Sulas, Leonardo and Murgia, Lelia and Ventura, Andrea (2008) Phytomass production from Silybum marianum for bioenergy. Options méditerranéennes. Série A: Séminaires méditerranéens, Vol. 79 , p. 487-490. ISSN 1016-121X. Article.
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Sylybum marianum Gaertner is a herbaceous thorny member of the Composite family, common in the native flora of the Mediterranean basin. Silybum marianum seeds contain a complex substance called silymarin, well appreciated for treating human liver diseases and animal wellbeing. Because of its extremely aggressive vegetative growth, causing stress on adjacent plants, it is know as a dangerous weed in cropping areas. On the over hand, the rusticity and the high growth rates of S. marianum make it interesting for bioenergy purposes in rainfed Mediterranean environments. A research work was started in Sardinia in order to evaluate the performance of this species in terms of biomass production under low input conditions. Data on undisturbed dry matter accumulation, yiel, and phytomass partitioning into its components (leaves, stems and heads) were collected. The heating value and the energy balance of the crop were also assessed. The first year results are reported in this paper.
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