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Be sustainable

The magazine of bioenergy and the bioeconomy May 2019


Marginal Land | Bioenergy and CCS | Bioeconomy Bio-based Industries | Advanced biofuels | Aviation

Communication strategy

Plan and execution of conferences and events


Strategic renewable energy and environment consultancy

@etaorence www.etaorence.it

European and international projects

NEGATIVE EMISSIONS AND OTHER EMERGING DRIVERS FOR SUSTAINABLE BIOENERGY This issue of BE-Sustainable really shows the multi-faceted nature of the biomass sector. Although today biomass provides more than half of the renewable energy in the EU and producing clean energy is still the main driver, other factors are becoming more and more relevant in driving research, policies and industrial initiatives in this sector. I think a good example of this is Portugal, this year’s host country for the 27th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition. Faced with the urgency to prevent wildfires, this country recently introduced a scheme to support biomass energy installations to incentivise forest owners to clean the forests at risk, by using the forest residues to produce biomass energy. Sustainable forest management as a driver for bioenergy. Another emerging driver is the challenge to achieve a sustainable intensification of agriculture in order to meet the world’s rising demand for food and materials, by increasing the fertility of soils and recovering unused land without depleting our resources. Results of many long-term and recent agricultural research projects, such as the series of FACCE SURPLUS projects featured in this issue, demonstrate that this is possible, and we should proceed fast in this direction. We are observing a sort of contamination between different EU policies, where the way we produce biomass feedstock affects the end-product, for example advanced biofuels. The RED II already includes important principles related to agriculture, such as the use of marginal lands, the soil organic carbon content and the principles for high-ILUC risk biofuels, which have an impact on the production and market for

biofuels. This approach stimulates innovations in agriculture in general, beyond biofuels. Creating new jobs and markets from products made from renewable sources is another increasingly important driver for biomass. This is the challenge of the European bioeconomy and particularly of the bio-based industries. We are happy to cover this topic with articles by the BBI Joint Undertaking and by the Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy of the EC Joint Research Centre. Yet, the main driver for bioenergy remains the need to mitigate climate change. Despite the progresses in reducing our carbon footprint, GHG emissions are still rising and so the planet’s temperature. The current global average temperature is about 1°C above pre-industrial levels and keeps rising of 0.2° C every ten years. At this rate, the IPCC report of October 2018 warned we only have 12 years to act if we want to avoid the temperature to increase more than 1.5°C. This raises the question whether we can still afford to base our GHG reduction strategies only on avoiding new emissions, or if we need to seriously consider starting to remove carbon from the atmosphere. Climate scientist agree that negative emissions are now necessary to avoid the worst scenarios of climate change. The challenge seems immense, it would mean removing hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2100. Understanding how to achieve this target is a matter of “absolute urgency” according to a study by Jan C. Minx et al. of the German Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, published on “Environmental Research Letters” in 2018. Scientists describe a multitude of potential carbon

capture technologies, but there is still a lot of uncertainty and disagreement on how to implement them, more research and innovation is certainly needed in this domain. What is clear is that if this scenario is going to become more likely, the biomass sector will play an indispensable role in the mix of solutions, providing a series of tools ranging from less technologyintensive ones such as silviculture for afforestation, to more advanced ones like biochar or bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). I believe it is important to start engaging the biomass community in this discussion and I hope the two articles covering this topic will help in this. My last words in this editorial note are for Jeffrey Skeer, a colleague and friend of many of us in the biomass community, who will certainly be missed. I wish I could thank him for having always contributed to this magazine with his enthusiasm and with insightful articles, such as the one featured in this issue, which he had started preparing already months ago, and which was completed thanks to the work of his colleagues at IRENA.

Maurizio Cocchi Editor


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27 - 30 May, 2019 Lisbon, Portugal



Tuesday, 28 May - Phototrophic Cultivation of Gm Cyanobacteria Excreting Fuel Precursor Compounds to the Medium at Lab and Pilot Scale.

Wednesday, 29 May - Case Studies of Wastewater and Effluent Treatment Resorting to Microalgae: the Experience of A4F and Industrial Partners.

Attend our Presentations at

Estrada do Paço do Lumiar - Campus do Lumiar, Ed. E – R/C - 1649-038 LISBOA Portugal Website: www.a4f.pt

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Be sustainable

BE sustainable ETA-Florence Renewable Energies via Giacomini, 28 50132 Florence - Italy www.besustainablemagazine.com Issue 10 - May 2019 ISSN- 2283-9486

Editorial note 3 M. Cocchi Europe collaborates to move Sustainable and Resilient Agriculture forward N. Tinois, Projektträger Jülich, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH


Sustainable Food and Biomass Production on Marginal Soils 10 A. Sæbø, T. Persson, NIBIO; E. Maestri, N. Marmiroli, University of Parma; M. Mench, UMR BIOGECO INRA 1202, Bordeaux University; R. Millán, T. Schmid, CIEMAT; M. M. Obermeier, H. Olcay et al., University of Hasselt; B. Rutkowska, W. Szulc, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW; P. Schröder, HMGU Camelina and Crambe as European Sources for Medium-Chain Fatty Acids S. Piotrowski, nova-Institute


Biomass in Portugal: Current Uses and New Policies for Bioenergy Development 17 F. Gírio, L. C. Duarte et al., LNEG, Unit of Bioenergy; A. L. Fernando, FCT-UNL, Dep. Ciências e Tecnologia da Biomassa; C. P. Nunes, IST/UTL; J. Leite da Cunha, INESC-TEC; M. Sales Dias, ADENE; T. Almeida, CBE; A. Nicolau, J. Correia Bernardo, DGEG Biomass and the Road to a Climate-Neutral Society 23 M. da Graça Carvalho, SAM- Science Advice Unit, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission Enhancing the Knowledge Base for Sustainable EU Policies: the European Commission’s Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy G. De Santi, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Sustainable Resources


BBI JU: a High-Impact Initiative Structuring the EU Bio-Based Industries Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking


Recognizing the Position of Biofuels within the RED II European Technology Platform Bioenergy


Bioenergy with Carbon Capture Storage and Utilization S. T. Coelho, J. R. Meneghini et al., University of São Paulo


Where Will We Get Our Biojet? 37 J. Skeer, R. Leme, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Developing Advanced Sustainable Biofuels for Aviation: the BIO4A Approach M. Cocchi, D. Chiaramonti, BIO4A project Sustainable Drop-In Transport Fuels from Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Low Value Urban Feedstocks - NextGenRoadFuels Project S. Momi, ETA-Florence Renewable Energies; L. Rosendhal, Aalborg University



Engineering an Ambitious Energy Future 46 P. Try, AMBITION project CORDIS: Your Path to the Results of EU Research and Innovation


Upcoming Bioenergy Events 50 IMPRINT: BE Sustainable is published by ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, Via Giacomini 28, 50132 Florence, Italy Editor-in-Chief: Maurizio Cocchi | editorial@besustainablemagazine.com | twitter: @maurizio_cocchi "Direttore responsabile: Maurizio Cocchi" "Autorizzazione del Tribunale di Firenze n. 548/2013" Managing editor: Angela Grassi | angela@besustainablemagazine.com Authors: N. Tinois, A. Sæbø, T. Persson, E. Maestri, N. Marmiroli, M. Mench, R. Millán, T. Schmid, M. M. Obermeier, H. Olcay, F. Rineau, N. Witters, B. Rutkowska, W. Szulc, P. Schröder, S. Piotrowski, F. Gírio, L. C. Duarte, L. Silva, R. Lukasik, A. L. Fernando, C. P. Nunes, J. Leite da Cunha, M. Sales Dias, T. Almeida, A. Nicolau, J. Correia Bernardo, M. da Graça Carvalho, G. De Santi, S. T. Coelho, J. R. Meneghini, K. L. Mascarenhas, P. Try, J. Skeer, R. Leme, M. Cocchi, D. Chiaramonti, S. Momi, L. Rosendhal. Marketing & Sales: marketing@besustainablemagazine.com Graphic design & Layout: Laura Pigneri, ETA-Florence Renewable Energies Print: TAF Tipografia Artistica Fiorentina Website: www.besustainablemagazine.com The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. Image on cover © shutterstock.com/it/g/krivinis | Image on page 23 by © unsplash.com/@matthewmiles Image on page 39 by © shutterstock.com/it/g/chalabala | Image on page 42 by © unsplash.com/@evadarron

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EUROPE COLLABORATES TO MOVE SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT AGRICULTURE FORWARD Nicolas Tinois, Projektträger Jülich, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH Combating climate change, securing biodiversity and biomass and improving production conditions for farmers are not typical national problems. They concern us all. The European Biomass Conference and Exhibition offers the perfect setting for researchers and stakeholders to meet, and FACCE SURPLUS is of course present here in Lisbon.


ow do we maximize barley biomass and yield for different end-users and purposes? Is it worth cultivating energy crops like miscanthus on heavy contaminated soils? And how do we enhance agronomic, environmental and economic performances of integrated food and non-food production systems by optimizing productivity and valorizing woody components, residual wastes and co-products? These are just some of the themes 6 Be

and topics, which have been highlighted and examined during the last four years in the frame of FACCE SURPLUS. During the EUBCE here in Lisbon, you can find more information about the research which has been and is currently being performed. Some background information: FACCE SURPLUS is an European Research Area Networks (ERANET) Cofund, formed in collaboration between the European Commission and a partnership of 15

countries and regions in the frame of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI). The aim of FACCE SURPLUS is to improve collaboration across the European Research Area in the range of diverse, but integrated, food and non-food biomass production and transformation systems, including biorefining. And it makes sense to work together! Combating climate change, securing biodiversity and

biomass and improving production conditions for the farmers are not typical Dutch, German or Italian problems. They concern us all. MEET THE PROJECTS AT EUBCE FACCE SURPLUS opened its first call for transnational research projects in January 2015 with an indicative total available budget amounted to 17 million euros. The involved funding organizations selected the best 14 projects for funding, with an approximate total requested funding of 14.5 million euros. All the projects started in the first months of 2016 and range from the development of heavy metals agro-mining to the optimization of farming strategies, such as agroforestry or crop rotations. Several projects focus on the development of models, pathways and options in order to reach Sustainable Intensification (SI) and to deliver UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Some of them address the photosynthesis performance and/or the resilience against stresses of food crops such as barley or of the energy crop miscanthus. While each project works individually and has its own work plan, FACCE SURPLUS ensures an efficient communication among them and provides them with opportunities to create interproject networks, also with other FACCE-JPI projects. Within FACCE SURPLUS, researchers recognize the need to address stakeholders from the industry, policy makers and farmers with their results in order to make further progress and to be able to link research and policies, farming practices and socio-economical aspects. The European Biomass Conference and Exhibition offers

the perfect setting to do just that. After a first participation of FACCE SURPLUS at the EUBCE 2017 in Stockholm, all projects were invited to the EUBCE 2018 in Copenhagen, with the perspective to network with the industry, other stakeholders as well as their peers. And this year is no exception! This event is seen as a great opportunity by the researchers to reach new stakeholders they would not reach in other events, and therefore as a chance to disseminate their project results as well as to prepare a follow-up of the research driven, e.g. with the aim of an industrial valorization. CLOSING OF THE GAP BETWEEN RESEARCH AND STAKEHOLDERS As the projects will finish in 2019, promising results and approaches have already been achieved – many of which are currently being further developed. A FEW HIGHLIGHTS FROM EACH PROJECT BarPLUS has developed a novel dual-purpose barley ideotype with 15.4% increase in biomass production. BioC4 has shown the potential for biogas utilization of the C4 compounds obtained from miscanthus. MISCOMAR has used miscanthus on polluted and marginal lands with success and proved thereby the improvement of soil fertility. SidaTim has created a software tool to generate 3D models of trees and to calculate the solar energy reduction on the ground, due to the trees’ shadow projections. Sweedhart has developed a modified harvester removing weed seeds from the chaff on the field. SUSTAg has highlighted the need for clear and flexible Sustainable Intensification metrics to allow for decision making on SI options and of tailor-made policies.

TSARA has identified trade-offs in delivering the SDGs, such as the attempt to mitigate the climate change while improving the yields. VITAL can present the high opportunities in Europe by adopting Sustainable Intensification. PREAR has shown that crop rotations are a mechanism for delivering landscape diversity and developed an online tool to facilitate the use of that practice by farmers. SustainFARM has shown the benefits of agroforestry systems by describing innovative valorization pathways for value addition of woody components. VITISMART has improved grapevine productivity and tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses by combining resistant cultivars and beneficial microorganisms for plant immunity and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Agronickel has used the agromining technology to produce energy and also to reach a high yield of recovered pure nickel. OLIVE-MIRACLE has shown that the overall productivity of olives might well increase considering future climate scenarios. INTENSE has identified optimized organic amendments (compost, digestate biochar) for improvement of soil functions and ecosystem services. During the end term meeting of all the projects in November 2018, the communication gap between research and stakeholders (farmers, policy makers, industry) was highlighted. There is a need for ways to secure on the one hand, a faster uptake of research results, and on the other hand, an optimal feedback to the research with regards to e.g. needs of the industry, economic viability, farming data. Several projects are also willing to keep working together in a near future, so to bring the technology addressed to a higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL); the 7 Be

possibility is given in the frame of a third FACCE SURPLUS call. The selection of projects for funding is expected in November 2019, with an estimated project start in the beginning of 2020. As the grant agreement with the European Union comes to an end, FACCE SURPLUS will terminate as an ERA-NET in February 2020. Nevertheless, recognizing the needs for research in the field of sustainable and resilient agriculture by integrating food systems and nonfood systems, as well as considering already performed results, the FACCE SURPLUS consortium is willing to keep working together in a longer term. Visit the FACCE SURPLUS stand25 for more information on how to network with both existing and new projects now and in the future. More details on the funded project are available on the FACCE SURPLUS website.


