Lot de travaux du projet

The specific objectives (and hence WPs) described in section 1 are strongly interlinked. The project will be divided into 6 WPs, 4 technical WPs and 2 cross-cutting WPs, as described in Figure 3. Each technical WPs directly matches one of the specific project objectives listed in section 1.

Figure 3: NETFIB working structure and WP interrelations. The arrows indicate the relations between the WPs, where a thick arrow indicates a main flow interaction and a thin arrow indicates a feedback flow interaction.

Overview : WP1 is the basic feasibility study to determine whether nettle fibre from these marginal land coppices can be produced in sufficient volume and quality. Its findings are however affected by the outcomes of WP2 which may point to optimisations that will increase yield, and possibly quality. WP1 therefore needs to supply WP2 with both soil and plant materials, while WP2 will directly allow for improving nettle production at the INOVYN sites. WP3 determines if the nettle fibre produced has viable uses (i.e. markets), so its outcomes determine whether marginal land for nettle fibre production is a worthwhile thing to do. WP3’s work-flow is critically dependent on the provision of nettle biomass from WP1, and its findings on applications may have implications on how the agro-forestry system is managed and harvested. WP4 is a synthesis that seeks to identify how well this integrated NETFIB system can improve marginal land outcomes (in terms of sustainable remediation), and biofibre outcomes in terms of life cycle impacts. This provides an environmental and societal rationale to complement the economic rationale that emerges from the outcomes of WP1-3. Its work depends critically on a good transfer of knowledge from WP1-3 to WP4 about a wide range of environmental and economic performance issues, along with its own sampling of local stakeholder opinions. This sustainability picture may provide useful pointers to WP1 on how future agroforestry production for nettles should be managed, and arguments to improve the wider investment case for it.

WP1 (WP leader: INOVYN, FR). NETFIB partners propose to set up, improve and evaluate agro-forestry cropping systems aiming at lowering the impact of degradation, while maximizing ecosystem services, i.e. the production of the industrial plant nettle that naturally grow as companion plants in poplar-phytomanaged plantations. This objective will be addressed by using existing phytomanaged sites where nettle has naturally colonized the poplar plots at the ANR-funded project BIOFILTREE plots (one of them is located at Saint-Symphorien-sur-Saône owned by INOVYN (see Fig. 2, right). In addition, NETFIB partners will implement new field trials at four potential European locations (Fig. 4) where historical plantations (mostly poplars) have already been implemented as sound barriers, landfill capping, phytomanagement, biodiversity enhancement, during the last decades:

  • Saint-Symphorien-sur-Saône (France): former sediments decantation impoundment wit

  • Jemeppe-sur-Sambre (Belgium): landfill cover, green curtain

  • Tavazzano (Italy): landfill cover green wild area

  • Rheinberg (Germany): landfill cover, sound barrier

WP2 (WP leader: BOKU, AU). For optimizing agroforestry systems a better understanding of the interactions between poplar and nettle and the impact of the co-culture on soil quality indicators and soil microbial and entomofauna biodiversity is a key prerequisite. Based on that, recommendations for improving the agro-forestry practices by biological and/or organic soil amendments and the selection of best-performing nettle cultivars will be established. These activities will fully rely on the past research of the NETFIB partners UBFC-LCE (microbial diversity), UL (endophyte diversity), UCSC and BOKU (soil parameters) that have internationally recognition on that topic. Stefano AMADUCCI (UCSC) and Markus PUSCHENREITER (BOKU) have been involved as PI in several phytomanagement projects (Austrian FWF, FAIR, BBI, LIFE, FP7). They will complementary assess soil quality and functioning (UCSC & BOKU) as well as plant yield and physiology (UCSC) in both field and mesocosm experiments developed in common by the NETFIB partners.

WP3 (WP leader: HSB, DE). The special characteristics of the given SRC poplar plantations require an alternative approach in order to enable a sufficient and reliable harvest and gathering of the nettle biomass. This has to be carried out in direct relation to the specification of necessary primary processing strategies as well as targeted fields of application of resulting intermediates. NETFIB will concentrate on original applications and valorisation of nettle in composite applications. Relevant activities in regard to the transformation of nettle biomass from cultivation to intermediates and final products in particular on pilot level will be carried out by the research groups on “natural fibre technologies” FEMTO, ATB and HSB. The utilisation and incorporation of these materials require adaptations of current processes. Several routes with different risk and technology readiness levels will be investigated and used to process the nettle crops and to extract fibres and shives with the best quality and properties for composite applications. Division of the tasks will be as follows: lab scale as well as pilot scale decortication of the nettle stems, cleaning and refining will be done by ATB and HSB to supply fibres and shives. In the framework of this task ATB will carry out a technical feasibility study for the wet preservation of nettle stems. The morphological (Fig. 5), fineness and density properties of the fibres and shives will be characterised by HSB, the biochemical properties by ATB to enable the understanding of structural changes in the growing as well as post harvesting period and the mechanical properties of fibres and fibre bundles by UBFC-FEMTO.

