Salinization of soil is caused by global warming and over-cultivation of crops. Halophytes can grow on soil where conventional crops fail. Their biomass can potentially be used for food, food additive, chemical, and energy production. Due to increasing salinization of soils, a decrease of fertile crop land can be foreseen in the future. The need of biomass for the production of food, chemicals and energy is apparent, considering the increase in costs and unknown reserves of fossil petroleum and the increase in world population. However, due to the food vs. fuel debate, only biomass which cannot be used for food can be considered for chemical and energy production. In order to satisfy all problems and requirements, we envision an extraction of plant material before the residual plant material is used for chemical and energy production.
Finding areas where traditional crops are unable to grow due to salinization is one key challenge to overcome these problems. Halophytes are ideal candidates to be investigated in terms of biomass production for chemicals and energy production.