FACCE SURPLUS (Sustainable and Resilient agriculture for food and non-food systems) is an ERA-NET Cofund, formed in collaboration between the European Commission and a partnership of 15 countries in the frame of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI). FACCE SURPLUS is committed to improve collaboration across the European Research Area in the range of diverse, but integrated, food and non-food biomass production and transformation systems, including biorefining. Among other things, the ERA-NET Cofund aims to support innovation and value creation from biomass and biorefineries and organises joint calls between funding bodies from Member States and the European Commission. It contributes to the strategic objective of FACCE-JPI to build a European Research Area in the domain of agriculture, food security and climate change as well as to the scientific objective of enhancing resilience in agricultural production systems. In turn, this will contribute to tackling the Grand Challenge of ensuring food security and agricultural production in the face of climate change. FACCE SURPLUS Calls The first call for transnational research projects was launched in January 2015 with an indicative total available budget amounted to 17Mâ‚Ź. In November 2015, 14 projects were selected to receive funding in the frame of FACCE SURPLUS. Recognising that other initiatives are considering the scope and application of large-scale biorefineries in the EU context, the second call of FACCE SURPLUS focused on the small-scale biorefinery concepts and their potential role in enhancing the sustainability and productivity of EU agriculture, as well as their scope to benefit the rural economy. 10 partners joined this call for transnational research projects in 2017 and selected 8 proposals for funding. FACCE SURPLUS launched a third call in January 2019, with the perspective of projects starting in the beginning of 2020. For further information please visit faccesurplus.org and faccejpi.com

Subscribe to the FACCE SURPLUS newsletter on faccesurplus.org and stay updated on the latest news from the ERA-NET Cofund.

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FACCE SURPLUS has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 652615

06-04-2018 12:15:29

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The Supergen Bioenergy Hub works across academia, industry and societal stakeholders to develop sustainable bioenergy systems that support the UK’s transition to an affordable, resilient, low-carbon energy future. We look forward to sharing research outputs and discussing collaboration opportunities at EUBCE 2019 please visit us at stand 42. We’re working with key stakeholders to ensure our research has the most impact. If you’re interested in engaging more with the hub, please get in touch:

supergen-bioenergy@aston.ac.uk SupergenBioHub Supergen Bioenergy Hub www.supergen-bioenergy.net 9 Be

SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND BIOMASS PRODUCTION ON MARGINAL SOILS A. Sæbø, T. Persson, NIBIO; E. Maestri, N. Marmiroli, University of Parma; M. Mench, UMR BIOGECO INRA 1202, Bordeaux university; R. Millán, T. Schmid, CIEMAT; M. M. Obermeier, H. Olcay, F. Rineau, N. Witters University of Hasselt; B. Rutkowska, W. Szulc, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW; P. Schröder, HMGU

Key issues from the INTENSE project


orld food production must increase by 50 % within 2050 if the rising population, estimated to reach 9.8 billion inhabitants, shall be fed. This will only be possible if available land can be employed for food and biomass production. Set-aside land must be recuperated and the productivity of marginal soils must increase. Polluted soils need to be ameliorated and phytomanaged for producing usable biomass, e.g. for the bio-energy sector, in biorefineries (biosourced chemistry), for biocatalysis, essential oils, fibers and other raw materials. At the same time, soil rehabilitation

must be accomplished, contributing to remediate pollutant linkages, soil multi-functionality and associated ecosystem services. Such a paradigm change will give new perspectives for European rural landscapes. Thus, future land use will embrace efficient and sustainable production and utilization of biomass for improved economic, environmental and social benefits, and boost ecosystem services. THE MAJOR ISSUES The concomitant increase in world population, lack of water and serious heat waves in parts of the world, and the urgent need for transformation

Fig. 1 (above): Soil amendments tested at Martlhof, Germany. Photo Peter Schröder

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from oil-based markets to bioeconomy are among the biggest challenges of human history. Before 1870, humans lived in what we may call Bioeconomy 1.0, which was characterized by extensive agriculture, low life expectancy and generally low prosperity, all over the world. During the coal and oil era, prosperity, life expectancy and quality of life have increased tremendously, especially in the developed world. Now we face the challenge to upgrade to Bioeconomy 2.0. This transition needs to be made to maintain good health and prosperity of people, to protect ecosystems from climate and global

changes, and furthermore, to secure that people in less developed regions get access to resources, education and experience good health and wellbeing. There is currently an imbalance between land use and populations due to natural disasters, wars, famine and migrations as the most notable factors. If we cannot maintain a balance between man and the environment, the world as we know it will be in big trouble. Given the great challenges we will be facing in the very near future it is essential to obtain a sustainable development and intensification of food and feedstock production as soon as possible. The aim should be to sustainably increase the biomass production by at least 50% during the next 30 years, without sideeffects on the ecosystem services. For reaching such an ambitious goal, we need to change our policies. Our approach is to intensify agriculture within a sustainable framework, which is an essential part of this transformation. Obviously, the key for intensification is the status of agricultural soils and their resilience to climate change. Since soils, the fundamental medium for food production, are threatened in many places, the main questions we want to answer are: How can we preserve good soils? How can we recover degraded soils and soils with natural low production potentials? How can we preserve and develop the plethora of ecosystem goods and services of soils? THE POTENTIALS Soil is the biologically active, unconsolidated surface of the Earth. Well-developed soils consist of 90% mineral and 10% bio-organic substance. The bio-organic part consists of 70-90% humus, 10-30% roots, and an important active fraction, constituted of living soil organisms. Soils as a whole promote and support vegetation and strong relationships exist between habitats

of high conservation value and soil properties. When soils are disturbed, e.g. by pollutants, poor agricultural techniques or overexploitation, then efforts need to be focused on their restoration and recovery to ensure satisfactory re-establishment of habitats and future sustainable management (FAO, 2015). Multiple processes are needed to support high agricultural productivity. Carbon sequestration, nitrogen mineralization and water protection are hallmarks of good management and a sound nutrient cycling. In modern agriculture, based on fossil fuels and operational policies, many of the natural soil processes are uncoupled or even excluded. An example is the regionalization of agricultural production. One region may be specialized on husbandry, based on import of large quantities of cereals for nourishing the animals. Large quantities of manure may create problems for productivity and environmental services in such regions. In other regions with emphasis on cereal production, lack of manure may lead to reduction of soil organic matter and diminish or limit soil life needed to support

vital soil processes. Contamination with trace elements or organic chemicals may impede soil life even more, making both food and fodder production impossible. Similarly, in regions with high temperatures and little water availability, soil processes may be seriously hampered, reducing the yield potential. Although the conditions of a site may put limits to the production, the available practices in agriculture are still very important for the possibility of realizing potential increases in crop yields and resource use efficiency to ensure food security. In the INTENSE project, we claim that a sustainable intensification of agriculture by site-adapted well designed practices alone may increase yields by at least 20 percent. POLICIES AND STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT A specific aim is the recovery of soils affected by pollution, degraded by drought, erosion, salinity, inadequate management or otherwise low productivity. Without a holistic view on the topic, the full potential of soils

Nitrogen mineralization

Fig. 2: Productive land is supported by cycling of nutrients and well balanced soil processes. Microbes play a key role in keeping soil and plants healthy. Such land provides many ecosystem services.

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cannot be realized. Improving soils requires (a) identification of crucial soil components and processes, (b) assessment of plant species that sustainably produce high and safe biomass on marginal and/or contaminated soils and of plant-growth promoting microorganisms, (c) selecting the optimum composition of organic amendments such as compost and digestate from biogas production, (d) absorbing or degrading pollutants by selected plant species and their associated microorganisms and (e) demonstrating potential of the soil for bioavailable contaminant removal. Involvement of citizens and stakeholders, including farms and farm-associated enterprises, will be an integrated part of the solutions facilitating the implementation of sustainable and financially attractive production alternatives. The holistic approach will encourage the implementation of production chains for sustainable intensification, which are adapted to the environmental and socioeconomic diversity within Europe.

We need to put specific policies into work, if we are to accomplish significant intensification and increase in biomass and food production. Develop the knowledge base of best practices for soil management Combinations of fundamental knowledge and strong support of innovation and novel technology will help to spur the development of marginal lands in a good way. Crop rotation, minimum and adapted tillage and use of soil amendments are solid, well-known traditional methods that can be combined with precision agriculture and soil biological molecular tools. If these techniques are adapted to the demands of the sites and the health of crops, best practice will not only increase production but also contribute to reduce inputs needed for the production. Educate politicians, management organs of the agricultural sector and the farmers. Continuous dissemination is needed for both existing and new knowledge to academia, farmers

and other actors in the agricultural sector. Key factors and indicators for good health of the production systems and success have to be shaped according to the demands of the land under consideration. Implement the multi facet production schemes of healthy and sustainable agriculture The overall goals of INTENSE are fundamental for a well-functioning agriculture on healthy soils. While there may be good reasons for the regionalization of production, we should at the same time close the gaps in recycling and minimize the ecological footprints. Furthermore, it is necessary to include the adapted agronomical practices in a circular economy, in which local organic wastes are being used as soil amendments with zero residue production. Farmers can actively contribute to sustainable future development when they adopt smart management practices to exploit the full potentials of their production systems.

Fig.3: Experimental plot with testing of different soil amendments to degraded soils at Casasana, Spain. Photo Thomas Schmid

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Camelina sativa

Crambe abyssinica


The Horizon 2020 project COSMOS aims at reducing the dependence of Europe’s oleochemical industry on imported plant oils by turning camelina and crambe into profitable, sustainable, multipurpose, European oil crops.


he European oleochemical industry relies predominantly on imported tropical oils. Castor oil, a tropical nonedible seed oil, is imported for the production of polyamides. Palm kernel and coconut oil contain medium-chain length fatty acids (MCFA, C10–C14) which are vital sources for surfactants, detergents, personal care products, lubricants, and other industrial and consumer products. The EU-28 net imports of coconut and palm kernel oil for 14 Be

technical and industrial uses alone amount to about 500,000 t annually. Currently, there are no European sources for these MCFA. This is unfortunate, not only because the prices for MCFA are higher higher than those for the more common long-chain fatty acids such as palmitic, stearic and oleic acid, but their prices are also much more volatile. Furthermore, their production is concentrated in only a few, mainly South-East Asian countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, the

Philippines and India). Alternative plant species that produce MCFA and that are able to grow in European climates do exist, but cultivation trials have so far been problematic. The best described example is from the USA, where efforts toward commercialization of Cuphea species rich in MCFA have been ongoing, but issues such as seed shattering and low water use efficiency have impeded progress.

OBJECTIVES AND APPROACH The primary aim of COSMOS is to reduce the dependence of Europe’s oleochemical industry on imported tropical oils by turning camelina and crambe into profitable and sustainable oilseed crops. Successful establishment of camelina and crambe oils as a European alternative for imported tropical oils will thus contribute positively to employment, income and innovation potential of stakeholders in the crops-to-products value chain. Camelina and crambe are low-input crops that can be grown even on marginal land. While crambe was never cultivated on large areas in Europe, camelina had in fact been an important oil crop across the continent, but was later superseded by rapeseed. Recently, interest in both crambe and camelina has been growing, with the latter notably attracting attention in view of its potential as a source of aviation biofuel. However, the oils of both crops do not readily contain the desired MCFA by nature, but longer chain fatty acids. In order to obtain the desired MCFA, the objective is therefore to use so-called chemical

chain cleavage processes. Extracted oils are first fractionated into various fatty acid types (monounsaturated versus polyunsaturated) by selective enzyme technologies and extraction processes. The enriched monounsaturated long-chain fatty acids so obtained can then be cut by these cleavage processes to MCFA and high-value building blocks. These serve as feedstock for the lubricants and surfactants, and bio-plastics and flavour & fragrance industry, respectively. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) will be selectively hydrogenated to produce higher value unusual monounsaturated fatty acids. Apart from this innovation, COSMOS is striving to develop innovations in breeding and cultivation, oil separation and purification as well as valorisation of co-products by insects (Figure 1). Above all, the overall economic, social and environmental sustainability based on complete life cycles of the whole value chain is being assessed. RESULTS Significant progress has been made in the project so far. Notably, new seed lines have been developed.

