Phytowelt News » Phytowelt receives grant for breeding of innovative poplar varieties


05/31/2007, Phytowelt Nettetal / Köln

The German federal Agency of Renewable Resources ( is funding a project for the development of new, quick growing, hybrid poplar varieties, improving their properties for renewable energy and as raw material for the paper and chemical industries.

The project involves collaboration of Phytowelt, the University of Göttingen, Germany and the Max-Planck-Institute for Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany. The three-year project will be coordinated by Dr. Thomas Teichmann of Göttingen. Phytowelt‘s core competence in protoplasting and somatic hybridization should facilitate the production of numerous new poplar varieties in a very short period of time. “This is a very significant project.“ explains Dr. Peter Welters, CEO of Phytowelt. „Quick growing tree varieties, which will also thrive on otherwise non-profitable soils, will contribute significantly to the production of renewable energy and provide an outstanding opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions in the long term.“ Poplar wood is an interesting fuel for heating systems because of its growth characteristics. Additional benefits will come from its low amounts of slag, ashes and pollution, compared to other biomass, when burned. Slag will cause an increasing environmental and disposal problem when the usage of biomass for energy production is increased. It also increases abrasion and corrosion of heating systems. The low nitrogen content of poplar wood guarantees low nitrous oxide emissions during combustion. The main project goals are the development of fast growing poplar varieties in poor soils, and improved wood properties.

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