The fibre bundles will be carded (HSB) to produce multilayer webs and also transformed by a subcontractor of ATB to produce yarns.

WP4 (WP leader: R3E, UK). Achieving sustainable development when remediating contaminated sites depends upon a host of environmental, social and economic factors at local and regional levels. NETFIB partner R3E will develop tools that can be applied on each site by the different partners to enhance their investment cases for Public Authorities support planning applications and subsidy applications, as well as supporting business and industry in reaching their own sustainability goals. The sustainability appraisal tools will consider the plan’s wider economic and social effects in addition to its potential environmental impacts. Support to LCA activities will be brought by HSB59 in form of a comprehensive documentation and a suitable illustration of the process steps from field to product. The final result will be a process visualisation and a detailed process description, which is the fundamental basis for the data collection for an LCA. WP4 adds value to the project outcomes in three broad ways: firstly it provides a route for wider costs and benefits to be explicitly considered in investment cases for ongoing management of the marginal land being investigated in NETFIB. Secondly, using the NETFIB sites as case studies it provides replicable methodologies for wider impact assessment and broadly based investment cases for marginal land management for feedstocks more generally. Thirdly, it explicitly links the work of NETFIB (WP1 to WP3) to the requirements for LCA and wider assessments in the SUSCROP call text. NETFIB will follow ISO 18504:201760, using the more detailed information in the UK’s SuRF-UK framework and related guidance & tools61, which are compliant with ISO 18504:2017. NETFIB will also follow the sustainability assessment and stakeholder engagement approaches for brownfields rehabilitation pioneered by the FP7 GREENLANDErreur : source de la référence non trouvée and HOMBREErreur : source de la référence non trouvée projects. The sustainability assessment will be qualitative for two reasons, firstly because in the majority of cases this is sufficient to allow differences to be distinguished62, and secondly because quantitative of semi-quantitative methods both have more limited scope, and for a number of stakeholders reduced transparency63.

The sustainability assessment approach will follow three broad stages: preparation, definition and execution. The preparation stage confirms the goal and use of the sustainability assessment, the basis of comparison, any salient site-specific features that might need to be considered, the stakeholders to be engaged with and how outcomes will be reported. The definition stage sets the sustainability objectives (based on the preparation stage outcomes) agrees the boundary conditions of the sustainability assessment (e.g. system boundary), its scope (i.e. which criteria are to be considered), the broad methodology and how any uncertainties will be managed (for example evidential gaps or differences in opinion). Together preparation and definition are known as “framing”. The framing is a key part of the sustainability assessment and needs to be complete before the sustainability assessment is executed. During execution options are qualitatively compared (ranked) criterion by criterion, and the evidential basis for that ranking recorded.

WP5 (WP leader: UBFC, FR). The Partners of NETFIB are committed to dedicate a special attention to Work Package (WP5) for the management of the project since this activity is identified as fundamental to ensure the success of transdisciplinary projects. Each Partner has appointed a scientific representative : Dr David CAZAUX (P2, INOVYN), Dr Damien BLAUDEZ (P3, UL), Prof Stefano AMADUCCI (P4, UCSC), Prof Paul BARDOS (P5, R3E), Dr Hans-Jörg GUSOVIUS (P6, ATB), Dr Markus PUSCHENREITER (P7, BOKU) and Prof Jörg MÜSSIG (P8, HSB). Scientific representatives will form the executive committee that will discuss the decisions to be taken to ensure straightforward progress of the project. M. CHALOT will take final decisions and will be the interlocutor with the SusCrop Call Office. WP6 covers project coordination and administration, and will include general management issues (task 5.1), reporting activities (task 5.2), organization of partner meetings (task 5.3) and the activities linked to the data management issue (task 5.4).

WP6 (WP leader: UBFC, FR). The executive committee of the NETFIB project will organize the communication and publication actions (as detailed in the attached file “dissemination and communication plan”), with the goal to promote concerted and common actions. It describes external communication towards the scientific /stakeholder communities. The communication will be done following SusCrop Call Office recommendations (e.g. systematic high and quick visibility SusCrop emblem and SusCrop fund). The activities will contribute to inform the existence of NETFIB, its objectives and dissemination of results. Most of all, we aim to highlight the concept to valorize marginal land regeneration all the while promoting local and bio-based economy. Beyond the “distribution” of information, this will enable the larger community to provide feedback to improve the development, uptake and exploitation of the project outcomes, and thus maximise the impact of the project at large.

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