A setback for the project was the decision of the European Court of Justice in July 2018 that organisms obtained by genome editing techniques, including the CRISPR/ Cas system (mutagenesis) are to be subject to the European GMO legislation. Since some of the new seed lines developed in COSMOS are produced using the CRISPR/ Cas9 technology, this ruling will make it more difficult to further develop these seed lines. Luckily, the project also developed improved varieties not based on the CRISPR/ Cas9 technology. Field trials have been performed at different locations in Europe (Greece, Italy, Poland and The Netherlands) to assess the potential of the crops in terms of cultivation practices, seed yield, oil content, ease of harvesting, and resource inputs under various soil and climate conditions. These field trials have shown that camelina can be grown both as a spring crop and as a winter crop in Mediterranean climates (Greece, Italy). Furthermore, innovative double cropping systems have been explored. Further scientific advances include new crambe lines with a very high content of preferred

Fig. 1: How COSMOS creates European alternatives for palm kernel and coconut fatty acids and at the same time produces high-value co-products

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monounsaturated fatty acids (erucic, oleic), the development of a new class of lubricants from COSMOS oleochemicals, suitable for particularly demanding industrial applications, and novel catalysts with improved efficiency for the chemical scission of fatty acids (resulting in two patents). An integral part of the project is the valorisation of processing residues by insects. The press cake remaining after the oil extraction from the seeds was fed to black soldier fly larvae. In turn, the fat produced by the larvae was extracted and analysed. To the researchers’ surprise, this fat contained exactly the targeted MCFA. The feeding of the press cake to insects was thus found to be an additional way to obtain the desired fatty acids, apart from chemical cleavage. Finally, since the protein from the larvae can also be used as animal feed, the resources are fully valorised and Europe’s dependence on imported protein is reduced. The COSMOS project ends in August 2019 and more research and development will be needed to bring its innovations to a technology readiness level required for potential commercial exploitation, for example in the form of a pilot plant. ABOUT THE COSMOS PROJECT The COSMOS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 635405. It runs from March 2015 to August 2019 and comprises eighteen partners, 50% of which are SMEs and large enterprises and the remaining 50% are universities and research institutes. The research consortium is coordinated by Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. For more information, please visit


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BIOMASS IN PORTUGAL CURRENT USES AND NEW POLICIES FOR BIOENERGY DEVELOPMENT Francisco Gírio, Luis C. Duarte, Luis Silva, Rafal Lukasik, LNEG, Unit of Bioenergy Ana Luisa Fernando, FCT-UNL, Dep. Ciências e Tecnologia da Biomassa Clemente Pedro Nunes, IST/UTL; Jorge Leite da Cunha, INESC-TEC Miguel Sales Dias, ADENE; Teresa Almeida, CBE; Alexandra Nicolau, João Correia Bernardo, DGEG


iomass is the main renewable energy source in Portugal and represents about 13% of the total primary energy consumption. Portugal´s Southern European geographical location, in the cross of the Atlantic and Mediterranean climate zones, enables a diversified

agricultural and forest production leading to a diverse biomass feedstock for bioenergy and bioproducts production. The National Plan for Promotion Biorefineries (RCM nº 163/2017) is the national guideline for promoting next-generation biomass-based industries for 2030.

In fact, Portugal did enter the 21st century with a strong growth in some items of the agricultural sector, increasing the areas for Mediterranean-type agricultural products, e.g. olive oil and wine, and improving crop yields per ha, e.g. maize. At the forestry level, Portugal is also on the top

Fig. 1 – 15 MWe power plant under construction in a heavily forested region owned by FPT-Energia (Viseu).

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productivity ranks, and is world leader on the distinctive cork sector. This is complemented with large industrial activities in the agri-food, forestry and fisheries sectors, that enable to retain much of the addedvalue, exporting processed goods, especially for the forestry and pulp and paper sectors, a significant contributor to the national gross product. Although many by-products and side streams already have a significant economic impact, there are still abundant quantities of residual biomass, whose utilization can be improved with the use of emerging technologies. Nevertheless, there are also challenges. One is the relatively small-scale of farms, and their dispersion at the regional level. In fact, the non-intensive nature of many of the farms and their diversity of crops which, although being a competitive advantage at the environmental level, imposes logistics problems considering the use of residual biomass as feedstock. A similar situation can be found in the forestry sector, especially in the central and northern regions of the country where smallholding dominates and the associativism of forest producers is very incipient. On the later, forest wildfires are a growing threat as their incidence has increased dramatically during

the past years and are expected to become even more prevalent in the future, due to climate change. In the recent years, there was a strong investment on the Biomass R&D sector aiming to take advantage of the Portuguese potential, leading to the deployment of new and the consolidation of high-level research institutions active in the field. The recent example has been the creation of a network of new Collaborative Laboratories (Colabs) for promoting partnerships between industry and public R&D centers and Universities. This was accompanied by the development of innovative national policies fostering the uptake of bioeconomy and circular economy that is leading to the expansion the local bio-based industry. MAPPING NATIONAL BIOMASS RESOURCES A BRIEF OUTLOOK Different regions of the Portuguese territory differ among them by significant edafo-climatic conditions, orography and average farm area/ property. This implies a significant diversity of produced crops among the regions. The estimation of the amount of agricultural biomass waste per region is shown in Table 1. The produced quantities have not changed much in the last 30 years and are not envisaged to have significant

Table 1- Available agricultural residues (annual tons, dry basis) , 2017.

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variation in the foreseeable future, with the exception of the Alentejo region. In this region, particularly olive tree prunnings and other agricultural residues shall increase significantly until 2030. Regarding the agro-food sector, brewery’s spent grains (97.5 kt), extracted olive pomace and stones (88.3 kt), de-alcoolized grape bagasse (69.8 kt) and rice husks (34.5 kt), are the top available materials. Although these are significant quantities per capita basis, there is also a clear potential for dedicated energy crops production. Crops, like sweet sorghum and Miscanthus, have proven to be highly productive in Portugal, with yields of 20-25 ton/ ha per year (dry matter). As these crops are suitable to be exploited in marginal lands (e.g. salinity soils), the risk of conflicts on land use due to competition for food and feed are reduced. Additionally, they can bring additional income to owners contributing positively to the agricultural revenues. In the framework of the Portuguese “CONVERTE Project - Biomass Potential for Energy�, the land availability for the implementation of energy crops is being identified through the construction and design of a georeferenced (mapping) database. The PANACEA project, is addressing farmers in order to

promote the penetration of these crops in the Portuguese Agriculture, and the MAGIC project, aims to evaluate the suitability of these crops in heavy metals contaminated soils and in soils whose productivity is limited by natural constraints. Regarding forestry/wood residues, it is possible to define three main categories: (1) Residual forest biomass, that refers to wood residues resulting from the installation, management and harvesting; (2) byproducts from forest industries; (3) post-consumption material. In the framework of the BIOREG project, the unused wood waste potential in Portugal for energy was identified. The total amount of wood waste produced in Portugal, in 2014, was 0.27 Mton, and most of the wood waste source in Portugal comes from the commercial and industrial use (150 kton, 55% of the total). The amount from municipal management represents 16% of the total, whereas the amount from construction and demolition activities is residual (4%). However, only 3.5% of the total wood waste (10 kton) is being recovered for energy. Considering that the amount of wood waste that can be sorted and collected, especially from households and from the construction and demolition, can be increased by 15%, the amount recovered for energy might also increase. Yet, only non-hazardous waste wood that cannot be recycled should be used as a source of energy, in order to promote the green and the carbon economy, as well as the circular economy. FOREST WILDFIRES A GROWING THREAT Although Portugal has a long forestry tradition and presents many local advantages that enable a fully sustainable forest management, taking into consideration economic, environmental, and social dimensions, this situation is threatened by several factors,

namely wildfires. Although forest wildfires are an integral part of the ecology of the Mediterranean Basin, their incidence has increased dramatically during the past decades, and wildfires are expected to become even more prevalent in the future, as mentioned, due to climate change. In order to limit this, the existing resources must be properly managed, specially the fuel load present in the forest, that potentiates the fire hazard. It is fundamental to move the focus from the combat to the prevention of forest fires, starting with a better knowledge of the territory and better forest management As such, different solutions must be developed in the diverse time and geographical frames. Local solutions for biomass harvest and creation of demand-driven biomass markets are a first approach, but these must be complemented with regional policies and R&D activities, to properly face this threat. Decentralized small-scale heatproducing biomass plants dimensioned for the locally identified heat needs (industrial heat networks, services or municipal equipment) are a priority, so there is no dependence on the electric grid reception points for the installation of the plant. The installation of advanced biorefineries is also being considered to fully deploy a fully sustainable bioenergy-based system towards the circular bioeconomy goal. BIOMASS FOR HEAT AND POWER Portugal has a strong pulp and paper cluster that has an industrial energy needs of about 71.5 TJ per year, with biofuels representing more than 70% of the consumed fuels. The main biofuel is the black liquor, accounting for more than 80% of the total biofuels used. Only this sector produces about 1,76 TWh power from biomass in several CHP plants.

Overall, in Portugal, in 2017, there were 20 (wood-based) biomassbased power plants delivering about 552 MW to the national power grid (Fig. 1). Nine out of 20 plants are operating under cogeneration regime. From 2018 to present, three new dedicated biomass power plants, with a total capacity around 50 MW, have been or are entering in operation. The estimated total feedstock consumption for all these plants currently in operation is almost 6,000 Mton/year. The main category of forest biomass used for bioenergy was by-products from forest industries (about 80% of the total). Residual forest biomass did account for about 11.5% of total consumption for combinedheat-power (CHP) and dedicated biomass power plants. Forest roundwood biomass is essentially to meet the needs of sawmills, pellet industry (for heat) and pulp industries, accounting for about 7% for energy production. In a concerted policy with EC permission to prevent large forest fires, Portugal is now focusing on smaller plants more adjusted to the availability of the resource on each spot and dimensioned according to the thermal needs of different types of consumers (industrial sites, municipal hospital equipment, domestic hot water networks, etc.) most of them located in the CenterNorth regions which are more heavily forested. Before 2020, at least four new thermal plants, with or without cogeneration associated will be launched. Portugal also produces an average of 100,000 tons of pellets per year from forest biomass and from sawmills. There are 25 active industrial installations, with an installed total nominal capacity of more than 1 Mton/year, distributed throughout Portugal. Although there was a sustainable increase in national demand, exportation markets account for 75 to 85% of sales, being 19 Be

UK, Denmark, Benelux and Spain our major markets. BIOMASS FOR LIQUID AND GASEOUS BIOFUELS Biodiesel (FAME) and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) are currently the liquid biofuels produced in Portugal. In 2018, the total production of these dieselsubstitute biofuels reached 320 million liters, which corresponded to 95.5% of the total biofuels used in the transportation sector. The main feedstock was used cooking oil with a 60% share, followed by rapeseed (20%), palm oil (11%) and soy (7%). Advanced biofuels from lignocellulosic materials are currently not produced, although several industrial players are planned to enter in the market, in particularly for advanced bioethanol production from forest/agricultural biomass residues. Biogas is currently not used in the transportation sector. Only a demo unit as compressed natural gas (bioCNG) is operating by the company Biogold at Mirandela, in the North of Portugal (Fig. 2). Contrary to other European countries, in Portugal, the

produced biogas mainly comes from organic matter deposited in landfills and part of it is only applied in the production of electricity. In a recent study, LNEG did estimate that Portugal has a potential to produce a total annual volume of combustible gas (biogas and synthesis gas from biomass gasification only) from biomass, of about 900 million Nm3, which corresponds to about 9722 GWh/year (836 Ktep/year). This potential can be even much higher if methanation reaction occurs by reacting CO2 and syngas. This scenario envisages a strong opportunity for endogenous production of biomethane to replace natural gas, particularly for heavy-duty road and maritime transportation sectors. ADVANCED BIOREFINERIES Due to the edafo-climate privileged situation in Southern Europe, Portugal has competitive advantages to cultivate algae biomass, in particularly microalgae. The largest European industrialscale microalgae plant started to operate in 2013 in Pataias-Leiria owned by the cement´s company

Secil (Fig. 3). Since 2015, the plant is a worldwide supplier of Chlorella microalgae and has unveiled plans for a significant new phase of investment in its production facilities, mainly for supplying high quality algae ingredients for food, beverage and dietary supplement applications. They are evaluating the energy market at medium term. In Porto Santo island, the company Buggypower is also producing algae biomass for non-energy markets in a smaller industrial plant. A new biorefinery using Eucalyptus wood biomass has been constructed by CMC Biomassa and another one is planned by The Navigator Company, mainly focused on production of essential oils and power and heat. Industrial-scale plants are expected to be installed for biomethane production from organic residues, by Tagusgás and Bio-Dourogás, for advanced bioethanol from agricultural and wood residues, by Cadova/Cobin, and for pyrolysis oils production for advanced biofuels, by BLC3 Evolution. PUBLIC POLICIES FOR PROMOTING BIOMASS USE Several public policies and

Fig. 2 – Biomethane demo unit for vehicles is operated by the company Bio-Dourogás in the North of Portugal (Mirandela). 20 Be

instruments are in-place in Portugal for supporting the use of biomass as renewable energy source. Amongst them, NREAP, POSEUR, PNPB and CoLabs are the main examples. NREAP – National Renewable Energy Action Plan (2010-2020) The Portugal´s NREAP (2010-2020) sets several measures to promote the use of biomass. For heat & cooling, support measures are planned to incentivize the penetration of biomass for heat uses in buildings, leading to a saving of 157,354 tep by 2020. For thermal and cogeneration production, at least 4 new smallscale thermal plants using mainly forest residues, should enter under construction until 2020 in the framework of forest management and fires prevention. POSEUR- Operational Programme for Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources POSEUR is a Portugal 2020 national program, funded under EC structural funds, created for the period 2014-2020 and covering the entire national territory. It

is supported with 2.2 thousand million euros of EU funding. Its main objective is to promote sustainable growth, by addressing the challenges of the transition to a low carbon economy, based on a more efficient use of resources and on the promotion of greater resilience to climate risks and catastrophes. The POSEUR program is being well implemented, with 1,452 approved projects with a total EU funding higher than 1.45 thousand million euros (data for March 2019). NATIONAL PLAN FOR PROMOTION OF BIOREFINERIES (PNPB, RCM nº 163/2017) By the Resolution of the Council of Ministers nº 163/2017, of October 31st, the National Plan for the Promotion of Biorefineries (PNPB) was approved, aiming to promote advanced biorefineries by enhancing the valorization of renewable energy sources through the sustainable use of biomass as an energy source, as an alternative to the current resources of fossil origin. The plan is based

on the valuation of endogenous biomass residues or with little economic value, in particular the residual agroforestry biomass. In addition, the PNPB supports future biorefineries of advanced biofuels with high levels of sustainability (above 70% GHG reduction). For liquid biofuels, the restrictions on the use of food and feed raw materials and the minimum shares laid down in the revised renewable energy directive for advanced biofuels (0.2% in 2022, 1% in 2025 and 3.5% in 2030), constitute an opportunity for the development of biorefineries in Portugal. This Plan has been designed as a public policy measure for improving forest management and preventing forest fires. Simultaneously, according to the existing national potential, it ensures higher economic and sustainable value for different biomass sources and constitutes a strategical guideline for the 2030 horizon. COLLABORATIVE LABORATORIES In the last months, Portugal started

