Opportunities for Low Indirect Land Use Biomass for Biofuels in Europe

Calliope Panoutsou*, Sara Giarola, Dauda Ibrahim, Simone Verzandvoort, Berien Elbersen, Cato Sandford, Chris Malins, Maria Politi, George Vourliotakis, Vigh Enikő Zita, Viktória Vásáry, Efthymia Alexopoulou, Andrea Salimbeni, David Chiaramonti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable biofuels are an important tool for the decarbonisation of transport. This is especially true in aviation, maritime, and heavy‐duty sectors with limited short‐term alternatives. Their use by conventional transport fleets requires few changes to the existing infrastructure and engines, and thus their integration can be smooth and relatively rapid. Provision of feedstock should comply with sustainability principles for (i) producing additional biomass without distorting food and feed markets and (ii) addressing challenges for ecosystem services, including biodiversity, and soil quality. This paper performs a meta‐analysis of current research for low indirect land use change (ILUC) risk biomass crops for sustainable biofuels that benefited either from improved agricultural practices or from cultivation in unused, abandoned, or severely degraded land. Two categories of biomass crops are considered here: oil and lignocellulosic. The findings confirm that there are significant opportunities to cultivate these crops in European agro‐ecological zones with sustainable agronomic practices both in farming land and in land with natural constraints (un-used, abandoned, and degraded land). These could produce additional low environmental impact feedstocks for biofuels and deliver economic benefits to farmers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4623
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • advanced biofuels
  • degraded land
  • land use change
  • lignocellulosic crops
  • low ILUC
  • marginal land
  • oil crops
  • sustainability


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