The research project “Bioeconomy of Salix” (FEADER 2017 / 019A), led by the company Industrias del Tablero S.A. (INTASA) and with the participation of the Sustainable Environmental and Forest Management Unit (UXAFORES) of the University of Santiago de Compostela, has concluded.
The generic objective of the project was to innovate in obtaining bioproducts through the willow biorefinery, evaluating the possibilities of short rotation forestry with improved material of the species as an economically and environmentally beneficial alternative for many abandoned or underused lands in Galicia, or as a complement for livestock farms that need to diversify with more environmental alternatives (effluent filter, etc.).
In order to fulfil this objective, several demonstrative short rotation plantations with willows (with the Terranova clone) in the municipalities of San Sadurniño and Mesía (A Coruña) were carried out and analysed. As results, different equations for total, wood and bark dry biomass were developed. In addition, biorefinery methodologies were fine-tuned to obtain various bioproducts from willow: xylitol from wood, and condensed tannins from bark.
The project has shown that short rotation forestry with willows can be an economically viable and environmentally responsible alternative for many lands in Galicia that are currently abandoned or underused.
Partial results of the project can be found in: Pérez López, Cristian. 2019. Productivity of short rotation plantations of Salix spp. in Galicia. Master's final Project, Master’s in Forest Engineering. September 2019. Higher Polytechnic School of Engineering, Lugo, University of Santiago de Compostela. 72 pp. (in Spanish)