Fig. 3 – The Allmicroalgae plant is the largest European industrial-scale photobioreactor biomass plant started to operate in 2013 in the Center region owned by the cement´s company Secil (Leiria). 21 Be

to establish a network of new thematic Collaborative Laboratories (CoLab), as private non-profit associations for promoting better tights between industry and public R&D centers and Universities. Two of them, are closely related with biomass and shall be presented in this overview. The BIOREF-Collaborative Laboratory for Biorefineries, led by LNEG, is a private non-profit association whose vision is biomass as a renewable resource, contributing for a very low carbon economy for Portugal in horizon 2030, generating new value chains, job creation and boosting bioeconomy. BIOREF is composed of sixteen associates from biomassbased industry, research organizations

and universities. A significant contribution from industry which holds 58% of the total social patrimony has been attained. BIOREF CoLab is implementing a strategic R&D and innovation agenda structured around 10 main themes and focused on biochemical and thermochemical conversion of biomass for bioenergy and bio-based products. The ForestWISE-Collaborative Laboratory for Integrated Forest and Fire Wise Management, led by INESC-TEC, is a private nonprofit association aiming to develop research, innovation and transfer of know-how and technology, to increase sustainable forest management in Portugal, to improve competitiveness of the Portuguese

forestry sector, and to reduce the negative consequences of rural fires. ForestWISE is composed of sixteen associates and adhering partners, including forest-based industry and energy companies and academy. These and other public and private initiatives of national and international cooperation have contributed to a favorable environment to stimulate the use of biomass, making Portugal a leader in climate action and in the promotion of renewable energy, which is reflected in the ambitious goals of the National EnergyClimate Plan (PNEC) 2030.

Visit the Portuguese pavillon in the exhibition at EUBCE 2019! EE.pdf 4 07/05/2019 15:07:27

Portuguese Pavilion Biomass is the main renewable energy source in Portugal and represents about 13% of the total primary energy consumption. Portugal´s Southern European geographical location enables a diversified agricultural and forest production leading to a diverse biomass feedstock for bioenergy and bioproducts production.

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ICNF Ins�tuto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas

BIOMASS AND THE ROAD TO A CLIMATE-NEUTRAL SOCIETY Maria da Graça Carvalho, SAM- Science Advice Unit, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission

The role of science and science-based policymaking


he objective of this article is threefold: i) to point out the role of biomass in delivering the Paris climate targets, ii) to discuss how research and technological development in the area of biomass contributes to the decarbonisation of the energy systems and iii) to emphasise the importance of science-based policy making in this sector. ENERGY UNION: ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE AS ONE OF THE TOP PRIORITIES OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION Making energy more secure, affordable and sustainable is one of the 10 priorities of the President of the European Commission, JeanClaude Juncker .The EU is building an Energy Union to ensure Europe’s energy supply is safe, clean and accessible to all. The EU is also a world leader in the fight against

climate change. The EU’s Energy Union strategy has five dimensions: security of energy supply, a fully integrated internal energy market, energy efficiency, climate action, research and innovation on renewable energy – including biomass. Security of energy supply Energy supply is exposed to several risks: for example, disruption from countries from which the EU import fuel, extreme weather, industrial hazards and cyberattacks. In order to make the European energy system more resilient, EU and its Member States aim at working together and speaking with one voice internationally when dealing with supplier countries . The EU should remove any technical or regulatory barriers to the energy flow. This would allow a free competition leading to lower energy prices.

Energy efficiency An efficient use of energy has a positive effect in the energy bill, contributes to a greater degree of energy independence and helps to protect the environment. EU energy efficiency measures are focussing on sectors where the potential for savings is greater, such as the building and transport sector. In the EU 2020 Climate and Energy Package , the EU has set itself a target of 20% improvement in energy efficiency. The target was set by EU leaders in 2007 and enacted in legislation in 2009. New rules on renewables, energy efficiency and the governance of the Energy Union have been agreed by the European Parliament on 13th November 2018. This package is called “Clean Energy for All Europeans package” and it includes a new energy efficiency target for the EU for 2030 of 32.5%, with a clause for an upwards revision by 2023. 23 Be

Climate action The EU has set itself targets for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions progressively up to 2050. There is now a broad, global consensus on the need to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2050. This objective represents a cut of at least 80% in GHG emissions throughout the industrialized world. This necessarily entails a considerable reorganisation of society and with it of business activity, transport, leisure, urban planning, housing and electricity. The 2030 climate and energy framework set as a target at least 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels). The framework was adopted by EU leaders in October 2014. It builds on the 2020 climate and energy package. When the policies on renewables and energy efficiency agreed by the European Parliament on 13th November 2018, would be fully implemented, they will lead to some 45% by 2030 compared to 1990, instead of 40%. Renewable energy The 2020 package has presented a binding target of 20% of EU energy from renewables for the year 2020. The new regulatory framework agreed by the European Parliament on 13th November 2018 fixes a new target for the EU in 2030: a binding renewable energy target of at least 32% , including a review clause by 2023 for an upward revision of the EU level target. These set of targets will contribute to the Commission’s vision for a climate-neutral future in line with the Paris Agreement objective to keep the global temperature increase to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to keep it to 1.5°C. Biomass Biomass and waste accounted for about two-thirds of all renewable energy consumption in the EU. It should be stressed that for 24 Be

biomass to be effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it must be produced in a sustainable way. The revised Renewable Energy Directive adopted in December 2018 by the European Parliament and by the Council of Ministers of the European Union, ensures the sustainability of bioenergy through different provisions. In particular, the directive addresses the negative indirect impact that the production of biofuels may have due to Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC). The use of biomass for production of power, heat, transportation fuels and materials, if the sustainability is ensured, is one of the most promising options to combat climate change. As of today, biomass is part of the only feasible scenario for delivering carbon-neutral solutions for aviation (long-haul flights), shipping and heavy road transport. Biomass will play a role in the development of climate neutral or negative emission solutions, for example in combination with CCU (Carbon Capture and Utilization) or CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) technologies. The European Commission promotes research and innovation in this area. THE ROLE OF RESEARCH: HORIZON 2020 AND HORIZON EUROPE Achieving the targets set for 2030 and 2050 will require the development of new, more efficient and less costly technologies and Europe clearly has the potential to develop a new generation of low carbon technologies. We will reach affordable, clean energy for all through strong investment in research, science and innovation, and deployment on industrial scale. That is why our EU Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020 devotes 60% of its 77 billion Euro to sustainable development and that climate-related expenditure should exceed 35% of the budget. And that

is why the European Commission has proposed 100 billion Euro for the new (2021-2027) EU Research and Innovation Programme, Horizon Europe. In Horizon 2020, the Energy Challenge was designed to support the transition to a reliable, sustainable and competitive energy system with a budget of €5 931 million for the period 2014-2020. THE ROLE OF SCIENCE EVIDENCE IN POLICY MAKING: AN EXAMPLE CCU Among the techniques that can mitigate CO2 emissions are those that are referred to as Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) technologies that may be used together with biomass. The characterisation of the circumstances under which Carbon Capture and Utilisation technologies can deliver climate benefits is not trivial. The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors was asked by the European Commission to advise on the climate mitigation potential of Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) technologies in view of future policy decisions in this field, including on financial support by the European Union. Scientific evidence is at the very heart of the European Commission’s goal of better regulation. It is for this reason that the Commission has created the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) to provide high quality, timely and independent scientific advice for its policy making activities. The core element of SAM is the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors. The Group has up to 7 members, who are distinguished scientists reflecting the breadth of scientific expertise across Europe. They work closely with the scientific community, mainly through the Horizon 2020 funded ‘SAPEA’ (Scientific Advice to Policy by European Academies) project consisting of 5 European academy networks (Academia Europaea, ALLEA, EASAC, Euro-

CASE, and FEAM). The Opinion on the climate mitigation potential of Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) technologies makes a set of recommendations informed by the Evidence Review Report produced by SAPEA. The report refers different scenario for the case of “Sustainable CCU”, collecting CO2 (capture) either directly from the air (direct air capture DAC) concentrated point sources or indirectly from using biomass in processes that are assumed to have captured CO2 from the atmosphere in a sustainable way. Bio-CCU (a concept that combine biomass use with carbon capture and utilisation) will be climate neutral in the cases the utilised CO2 is reemitted at a later point in time. CCU resulting products are also of very different natures and have different lifetimes. In the case of fuels CO2 is bounded in the time scale of days/weeks, chemicals in the time scale of decades and in materials of centuries. In the last case, where the CCU product is a material and, the carbon is bounded for centuries, the process may be considered as permanent storage. For these cases and for the cyclical CCU (if the carbon remains in the technical carbon cycle), Bio-CCU

has potential to achieve negative carbon emissions and thus have a significant, albeit theoretical climate change mitigation potential. In order to assist policy makers to deal with some of these complex scenarios, the Opinion contains a set of recommendations. For example, it is recommended that, a CCU project should only be included in Climate Change Schemes, if with a rigorous cross-sectorial and systematic methodology, the project is able to demonstrate and to quantify its CO2 mitigation potential. In addition, the following conditions should be fulfilled: • The required energy has lowcarbon origin, with high availability and low cost • Other, simpler and more costeffective solutions do not yield comparable products available in sufficient quantities • The readiness level of CCU projects will meet the objectives • There are supplementary benefits of the CCU projects in addition to climate mitigation potential. THE EUBCE 2019 FOR SCIENCE-BASED POLICY MAKING The EUBCE 2019 Conference will be a meeting place to discuss all these new developments. EUBCE

2019 is about promoting research and innovation in biomass, bioenergy and biomaterials from frontier research to assessing the challenges and successes of industrial applications. EUBCE 2019 is about research and innovation but it is also about science and scientific evidence in policy making in the field of biomass, bioenergy and biomaterials. The present edition of the EUBCE will pay particular attention to the issue of science-based policy making, discussing the best ways to use the most up-to-date scientific results in the policy making cycle and will assess the successes of industrial processes using biomass for energy and materials applications toward reaching the EU 2030 and Paris targets. Let us move science, innovation and sciencebased policy making in the area of biomass and bioenergy for a bright and de-fossilized future! Twitter @mgracacarvalho Instagram margracacarvalho This is an edited version of an article originally written for and published by Revolve Media. References at https://tinyurl.com/y5enr29p

Prof. Maria da Graça Carvalho European Commission, Directorate-General Research and Innovation Member Scientific Advice Mechanism Unit EUBCE 2019 Conference General Chair Maria da Graça Carvalho is currently member of the Scientific Advice Mechanism Unit of the Directorate-General Research and Innovation of the European Commission. She was a senior advisor of Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation from November 2014 to December 2015. She was a member of the European Parliament in the EPP group since July 2009 to May 2014. In this capacity she was one of the rapporteurs of Horizon 2020. She was Principal Adviser of President of the European Commission in the areas of Science, Innovation, Energy, Environment and Climate Change from 2006 to 2009. She was Minister of Science and Higher Education of the XV Constitutional Government and Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education of the XVI Constitutional Government of Portugal. She is a Full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (University of Lisbon) and she has acquired 30 years of experience in research in the areas of energy, climate change and science, technology and innovation policy. She has published 130 articles in international scientific journals and more than 300 articles in books and conference proceedings. She is, herself, the author of 2 books and the editor of 15 books and special editions of international scientific journals in the field of energy.

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he growing complexity of the policy issues at stake and the increasing abundance of data and information available require an ability to map, review, analyse and condense the best available knowledge in support of EU policies. The Joint Research Centre (JRC) – the European Commission’s science and knowledge service - has set up and coordinates six Knowledge Centres to address this challenge in specific policy areas. One of them is the bioeconomy. Knowledge Centres are virtual entities that bring together knowledge and expertise from different locations (both within and outside of the European Commission) to inform policymakers in a transparent, tailored and concise manner about the status and findings of the latest scientific evidence. This innovative approach brings policymakers and researchers together to co-create answers to policy questions and align research action with policy needs. The European Commission’s

Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy was launched in July 2017, to pull together the knowledge and expertise needed to assess the status, progress and impact of the bioeconomy. It deals with the complex and abundant knowledge and expertise available through complementary activities that together enhance the knowledge base for policymaking: • A continuously enriched online library that gives one-stop access to curated information from different sources: publications, datasets, news articles, events, glossary terms. • A Community of Practice (CoP) that brings together relevant specialists from across different Commission services, complemented with the involvement of external experts on an ad-hoc basis. • Products that synthesise and communicate knowledge for policy such as briefs that provide a concise synthesis of the latest

Further information European Commission's Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy https://ec.europa.eu/knowledge4policy/bioeconomy_en 26 Be

scientific evidence in response to specific policy-relevant questions; dynamic online interactive dashboards that structure and communicate information, and infographics that communicate quickly and clearly the key messages and figures. Those knowledge management activities build upon on the extensive scientific competences and the excellent research undertaken by the JRC in bioeconomy-related topics over many years: e.g. the provision of data, models and analyses of EU and global biomass potential, supply, demand and related sustainability, the development of forward-looking tools and publication of results of foresight exercises, the modelling for ex-ante assessment of policy options and other direct input to EU policies throughout the policy cycle. In 2018, the JRC provided essential contributions to the development of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, and will play a key role in its implementation in the coming years.












