:

  • Development and operation of a pilot plant with a capacity to treat one tonne of pruning waste per day;
  • Treatment of a total of 100 tonnes of pruning waste during the project, amounting to 2.1% of the total produced in the municipality;
  • Effective exploitation of pruning waste to produce high-value-added products for different markets - in particular: essential oils, fertilisers, animal feed and wood pellets;
  • Demonstration that the process is environmentally friendly, economically feasible and easily transferable to other fruit producing areas in the EU;
  • A reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases, compared to incineration in the field;
  • A more competitive citrus fruit industry;
  • Data to support the potential development of stricter policies and laws for the sustainable management of agricultural waste.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Environmental management - Eco-products design
Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Waste - Agricultural waste
Waste - Waste use


Keywords

emission reduction‚  greenhouse gas‚  horticulture‚  agricultural waste


Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator AYUNTAMIENTO DE LA VALL D'UIXO
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The project is led by the Economic Development and Employee Department of the local authority of La Vall d’Uixo. This municipality is located in the province of Valencia, Spain, 6km from the Mediterranean coast.
Partners FUEJI(FUNDACION UNIVERSITAT JAUME I-EMPRESA), Spain HELIOTEC(HELIOTEC 2006 S.L), Spain GVERMON(SERVICIOS Y DESARROLLOS GRUPO VERMON S.L.), Spain AVA-ASAJA(ASOCIACIÓN VALENCIANA DE AGRICULTORES), Spain

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Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/000889
Duration 01-JUN-2014 to 30-NOV -2016
Total budget 1,423,231.00 €
EU contribution 711,615.00 €
Project location Comunidad Valenciana(España)

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version