Martin Höller, MSc
Tel.: 02225 / 99963-35
Evaluation and development of energy plant Silphium perfoliatum L. as a source of renewable raw materials.
Part of the BioSC-project 'Silphium Perfoliatum - Resource Evaluation And Development' (SPREAD).
Until today, just a limited number of crop species, predominantly silage maize, is used for renewable energy production from biomass in Germany. This trend resulted in extended monoculture cultivation in combination with an increased susceptibility to crop diseases/pests and a reduced biodiversity of insect and animal populations. Silphium perfoliatum L., a perennial plant from the family Asteraceae, represents an especially promising alternative. In addition to a biomass yield comparable with that of maize, this non-food plant possesses a highly ecological value due to its long blooming period, ability to grow in low-input agriculture and positive influence on soil structure.
The goals of the SPREAD project are (1) laying the cornerstone for the establishment and future breeding of this crop in Germany and (2) evaluation of the Silphium potential as renewable raw resource for new industrial applications. To meet these goals, the narrow European gene pool of cultivated S. perfoliatum will be enriched by new genotypes/ecotypes that will ensure sufficient germplasm diversity for crop improvement. First molecular tools, useful for breeding of the new crop, will be developed. To make the resource utilization more sustainable, cascade usage of the material is of advantage. For hundreds of years, Silphium has been known for its medicinal properties, mostly due to its high flavonoid content. In this project analytical methods for extraction of flavonoids from Silphium biomass will be developed with the long-term goal of integrating the corresponding value-added chain in the biorefinery process. Furthermore, the potential of Silphium for material use will be exploited. The long, up to three meters, quadrangular stalks of S. perfoliatum are filled with spongy parenchyma making this unique raw resource very attractive for the development of insulate building material and peat substitute. (Mehr Informationen zum BioSC-Projekt SPREAD).
The project is supported by a BioSC grant. The scientific activities of the Bioeconomy Science Center were financially supported by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Resesarch within the framework of the NRW Strategieprojekt BioSC (No. 313/323‐400‐00213).
06 / 2016: Wilhelm-Rimpau-Preis 2016 (3. Preis) der DLG für innovative und praxisnahe Bachelor-/Masterarbeiten in der Pflanzenproduktion (Pressemitteilung der Deutschen Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft e.V., Newsblog der Universität Bonn)
07/2016: Theodor Brinkmann-Förderpreis der Landwirtschaftlichen Fakultät für sein Masterarbeit "Bedeutung der Qualität und Aufbereitung von Gras als Ersatz für Zellstoff" (betreut durch Prof. Pude)
- Höller, M., Lunze, A., Anders, N. Spieß, A.C., Wever, C., Pestova, E., Westhoff, P., Höller, K., Völkering, G., Pude, R. (2016). Eignung unterschiedlicher Silphium-Herkünfte für die Produktion von Baustoffen. Mtt. Ges. Pflanzenbauwiss., 28, 174-175.