Strengthening European competitiveness and creating jobs








Managing our natural resources in a sustainable way

Paris Agreement on climate change











Ensuring there is enough food for a growing population

Sustainable Development Goals


Global challenges, such as climate change and land and ecosystem degradation, coupled with growing demands for food and energy, force us to find new ways of producing and consuming.


Mitigating and adapting to climate change


Reducing our dependence on non-renewable resources

© European Union, 2018

A sustainable and circular bioeconomy needs coherent, evidence-based policies, across sectors, enabled by a common and robust knowledge base. Here is where the European Commission’s Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy comes into play.

Identifying and filtering relevant information and making it accessible:

Bringing together researchers, policymakers and other experts in the field.


Analysing, synthesising and communicating available evidence.

Enhancing the knowledge base for policymaking.

@ https://ec.europa.eu/knowledge 4policy/bioeconomy

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he Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a â‚Ź 3.7 billion publicprivate partnership between the EU and the industry, representing the largest industrial and economic cooperation endeavour ever undertaken in Europe in this field. Through its projects, BBI JU promotes innovation, job creation and reindustrialization of rural areas in Europe. By developing collaborative business models and convincing brand owners to engage in creating new markets and products from renewable resources, BBI JU has a positive impact not only on the economy and scientific advancements but also on the

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environment at both regional and international level. The bioeconomy covers the use of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-based products and biofuels via a range of technologies. Bio-based industries are a significant subsector of the bioeconomy, which uses renewable and sustainablysourced biological raw materials, as the basic materials for producing intermediate and end-user products. However, a distinct and coherent single European bio-based industry sector does not yet exist, and currently comprises a wide range of different industrial sectors, often working in isolation.

Existing economic segments like the chemical, forestry, pulp and paper sectors, as well as technology providers including biowaste industries, all have an interest in moving from an unsustainable petroleum-based economic model to a bio-based one. This can be achieved by improving cooperation around all parts of the value chain and encouraging cross-sector collaboration. Integrated biorefineries play a central role in the bio-based industry. They convert biomass, including organic waste, through efficient and innovative technologies into different types of bio-based products such as feed, fibres,

materials, chemicals and bioenergy. By ensuring a sustainable supply of suitable biomass we can reduce the current European reliance on imported fossil-based raw materials. THE NEED FOR BBI JU The bio-based industry is an emerging sector organised between inter-connected value chains, which aims at transforming renewable biological feedstocks such as dedicated crops, agricultural and forest residues, bio-waste and aquatic biomass, into bio-based products, materials and energy, replacing their fossil-based versions. According to Eurostat figures, in 2015 the bio-based industry sector accounted for 3.7 million jobs in EU28 and achieved a total turnover of around € 700 billion. However, bio-based industries are still considered as an emerging sector that is extremely fragmented across geographical areas and organisations. Bio-based industries and their value chains face complex and substantial technological and innovation challenges. Some of these challenges are related to feedstock supply, inadequate logistical infrastructure, and lack of consumer awareness. Biorefineries require large, risky investments, and the sector also faces nontechnological and regulatory hurdles on several levels of the value chains. In 2012, as part of the impact assessment of the initiative, the European Commission conducted a public consultation. From the 638 responses received, 94.3% of them recommended an EU initiative and a large majority requested an institutional public-private partnership between the EU and the bio-based industry. The impact assessment concluded that a Joint Undertaking between public and private sectors was necessary to: • de-risk investment at all levels, from research to full-scale deployment;

organise the sectors by building bridges and collaboration between actors that had never collaborated in the past; reach a critical mass at the European level, where a single country or small group of organisations is not sufficiently large to address such a strategic challenge.

BBI JU was created to act a catalyst to tackle these challenges by de-risking investments for private research and innovation, structuring the sector to allow it to reach critical mass in a focused and coherent way. This will enable long-term stability and predictability for the sector. The BBI JU initiative is about connecting key sectors, creating new value chains and producing a range of innovative bio-based products to ultimately create a new bio-based community and economy. STRUCTURING THE SECTOR AND MOBILISING KEY STAKEHOLDERS The two main positive effects of BBI JU remain the structuring effect in organising the value chains across sectors and the innovationdriven mobilising effect of key stakeholders across sectors and across geographical areas, keeping and attracting investment in Europe to create competitiveness and jobs, in particular in coastal and rural areas. The significant added value of BBI JU is mostly in accelerating the integration of different sectors and industries towards the creation of new value chains, with different partners joining forces on a common project. In addition to these key aspects, other important achievements are the effectiveness of implementation, the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) specific to BBI JU which are all well on track, the significant private sector participation with an important mobilisation of private investment demonstrating a high leverage effect,

and the strong SMEs participation. At the end of 2018, the total number of beneficiaries was 933, covering 82 granted projects, with total funding of € 499 million. Among the beneficiaries, 25 Member States were represented together with seven associated countries: Israel, Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and the Faroe Islands. These figures are going to increase with the signature of the 19 grants awarded following the 2018 Call for Proposals, pushing the project portfolio to 101 funded projects with 1,169 total beneficiaries from 35 countries, and a total grant amount of € 602 million. FOSTERING COLLABORATION BETWEEN INDUSTRY, SMES AND ACADEMIA BBI JU is an industry-driven initiative, which guarantees the maximisation of the structuring and mobilising effect, however, only 31% of funding goes to large industries. A fundamental element of BBI JU calls is the high SMEs participation of 41% and 35% in terms of funding. This demonstrates its essential role in structuring the sector and improving the competitiveness of small companies, often key technology providers. BBI JU presents a unique opportunity for them to scale-up their technology and to access markets. With respect to the other main types of beneficiaries, 28.4% of funding goes to research organisations and 29 Be

higher education establishments. This shows the important contribution to the mobilising effect of all key actors across sectors and across disciplines, including the scientific community. Beneficiaries from the scientific community are fundamental for BBI JU as they provide expertise and ‘out of the box’ thinking, driving the translation of science into innovation (so-called ‘innovation potential’). BBI JU also provides numerous possibilities for them to build relationships with industry and to be part of high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) projects, scaling up technologies and valorising their intellectual property. One of the unique features of the BBI JU initiative has been to foster the closer collaboration between the scientific community and the industry, ascending the TRL scale and thus enabling a swifter move towards innovation. The scientific community mobilisation is evidenced by the 28.4% participation level of universities and research centres in the BBI JU projects. It is further confirmed by the annual survey: according to the projects’ reports, 80% of them contribute to knowledge creation, 79% contribute to increasing the academia-industry cooperation, and more than the half contribute to the building of scientific community networks and

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to technology transfer. These results contribute significantly to gains in the Technology Readiness Level where RIA (Research & Innovation Action) projects report 33 cases of improved technologies filling gaps in the value chain. EXPECTED SOCIOECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Current results show that most of the projects expect to contribute to job creation, as around half of them are located in rural and coastal areas. The seven flagships granted so far are generating private investments in biorefineries of around € 800 million against a BBI JU financing of € 159 million. This means that for every euro granted by BBI JU to a flagship project, up to € 5 are attracted from private investors. This represents the creation of more than 3,000 direct and more than 10,000 indirect jobs evenly shared between EU15, EU13 and associated countries. The expected environmental impact is also huge as two-thirds of the projects report producing bio-based products with lower GHG emissions. More than half of them expect to contribute to waste reduction, reuse, valorisation or recycling and a decrease in their energy consumption. Considering only the seven flagships funded so

far, the total CO2 saving is expected to reach 600 kT CO2/year. Finally, 40% of the projects report they expect to improve land use and seven projects report a positive impact on biodiversity. BOOSTING THE POTENTIAL FOR BIO-BASED INDUSTRIES IN EUROPE BBI JU is creating a stimulating research and innovation environment in Europe, attracting a growing level of participation of the best European players in the bioeconomy. The development of business models integrating economic actors along the value chains is a key achievement. A strong European bio-based industrial sector will help to reduce Europe’s dependency on fossilbased products, moving Europe more quickly towards the many socioeconomic benefits of a postpetroleum society. To unlock their full potential, Europe’s biobased industries will need to make sustainable, resource-efficient and largely waste-free use of Europe’s renewable materials to play an important role in spurring sustainable growth and boosting Europe’s competitiveness. And BBI JU is a key player to enable it.

RECOGNIZING THE POSITION OF BIOFUELS WITHIN THE RED II European Technology Innovation Platform Bioenergy


he European Technology and Innovation Platform Bioenergy (ETIP Bioenergy) has recently prepared an input paper to underline the role of sustainable biofuels in meeting the targets of the Paris agreement, in the context of the implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive II (REDII) and its adoption by Member States. The biofuel sector has the potential to establish the energy transition in order to achieve the climate targets for the upcoming decade. Sustainable biofuels, renewable fuels and advanced biofuels must play an important role in decarbonizing the European transport. They provide a fast track to decarbonization, require no further infrastructure; can reduce emissions by up to 100%, while providing jobs and investments. Further development and uptake of sustainable biofuels as well as further research, development and innovation is required. Therefore the EU should continue to support the schemes that provide leadership in the field of innovation and investments in sustainable biofuels. In Europe, bioenergy represents around two thirds of the total primary energy supply of renewable energy sources (5,881PJ) in 2016. It thus accounts for about 4.5 times more energy than the

second largest supplier of renewable energy namely hydropower (1,260 PJ). In 2017, the biofuels share accounted for 92% of renewable energy in the transport globally. This large share is due to the compatibility with already existing internal combustion engines vehicles. The REDII provides the direction for the next decade and needs to be implemented in the Member States and ETIP Bioenergy recommends that this implementation takes place as swiftly as possible. THE PARIS AGREEMENT IS MORE AMBITIOUS THAN THE REDII TARGETS There is a still a big gap between the targets set within the Paris Agreement, the REDII provisions and the national pledges. Given that the EU transport sector has shown stable or even increasing GHG emissions over time, the future EU policy and national legislation need to be supportive on pushing the transport sector towards lower GHG emissions. REDII - THE IMPLEMENTATION WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE Alternatives such as electric vehicles and renewable fuels of non-

biological origin (PTx) will require both large amounts of renewable electricity and time to achieve significant market shares. In order to reach the REDII targets, large contributions of biofuels will be needed as much as other low carbon alternatives. In addition, existing technologically mature, sustainable conventional biofuels could still be used while developing capacities for advanced biofuels and other renewable fuels. Looking at the Paris Agreement, the specific 14% RES target set in the REDII for the transport sector is positive, but by far it is not enough. It is vital that the 14% target is at least met, on time, and not watered down by multiple counting. Consequently, sustainable conventional biofuels are needed, preferably at 7% level. The focus should be put on continuing to improve such biofuels and their sustainability, not on banning existing biofuels. Hence, it is also important to count only actual biofuels volumes and limit multiple counting. Double counting is essential in the first phase of the Directive to promote advanced biofuels deployment; however, true GHG savings can only be achieved 31 Be

Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from Transport by Mode, including international Bunkers: EU-28 in Mld. tCO2eq\a


Other transportation (all remaining transport activities ind. pipeline transportation, ground activities in airports and harbours, and off-road)


Navigation (total) 1000


Railways (excl. indirect emissions from electricity consumption

600 Civil aviation (total) 400 Road transportation 200


1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 2011 2014

Total transport energy demand:

358 Mtoe


340 Mtoe


355 Mtoe

ŠDBFZ 2018 based on European Environment Agency (EEA) 2018, EU White Paper on Transport 2011, COM (2016) 501 und COM (2017) 283, EU Reference Scenario 2016

Figure 1: Representing the increased GHG emissions from Transport by Mode over the time.

through the physical deployment of renewable fuels. Likewise, unbalanced multiple counting of renewable electricity (x4 for road transport) leads to virtual renewable energy amounts. HARMONIZATION OF REDII IMPLEMENTATION IS NEEDED Several national energy and transport policies are being developed for the time-horizon 2030. These policies need to be harmonised to avoid fragmentation and this will be a key issue for the national implementation of REDII. The flexibility allowed by this new directive could pose the risk that its transposition by Member States could result in a not-harmonized patchwork of national regulations. A flexible implementation of REDII at Member States level may represent a major drawback for downstream industries with impacts on i.e. fuel retailing, engine calibration etc., and fragmented national regulations may become a barrier for biofuels to sufficiently contribute to the Paris Climate Agreement. For that reason, 32 Be

