Low Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) Energy Crops to Bioenergy and Biofuels: A Review

Mariana Abreu, Luís Silva, Belina Ribeiro, Alice Ferreira, Luís Alves, Susana M. Paixão, Luísa Gouveia, Patrícia Moura, Florbela Carvalheiro, Luís C. Duarte, Ana Luísa Fernando, Alberto Reis, Francisco Gírio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


Energy crops are dedicated cultures directed for biofuels, electricity, and heat production. Due to their tolerance to contaminated lands, they can alleviate and remediate land pollution by the disposal of toxic elements and polymetallic agents. Moreover, these crops are suitable to be exploited in marginal soils (e.g., saline), and, therefore, the risk of land-use conflicts due to competition for food, feed, and fuel is reduced, contributing positively to economic growth, and bringing additional revenue to landowners. Therefore, further study and investment in R&D is required to link energy crops to the implementation of biorefineries. The main objective of this study is to present a review of the potential of selected energy crops for bioenergy and biofuels production, when cultivated in marginal/degraded/contaminated (MDC) soils (not competing with agriculture), contributing to avoiding Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) burdens. The selected energy crops are Cynara cardunculus, Arundo donax, Cannabis sativa, Helianthus tuberosus, Linum usitatissimum, Miscanthus × giganteus, Sorghum bicolor, Panicum virgatum, Acacia dealbata, Pinus pinaster, Paulownia tomentosa, Populus alba, Populus nigra, Salix viminalis, and microalgae cultures. This article is useful for researchers or entrepreneurs who want to know what kind of crops can produce which biofuels in MDC soils.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4348
Number of pages68
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • biochemical technologies
  • chemical process
  • contaminated soils
  • degraded soils
  • energy potential
  • forest crops
  • herbaceous species
  • marginal soils
  • microalgae culture
  • thermochemical process


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