ETIP Bioenergy recommends that the European Commission establishes an observatory that controls the harmonized implementation of the REDII. ACCOMPANYING MEASURES FOR REDII ARE REQUIRED - STRATEGIC BIO-BASED TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT POLICY Even though the 2030 obligation for advanced biofuels is relatively modest (3.5% with double counting), the corresponding technologies will be essential for the developments beyond 2030 and therefore deserve to be part of a strategic technology development policy. This technology development should be part of an integrated bio-based technology strategy, in which bio-refining, biomass applications for chemicals and co-generation of heat and power also play a role. As all bio-based options rely on the availability of sustainable biomass, a complementary strategy to improve the mobilisation of biomass and to safeguard its sustainability remains

pivotal. Furthermore, renewable fuels from non-biological origin deserve attention as well, as they also can contribute to stabilising electricity systems with high shares of intermittent power generation (wind and solar). Moreover, exploiting synergies in combining biomass (BTx) and electricity/power (PTx) based technologies will support developing integrated technology concepts. IMPORTANCE OF EXPLOITING EU’S HUGE SUSTAINABLE FEEDSTOCK POTENTIAL FOR BIOFUELS AND SUPPORTING NEW SUPPLY CHAINS AS THE BASIS FOR COST-EFFICIENT RAW MATERIAL SUPPLY In EU, only a small part of available raw materials is currently used, while there is sufficient sustainable biomass feedstock available to increase the current amounts of biofuel production. To provide the required biofuels, different technology pathways will be needed, depending on feedstock availability, regional conditions, and the requirements of

different transportation sub-sectors and vehicle markets. R&D should continue or even accelerate to make sure all potential raw materials can be made available for advanced biofuels. In addition, strong sustainability criteria must be available to properly assess the acceptability of the innovative pathways. NO RESTRICTIONS FOR FEEDSTOCKS IN ADVANCED BIOFUELS Contrary to conventional biofuels that rely on global commodity raw materials (thus largely available in volume), advanced biofuels reckon on wastes, residues and lignocellulosic biomass, which are locally available and limited in volume (especially wastes and residues). Thus, it is important to ensure that all potential raw materials can be eligible for producing advanced biofuels. Unfortunately, this is not the approach of REDII, which is limiting eligible feedstocks by means of a fixed list (Annex IX A and B). The option of broadening this list should be followed on the basis of sound sustainability assessments. PROMOTION OF RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCIALIZATION An adequate R&I policy is needed to support clear and ambitious targets, enabling policy harmonization backed by scientific evidence, and taking into consideration the time frame set by the Paris Climate Agreement. This policy should also help in finding sustainable solutions to enlarge the resource basis, needed to provide sufficient volumes of biomass as well as a framework for concerted R&I efforts, including workable financing solutions. New raw materials demand new technologies. Most processes to manufacture advanced biofuels are still not completely mature to fulfil the 2030 objectives of REDII in terms of volume. Even if the first production facilities are already

running successfully, further process improvement cycles will be necessary to improve yields and achieve cost reductions. Consequently, R&D&D should be accelerated and prioritized to ensure that advanced biofuels can be used at industrial level within the given time constraints (i.e. before 2030). The SET-Plan Action 8 “Renewable Fuels and Bioenergy” Implementation Plan provides an excellent starting point. The need for investing in replication via grants or loan guarantees using existing public funding and financing tools to leverage and de-risk private investments To incentivize new commercial scale plants based on technology already demonstrated is the key priority. This will support the fast deployment of commercially optimized solutions into first-of-its-kind plants, with larger plants being built with time resulting in greater economies of scale and lower production costs. Viable firstof-its-kind plants are also required to leverage sufficient financing for broad technology replication. Grants and loans would greatly assist the acceleration of innovative technologies and their market deployment by lowering the cost of capital. SECTOR COUPLING When assessing CO2 emission of a vehicle, it is of paramount importance to take into consideration the GHG reduction of the biofuels used in the tank, in order to incentivize car manufacturers to commercialize cars and light duty vehicles capable to use high shares of biofuels. The current regulation concerning emission performance standards for new passenger cars and for new light commercial vehicles is completely missing the benefit of biofuels and is only favouring one type of technology (i.e. electrical vehicle) while all solutions are required to reach the Paris agreement targets.

PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE AND INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE COMPLIANCE Clear government mandates, with clear indications of penalties and incentives, are of paramount importance to provide a stable basis to financially evaluate a project and making it bankable. For instance, in Finland a law was recently adopted to gradually increase biofuel targets to 30% in 2030. Furthermore, the law sets a world-leading advanced biofuels’ target of 10% in 2030, with discouraging penalties in case of non-compliance as a way to ensure target fulfilment. Italy has introduced an incentive system for biomethane and advanced biofuels through the emission of certificates for twenty years, providing longterm clarity and stability for investors, and Germany introduced a GHG quota with CO2 prices (within this quota) that shows positive effects. It is important to couple the sectors with each other and thereby considering the wheelto-wheel (WTW) approaches when assessing the GHG reductions (e.g. REDII for renewable fuels linked to CO2 fuel regulations for vehicles). Acknowledgements This article is based on a reduced version of the Input Paper “Recognizing the position of biofuels within the Renewable Energy Directive II (REDII)” developed by the Steering Committee of the European Technology and Innovation Platform Bioenergy (ETIP Bioenergy). We would like to acknowledge the authors: Patrik Klintbom, Ingrid Nyström, Marc Londo, Nour Amrani, Beatrice Perrier, Mako Janhunen, Birger Kerckow, Franziska Müller-Langer, Sophie Kruse, JeanChristophe Viguie . The full document is available at


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BIOENERGY WITH CARBON CAPTURE STORAGE AND UTILIZATION Suani T. Coelho, Julio R. Meneghini, Karen L. Mascarenhas, Research Center for Gas Innovation (FAPESP/SHELL); Research Center for Bioenergy, Institute of Energy and Environment, University of Sao Paulo


onsidering the COP21 commitments to limit warming to less than 2°C, several studies concluded that only the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy is not enough to achieve this goal. Among several other studies, Bui et al. (2018) conclude that it is mandatory to introduce carbon capture storage (CCS) and carbon capture and use (CCUS) together with bioenergy (BECCSUS). This correspond to the so-called “negative emissions technologies” (NETs)(Fig.1). IEA Bioenergy (Del Alamo et al, 2018) reminds the importance of technologies to capture emissions from fossil fuel use for energy 34 Be

conversion in thermoelectric power plants and industrial processes to prevent this CO2 from entering into the atmosphere to be stored in the underground (depleted oil or gas fields or deep aquifers). In addition to CCS, there is also the option for carbon capture and usage (CCUS), in several technological options. IEA Bioenergy, in its reports, among several other studies, stresses the importance of BECCSUS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture Storage and Usage ) to reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to reduce impacts on global warming. In addition, several other studies discuss the several options referring to the different processes to capture

Fig. 1 Above: Ten options for negative emission technologies ©Carbon Brief

CO2 from atmosphere or from different processes, including those involving bioenergy, as well as to the several possible uses for CO2, including CO2 storage and usage in different processes. In this section, we present a brief overview of the advantages of BECCSUS, as well as some options for CO2 usage and the perspectives for developing countries (DCs). This article resumes the main aspects of bioenergy use together with CCS and CCUS (BECCSUS), in order to allow a strong reduction on GHG concentration in the atmosphere to achieve the 2050 goal (450 ppm by 2050, WEC, 2013).

TECHNOLOGICAL STATUS OF CCS IN BRAZIL One of the biggest challenges in the oil production in the pre-salt basin in the southeast cost of Brazil is how to deal with the associated gas and its high content of CO2. As the oil and energy companies producing oil in this region have agreed not to emit to the atmosphere CO2, they started reinjecting the gas into the reservoirs. The effect of this re-injection is that the amount of associated gas is increasing as oil is produced, and the capacity to process such gas in some platforms is close to its limit. As this problem is expected to become more frequent in next couple of years, a group of researchers at RCGI started to investigate the feasibility of storing the associated gas in caverns in the salt layer above the reservoirs. Doing so, large amounts of CO2 could be stored together with methane, allowing the separation of those gases inside the cavern (by gravimetric means) and later use of methane, keeping only CO2 stored in the caverns. This concept is described in detail in da Costa et al. (2018). As can be seen in this publication, large quantities of CO2 can be stored. In a single cavern, more than 5million m3 can be stored. Apart from the offshore example given above, RCGI is mapping areas onshore in the Parana basin to store CO2. Finding areas there will allow the CO2 produced from the ethanol fermentation process to be safely stored. BIOENERGY AND CCS/ CCUS: PERSPECTIVES FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES CCSUS is a carbon reduction technology that offers permanent net removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. When combined to bioenergy processes (BECCSUS), it is also called “negative carbon dioxide emissions” and the technologies involved are called “negative emissions technology” (NET). BECCSUS offers a significant advantage over other

mitigation alternatives, which only reduce the emissions to the atmosphere. The benefits from this technology are currently receiving increased attention from policy makers. Del Alamo et al (2015) comments that bioenergy could play an important role in the future energy Figure 2: Negative emissions achieved by implementation of CCS to bioenergy processes. Source: de Vos system. The study analyses (2014) apud Del Alamo et al. (2015). that, “according to the IEA’s clean and cost-efficient. The 2DS scenario, bioenergy will provide growing global demand for biofuels approximately 17% of the final has increased ethanol production energy demand in 2060 (with respect and BECCSUS projects can become to the current 4.5%)”. According attractive. to this scenario, bioenergy can In Brazil, there are some BECCUS contribute to approximately 20% projects. Some sugarcane ethanol of the carbon savings in 2060. In mills capture CO2 from juice the case of bioenergy processes, fermentation and sell it to beverages growing crops sustainably and with industries, such as the Vale mill in high carbon uptake, the process Onda Verde (Sao Paulo State) and can be considered as nearly neutral. Penedo mill, in Alagoas recovering Moreover, when CO2 released from 70 tCO2 per day and 35 tCO2 per day, bioenergy processes is captured and respectively . Equipment from Pentair stored for example in geological Co. (USA) is shown in Figure 2. formations (that is, if CCS is applied in combination with bioenergy In addition in 2016, Pentair processes), negative CO2 emissions announced the launch of equipment can be potentially achieved. Figure for CO2 capture from biogas 2 illustrates this balance. upgrading systems. This is an There is also the option of carbon important technological option capture and use for different end considering the positive impacts of uses, as discussed ahead in this bio-methane to replace natural gas or section. According to this study, to produce other fuels. In Brazil and there are nowadays five BECCS other sugarcane ethanol producer projects in operation worldwide; countries, this is a significant these projects capture a total amount improvement to allow BECCSUS of 0.85 MtCO2 per year (compared together with biogas production. to 16 CCS projects with a capacity of Sugarcane ethanol production about 31 MtCO2/year). In particular, generates a huge amount of vinasse, there is the Illinois Industrial CCS used for fertirrigation. However, (IL-ICCS) project, which captures there is the option of producing CO2 from Archer Daniels Midland’s biogas from vinasse, a significant (ADM) corn ethanol plant in option to produce both electricity Decatur (Illinois, USA) and stores and bio-methane. Therefore, there is it in a sandstone formation, adding a huge potential for BECCSUS with additional 1 MtCO2 per year, since the combination of CO2 capture from the operation started in April 2017. fermentation, from exhaust gases The project is supported by the US from sugarcane boilers and from the Department of Energy . upgrading of biogas from vinasse. CO2 capture from fermentation There is a recent experience from processes in ethanol mills is quite Copcana (sugarcane) mill, in Parana easy since this CO2 is technically State (South Brazil), selling CO2 to 35 Be

a chemical industry (RAUDI Co.), to produce Na2CO3 and to a wood production industry (to be used in the greenhouses to increase wood growth). Copcana mill, showed in Figure 4, reported an amount of avoided emissions of 28,000 t CO2 in 2003. These Brazilian experiences of BECCSUS could be replicated in other developing countries, where there are several sugarcane ethanol mills Angola, Argentina, Ethiopia, Paraguay, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and Swaziland, among others (Coelho and Goldemberg, 2019). Besides the huge perspectives of BECCSUS in sugarcane ethanol sector allowing almost negative carbon balance for sugarcane ethanol, there are also important perspectives in Brazilian pig/iron sector. 20 % of Brazilian pig/iron production is from charcoal “green steel” (SINDIFER, 2018), so, if we combine Brazilian green steel with BECCSUS, we could have a negative emissions technology (NET). PUBLIC PERCEPTION Even though BECCS and BECCUS are a very interesting alternatives for reducing carbon emissions and contributing towards mitigation of climate change effects, the technology is not yet widely known by policy makers, media, society and even by agriculture stakeholders. The lack of information and demonstration projects is still a limit for the comprehension of the risk and benefits associated. The authors

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Figure 3: CO2 recovery from sugarcane ethanol fermentation to be used in beverage industries, from Pentair Co . Source: https://www. quimica.com.br/tecnologia-ambiental-usinas-recuperam-co2/

refer to the lack of community support as a cultural shortage of key stakeholders’ awareness and credibility, reinforcing the need for creating a roadmap for the development of BECCS worldwide as well as for Brazil too. Considering the research and experience, projects in CCS with fossil fuels are better known and supported by industry. Lessons learned in this area show that trust, fairness in the process, involving individuals in decision making, frequent and transparent communication, are key for the development of the social license to operate (SLO), that is a kind of social acceptance of the community to go ahead with new technologies. Mainly, framing the communication and involving the different stakeholders, with coherent

narratives to each of them, seems to be the best practice to gain the SLO, focusing the message on BECCS and BECCUS as alternatives of the energy and climate change among others, and emphasizing the factual and descriptive capabilities of the technology as well as responding to the individual and social factors involved (Dowd et al. 2015).   Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge the Escola Politécnica and the Institute of Energy and Environment, both from the University of São Paulo and also the support from FAPESP and Shell, through the Research Centre for Gas Innovation - RCGI (FAPESP Grant Proc. 2014/50279-4). References at https://tinyurl.com/y5enr29p

Figure 4: Copcana sugarcane ethanol mill, which sells CO2 to a chemical industry in Brazil. Source: Kindly supplied by Copcana

WHERE WILL WE GET OUR BIOJET? Jeffrey Skeer and Rodrigo Leme, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)


chieving the emissions reductions commitments agreed under the Paris Agreement will demand a fundamental shift in the way the world produces and uses energy. According to most projections, the remaining carbon budget consistent with keeping global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius imposes an almost complete decarbonization of the energy sector before the end of the century. Together with other renewable energy forms, modern bioenergy can play a vital role in that effort if scaled up significantly. Although greater amounts of modern bioenergy have been used in recent years, its growth pace is insufficient to support the requirements of the energy transition. A much stronger and concerted effort is needed, particularly in sectors such as shipping, aviation and various industrial applications for which bioenergy could provide

key solutions. In IRENA’s most recent study on the global energy transition, bioenergy must grow in all end-use sectors and power generation. The primary supply of modern bioenergy would have to grow from around 30 EJ today to 125 EJ by 2050 – a more than four-fold increase (or a doubling if traditional uses of biomass existing today are included). BIOJET WILL PLAY A FUNDAMENTAL ROLE IN DECARBONISING TRANSPORT Biofuels will be indispensable to decarbonise the transport sector. Although transport will become much more electrified, this will not happen everywhere, not in all sectors and not all at once. It follows that there will be a large need for biofuels for several decades to come. While electric mobility will come to dominate light vehicle fleets, fleets take two decades to turn over. Heavy

long-distance freight trucks, marine ships and airplanes are unlikely to be fully electrified due to the higher energy density they require. In the aviation sector, the use of jet fuel including both domestic and international aviation results in over one billion tonnes of CO2 today (over 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions). Emissions have been consistently growing over the past 10 years and are expected in a business as usual case to grow further to between 3 and 5 times the current level by 2050. With that in mind, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set an aspirational goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 onwards and has adopted the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). As of March 8th 2019, 79 States, representing 76.63% of international aviation activity, expressed their intention to voluntarily participate in CORSIA from its outset, according to the 37 Be

ICAO. International aviation accounts for roughly half of all the fuel used for aviation globally. According to ICAO analysis, about half of the required emissions reductions can be achieved through enhanced efficiency. These include reduced fuel requirements per distance traveled, as a result of lighter and more fuel-efficient aircraft. These also include reduced fuel requirements from improved logistics, reducing the distance traveled for a given route and reducing loss of fuel from aircraft delays. Roughly speaking, efficiency has improved by an average of 1.5% per annum, and this should continue. But the other half of required emissions reductions, will have to come from the introduction of renewable aviation fuel. Biofuels can sharply reduce carbon emissions if they are produced from sustainable feedstocks on existing farm land or existing managed forest, so that no increase in greenhouse gas emissions arises from land-use change. The associated resource potential is very large – from sources like greater use of agricultural residues, restoration of degraded lands with wood crops, and freeing up land for energy crops by raising food crop yields, raising livestock on less pastureland, and reducing waste and losses in the food chain. While fossil kerosene emits 3 or 4 kg of CO2 per litre, biojet emits just 1 or 2 or even less. Ultimately, if emissions from aviation are to approach zero, renewable biojet must become universal. RECENT PROGRESS IS ENCOURAGING, BUT MUCH MORE IS NEEDED Since the first test flight performed by Virgin Atlantic in 2008, more than 150,000 commercial flights 38 Be

have been performed using biojet fuel by the end of 2018, according to the IATA. These flights used a variety of feedstocks and conversion pathways including blends of up to 50% biojet fuel from feedstocks like used cooking oil, jatropha, camelina, algae and sugarcane. Several airlines have concluded long-term offtake agreements with biofuel suppliers, most of which are reported as commercially competitive. A number of airports have agreed to supply SAF through their hydrant system. But the volumes of biojet in use today are still very small, accounting for less than 1% of the total jet fuel demand globally (IATA). Only few airports and airlines include permanent use of biojet in their operations. While market penetration of such fuel has so far been very limited and is expected to remain so for another decade, there will be plenty of potential for cost-effective renewable jet fuel to supply all the required amounts by 2050. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of abundant feedstocks from which biojet can be manufactured. Oleochemical pathways can be used to produce biojet from oil-based crops such as oilseed trees in South Asia, Salicornia grown with sea water in desert regions, rapeseed grown widely in temperate regions, and even oil palm if certified as grown sustainably on existing farmland in the tropics. Thermochemical processes can be used to make biojet with wood residues from temporal and boreal forest industries. Biochemical processes can be applied to make ethanol from carbohydrate crops like corn and sugarcane, with conventional processes for fermentation of the carbohydrate portion and advanced processes for digestion of the lignocellulosic portion, followed by upgrade of the ethanol to kerosene.

There is a very large potential to produce biofuels cost effectively on existing farmland and grassland, without encroaching upon rainforests, and in surplus to growing food requirements. Pockets of potential that do not involve carbon-releasing land use change – either direct or indirect – include energy crops grown on land made available by raising food crop yields or reducing food waste, as well as set-aside lands or contaminated lands on which food production is prohibited. Greater use could be made of food crop residues and forestry residues, while maintaining enough residues to enrich the soil and preserve biodiversity. IRENA analysis shows that the sustainable biomass supply that could be available in 2050 far exceeds the demand for primary biomass required in the energy transition. If only agricultural residues and wood residues are taken into account, the potential supply of primary biomass in 2050 would reach well over 130 EJ per year. When cultivation of energy crops in land made available from intensification of agriculture and reduction of food waste is considered, an additional potential of over 150 EJ per year would be added. COSTS WILL DECLINE, BUT ECONOMIC COMPETITION WILL BE TOUGH In economic terms, biojet has to compete with petroleum-based jet fuel. Provided we get from firstof-a-kind plants to Nth-of-a-kind plants at scale, with continued technology progress and supply chains that ensure reliable access to sustainable biomass, biojet fuel costs can be expected to come down over time. In that scenario, it should be possible for biojet from any of the feedstock-types to compete with fossil-based jet fuel if oil prices roughly double. In recent years, crude oil prices have fluctuated widely, but mostly between $50 and

$100 per barrel. However, it will be difficult for biojet to compete on a conventional cost basis if oil prices remain weak, which is quite possible in view of expanding supplies of unconventional shale oil and prospects for oil demand to attenuate as electric vehicles gain market share in road transport. Figure 1 shows ranges of unit costs of biojet fuels for three types of feedstock groups towards 2050. The range of biofuel costs is large given the uncertainties involved in the actual costs of Nth-of-a-kind plants and the different conversion pathways under development

Figure 1 – Unit total cost of biojet fuel compared to fossil jet fuel, per feedstock type.

Figure 2 – Biojet and fossil jet fuel cost comparison, including carbon prices.

today. The solid lines indicate the range of fossil jet fuel prices with oil price between US$ 50 and US$ 100 per barrel. Without additional economic support, only in the bestcase scenario biojet would be able to compete with fossil jet. If a price on carbon emissions ranging from US$ 80 to US$ 160 per tonne of CO2 is added the situation improves in favor of biojet, but still competition might be tough if biojet costs are not secured at the lower end of their range, as shown in Figure 2. WITH THE RIGHT POLICIES, BIOJET WILL SUCCEED To maximise the chances for biojet to compete, it will be important for governments to provide support in three fronts: long-term policy, sustainability standards and trade. Recent analysis by IRENA shows that regulatory uncertainty stands out as one of the main impediments to investments in biofuels. The regulatory framework for transport biofuels, in particular aviation, has been uncertain and investment activity has consequently been stagnant for the last ten years. Visibility regarding future markets has been poor and changes have been frequent, hampering investment. Policies must ensure the creation of reliable, long-term demand for biofuels and let the market choose the most cost-effective feedstock and technology pairs at any given place and time. These could include a higher market value for carbon, limits on average fuel carbon content, mandates for renewable fuel, or a combination of these. Carbon prices may not be enough to do the trick if oil prices are weak, which they could well be if shale oil supplies keep growing and automobiles start going electric. So, regulations may be the most effective approach – to require a growing share of renewable jet fuel over time, or better yet a reduction in carbon

emissions per passenger-kilometre and freight-kilometre to give equal credit to greater efficiency. Tax exemptions, support to agriculture and financing incentives also may have a role to play. Another important element in the scale up of biofuels is the development of harmonized sustainability standards at the global level. Although the introduction of sustainability standards and certification schemes has been a positive development, boosting markets for biofuels in general, there is a need for more robust methods to estimate GHG emissions, landuse change and indirect land-use change. There is still much confusion in how lifecycle GHG emissions, land-use change and indirect landuse change are estimated. More harmonised certification systems to verify the sustainability credentials of biofuels are needed. Substantial markets for aviation biofuels will need to emerge in all regions of the world. Very often the potential supply of sustainablyproduced biomass feedstocks and biofuels will not be located where the demand is. So, trade on biofuels must be increased to minimise sustainability and supply risks. It is important for governments to remove barriers and promote trade of sustainably-produced biofuels so that costs are reduced and sustainability risks are mitigated.

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t the 27th EUBCE 2019 in Lisbon (Portugal), BIO4A - Advanced Sustainable Biofuels for Aviation project will present the latest updates at the end of its first year. Started in May 2018, BIO4A is a 4-years Horizon 2020 project aimed at upscaling the industrial production and market uptake of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), produced from residual lipids. The project will enable the large-scale pre-commercial production of ASTM-certified sustainable aviation fuel in the EU and it will also investigate the alternative supply of sustainable feedstocks by recovering EU MED marginal land for drought resistant crop production. SCALING UP PRODUCTION CAPACITY In 2017 Europe consumed approximately 40 million tons of jet fuel. As witnessed by SkyNRG as company directly involved in the aviation sector, the first commercial flights with SAF date back to 2011 and were operated by KLM. Since then several flights were operated

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on SAF by more than 25 airlines on all continents. Those flights were mainly related to pilot activities or demonstration-phase projects. In recent years many developments happened, which led to moving towards series of commercial flights operated with SAF instead of single flights and today one of the biggest challenges is to develop the supplychain ensuring long-term supply of SAF. In this regard BIO4A will play a very important role, since it aims at increasing the production capacity of SAF in Europe: a TOTAL biorefinery which will be started-up in France (at La Mède),

Fig. 1 Ripening of Camelina fields in Spain

with a production target during the project of at least 5,000 tons of Hydrotreated Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) jet fuel. The biorefinery will operate for the first time at full industrial scale AXEN’s technology, licensed to TOTAL, to produce HEFA sustainable aviation fuel. THE ENERGYAGRICULTURE-CLIMATE NEXUS At the same time, the project is carrying out research and development activities to investigate sustainable feedstocks alternative to waste and residual lipids, such

as Camelina (Camelina Sativa). Camelina is a crop suitable for dry Mediterranean areas, whose vegetable oil can be used for the production of SAF via the HEFA process, as already demonstrated during the previous EU FP7 project ITAKA. As a matter of fact, the project is demonstrating there is a positive nexus among the development of advanced biofuels for aviation, sustainable agriculture and climate change. “The link between the production of the feedstock and its conversion into transport (specifically aviation) fuels is becoming more and more important” says David Chiaramonti, BIO4A coordinator. “It connects agriculture, soil, and water with energy generation. We are observing a clear and positive trend of contamination between different EU policies. The more agricultural, energy, and climate policies are connected and coordinated, the more one can benefit from the other. The integration of these complex elements is now well present in the most recent energy policy frameworks, such as the new Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), but one can also find some of these components in the CORSIA programme, the UN-ICAO Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation currently under preparation. The agronomic practices that are behind the production of the feedstock are considered by these policies, and it is interesting to observe how this approach could help to bring agriculture back to more sustainable and less fossil based practices”. SUSTAINABLE FARMING FOR SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUELS Yuri Herreras, founder of Camelina Company España (CCE) and partner in BIO4A, explains how growing Camelina for aviation fuels could provide also a way to develop a sustainable alternative for farmers

in marginal agricultural areas. “We started introducing Camelina in Spain in 2009, in a search of potential crops that could be sustainable to deliver low-cost, high-volume feedstock for the aviation industry. Camelina was selected because it can grow in temperate climates, which means you can leverage on existing industrial infrastructures, so you don’t need to make investments on that side. The most important thing for us both from a sustainability and an economic standpoint, is to avoid displacing any other existing crops. We targeted marginal land in Spain, in semi-arid regions with very low rainfalls (200-300 mm per year), thus with very high risk of desertification. Those are typically the areas in the south-east and in the north-east of Spain, where there is a very high amount of fallow land every year. Here farmers sows barley one year, and then leave a fallow land period for more than 15 months before sowing barley again. The reason for such a long fallow period is because there is no oilseed alternative for farmers in that region”. Although this farming system is the common practice in those areas, it is obviously unsustainable. “Farmers, practicing a monoculture based on barley and fallow for decades, have realized that this is causing problems from the environmental and agronomic perspective, such as huge erosion issues in these regions in Spain, soil nutrient depletion, increase of pests and weeds” Yuri adds. “With our varieties, we can grow an oil crop in these fallow land periods between barley plantations. Although our business is Camelina, we are not saying that Camelina is sustainable per se. What is sustainable is this cropping system in particular, the fact that we’re targeting marginal land, replacing fallow land periods. At the end of the day, we’re generating sustainable feedstock for the aviation industry and at the same time, we’re

generating Camelina meal, a byproduct of the crushing of seeds, which is the highest protein-content vegetable material produced in Spain today, almost 40%”. This goes to the animal feeding industry, replacing imports of soybean and soybean meal from abroad. IMPROVING EU MED SOIL RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND CARBON SEQUESTRATION In addition to studying Camelina, a key BIO4A research component aims at developing a cost-effective long-term strategy to increase the fertility of soils and their resilience to climate change, while at the same time storing fixed carbon into the soils, by adopting a combination of biochar and other soil amendments. A dedicated biochar production campaign is being carried out in innovative plants, and product fully characterised. New pilot units are also under development. Field trials are in progress in two different locations in Spain to evaluate the agronomic effects of biochar and combination of co-composted digestate and biochar (named COMBI) applied to Camelina fields. Besides monitoring the effects on crop cultivation and yield, the research team expect that the already positive effects of Camelina on the soil will be enhanced by the addition of these two soil improvers, with an increase in both carbon sequestration and soil water retention capacity. It is worth to remind that the recent IPCC report includes biochar production and use as a promising mean to implement carbon negative actions. The analysis of these difficult soils, and the effects of biochar/COMBI addition, will be carried out by project partners, in coordination with the environmental analysis carried by EC JRC. The interest on such field experiments is high, since they could be easily replicable in a context of business-asusual agronomic operations. 41 Be

AN UNTAPPED POTENTIAL AVAILABLE FROM MARGINAL LAND If proven successful, and in presence of adequate EU/MS policies, the approach tested in BIO4A can be replicated in large part of EU Mediterranean areas. This will bring significant GHG reductions achievement, complemented by the estimation of the potential in the EU Mediterranean region and internationally, and scenario development to exploiting the potential of marginal soils in EU. The amount of marginal land in several EU Mediterranean areas is estimated at 8.5 million hectares (S2BIOM project), and the project will further investigate the dry land in EU Southern Mediterranean areas. According to data from Yuri Herreras, Spain only has 3 million hectares every year of fallow land, which accounts for around 50% of fallow land in the EU. At least 1.5 to 2 million hectares of this fallow land is available in marginal regions. Even though the yield of Camelina can vary between 500 kg and 2,500 kg of seeds per hectare (depending on specific site and land conditions), there is a significant potential volume for producing feedstock for aviation fuels from these lands in a sustainable way. 42 Be

OVERCOMING FUEL LOGISTIC CHALLENGES Another component of BIO4A aims at demonstrating that large scale uptake of SAF can be realized, and airports and airlines can start using and contracting the product on a “business as usual” basis. The fuel produced in the project will be used in commercial flights and distributed through the existing infrastructures, thereby reducing significantly logistics costs. Oskar Meijerink, Business Development Manager at SkyNRG, explains the logistic challenges for delivering SAF to normal commercial airlines and how BIO4A will help to overcome them. “In the beginning the SAF projects were based on segregated supply. Once the blend was certified against the right ASTM standard, it the fuel was put in a dedicated refuelling truck at the airport which fuelled the plane separately from the system” Oskar says. “It was only with the FP7 ITAKA project that it was proven possible to include the fuel in the hydrant system at the airport for the first time. Now this more efficient approach is the new standard and will be replicated in BIO4A, but with a new type of fuel, a new airport, and with the

production capacity of TOTAL SA La Mède biorefinery”. Normally the pure SAF is certified against the given ASTM (D7566) standard. The SAF is then blended with fossil jet fuel and eventually the blend is re-certified against the fossil jet fuel standard (ASTM D1655). The HEFA process used to produce SAF in in BIO4A is already certified by ASTM and this is a fundamental advantage also at logistic level. “In the end, the fuel is a drop-in fuel and has the same characteristics as the fossil fuel, the SAF can be used in the same logistical system and aircraft engines” Oskar concludes. The outcomes of the project will have a significant impact for aviation and the biofuels sector in general, since standardizing these procedures will push the industry and policy-makers to move forward and contribute to the widespread adoption of biofuels for aviation, a work unprecedented in the EU at such industrial scale. Join BIO4A consortium on Tuesday, May 28th, under the Industry Session on “Biochemical conversion to liquids for industrial applications”. Prof. David Chiaramonti will provide a presentation about the project in the EU energy policy context and will show how implementable solutions for the clean energy transition in the aviation sector are already achievable and underway. About BIO4A BIO4A –Advanced Sustainable Biofuels for Aviation is a Horizon 2020 project which addresses the call LCE-20-2016-2017 – Enabling pre-commercial production of advanced aviation biofuel. Subscribe to the newsletter, watch the interviews and get all BIO4A insights at


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 789562.



t the end of May 2019, the NextGenRoadFuels project will provide to academics and market experts gathered at the 27th EUBCE a focus on a novel approach for obtaining sustainable transport fuels in Europe. NextGenRoadFuels is a Research and Innovation project funded by Horizon 2020 programme for 4 years (www.nextgenroadfuels.eu) to develop a cost-effective valorisation pathway for multiple urban waste streams such as sewage sludge (from treated wastewater), food waste and construction wood waste. These waste streams will be converted to renewable fuels, fertilizers and proteins, thus fostering the urban transition towards a circular economy. This will be possible thanks to the Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) pathway which enables the production of high-volume, costcompetitive drop-in synthetic gasoline and diesel fuels as well as other hydrocarbon compounds in a sustainable, efficient and economic

way. Part of the novelty is that the urban residues are converted in an HTL implementation that optimizes the carbon and energy conversion efficiency and minimizes the need for external hydrogen. In addition, in NextGenRoadFuels all the biogenic urban resources will be co-processed together in single HTL facilities, thus solving various technological and operational challenges. The overall project approach consists of several processes: from resources’ pre-treatment, through the HTL, till the thermo-catalytic, electro-catalytic and biochemical processes, as well as the posttreatment (or upgrading) phases. The final goal will be using available state-of-the-art pilot facilities in two main replicable scenarios: a standalone model where a full production pathway from urban feedstock to drop-in fuels can be managed at a central facility; a hub-and-spoke model, with several HTL plants close to the sources of feedstock and serving a single

upgrading facility. The project is fully aligned with the SET Plan Key Action 8 on renewable fuels, which calls for an acceleration of the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies in the transport sector. NextGenRoadFuels will also contribute to the renewableenergy-in-transport target, as well as to the GHG emissions reduction objectives, in line with the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and the European Energy Roadmap 2050. The produced diesel will be compatible with EN 590 and the same counts for gasoline with EN 228. The GHG reduction is expected to be higher than 70% compared to fossil equivalents by efficient supercritical HTL and upgrading by in-situ electrocatalytic H2 generation. NextGenRoadFuels consortium is working on providing an efficient, sustainable drop-in fuel production pathway in a European context where major challenges are

Fig.1 Above: Continuous bench scale 1 HTL plant, at Aalborg University (DK) ŠMuhammad Salman Haider, Aalborg University (DK)

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identified: future energy needs have to be balanced for reaching the 14% transport target for renewable fuels by 2030, as foreseen by the RED II. At the same time, increasing waste flows from society are challenging Europe’s ability to design sustainable and circular approaches for the valorisation of organic as well as inorganic components. Urban centres in Europe account for more than 70% of the population of the EU-28. Such concentrated human activity naturally gives rise to large concentrations of residual organic streams which need to be handled efficiently, sustainably and with large emphasis on circular economy and resource recycling. Increasing the use of bio-based products in the European economy is a strong focus, and an important aspect is the conversion of biomass into advanced biofuels.

FOCUS ON THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGIC RELEVANCE: WHY NEXTGENROADFUELS IS MAKING THE DIFFERENCE? Feedstock pre-treatment, nutrient recycling and water management NextGenRoadFuels project starts from urban feedstock collection: sewage sludge, food waste and construction wood waste. The choice of using urban residues as precious resources for producing sustainable fuels provides the chance to investigate new processes to manage diverse feedstocks with high content of inorganics, Nitrogen and Sulphur. As commonly known, for biogenic urban resources in general and specifically for sewage sludge, in Europe strict regulations are in place on its disposal and/or direct use. Most of such organic feedstocks needs to undergo pre-treatment processes for

Fig. The separation unit at the back-end of the process, continuous bench scale 1 HTL plant, at Aalborg University (DK) ©Muhammad Salman Haider, Aalborg University (DK)

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an efficient removal of compounds detrimental to fuel production (i.e. proteins and inorganic nitrogen). In addition, considerations on logistics and use scenario are part of the complexity when using sewage sludge, which has exponentially increased and estimated to exceed 13 million dry tons by 2020 in European countries. HTL per se offers a uniquely flexible approach to process wet feedstocks. A novel water recycling and detoxification strategy will be developed as well, ensuring high yields and efficient water management (following the circular economy principle). These will include: pretreatment based on acid leaching; a novel low temperature hydrolysis process to remove nitrogen by extracting and purifying proteins for further valorisation; “solids traps” applied in the HTL process scheme; and post-treatment using a novel demineralization process. The consortium will also specifically focus on recycling of phosphorous in a plant-available state. Hence, organics and nutrients contained in feedstocks will be fully valorised, such as essential fertilizer compounds as phosphorous, and heavy metals, pathogens and endocrine disruptants will be removed. Overall, to address the challenges encompassed by the heterogeneity of such feedstocks, in NextGenRoadFuels innovative process steps will be designed, and existing steps optimized, with the goal to demonstrate all main process steps beyond a Technology Readiness Level 5. Hydrothermal Liquefaction of sewage sludge and mixed feed streams The project will achieve efficient production of state-of-the-art HTL liquids from a mixture of sludge, food waste and construction wood waste at 100’s of liters scale, combined with full process integration studies. The stability of the process will be proven for all individual stages as well as at overall level.

Innovative upgrading of HTL products A novel modular upgrading concept will combine both electrocatalytic and thermal catalytic upgrading of HTL oil. This concept will allow high flexibility in adapting and scaling the overall process scheme to convert HTL oil into components of the kerosene and diesel fraction. It may also allow a self-sustaining operation, providing all hydrogen needed in isolated sites. At the 27th EUBCE in Lisbon, the NextGenRoadFuels project will be presented during a poster session on May 27th 2019. Prof. Lasse Rosendahl, Aalborg University, Energy Technology Dept. and project coordinator, will provide insightful indications on how the project is already addressing technical challenges and some preliminary results, collected since end of 2018 (when the project started), will be shown and commented. In addition, on May 29th, Steeper Energy (partner of the consortium) will explore the HydrofactionÂŽ HTL technology and its efficient system on converting wood residues to long-haul transport fuels, together with an overview on pathways to finished fuels and refinery integration. Standardization needs in HTL will be covered by a presentation of Steeper Energy on May 30th, where it will be possible to understand and address distinct HTL crude oil properties when applying standard methods intended for fossil hydrocarbons.


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About NextGenRoadFuels All the information on the project approach, objectives and activities, and latest news on the consortium are available on the www. nextgenroadfuels.eu This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818413.


Tel: 0086-372-5965148 E-mail: info@gcmec.com Be http://www.gcmec.com Fax: 0086-372-5951936 Add: 19F, Suite B, Global Trade Mansion, Wenfeng Avenue, Anyang, Henan, China.

ENGINEERING AN AMBITIOUS ENERGY FUTURE Pippa Try, Aston University, European Bioenergy Research Institute


dvanced Biofuel Production with Energy System Integration is a €2.5m EU Horizon 2020 project, better known as ‘AMBITION’. Now approaching its final months of research, its eight European partners have made groundbreaking progress towards the creation of a sustainable energy future for Europe. There is a growing demand for solutions that provide integration, security and flexibility in the European energy system where fossil carbon is efficiently replaced by renewable sources. The AMBITION project has created a bridge between two forms of energy carrier – grid electricity and biofuels. Carbon from biomass, collected from Europe’s surplus agricultural and forest residues,

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which would otherwise be wasted, can now be utilised as an energy source and provide an alternative to carbon sequestration. AMBITION’s new integration approach creates flexibility between intermittent renewable electricity to produce hydrogen and sustainable biofuel production, optimising the value of renewable electricity and enabling the production of sustainable biofuels in economically competitive conditions. Working towards the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) Action 8, AMBITION’s research has developed new technologies in support of a renewed energy infrastructure that will cut household bills and lead to a secure, environmentally friendly and integrated EU energy market

where fossil carbon is replaced by renewable sources. Project partners are now finalising their new integrated biomass upgrading concept, having improved the fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass into clean intermediate streams for further processing. Partners have studied the fractionation of biomass in lowtemperature conditions to derive sugars for fermentation. They have also adapted existing gasification and gas cleaning technologies to meet syngas fermentation requirements. Feedstock utilization and carbon efficiency is considerably improved through use of hydrogen derived from intermittent renewable power. The project has increased the value of bio-refinery residues, particularly lignin rich fractions, and developed pathways to better utilise carbon

from biomass. This all leads to an optimised overall energy system in design and efficiency, as well as integrating renewable hydrogen into the production of liquid transportation fuel and innovative CO2 utilisation. AMBITION is also one of four projects in the ECRIA pilot programme, which seek to develop a longer term joint agenda on the integration of biofuels production and surplus grid energy valorisation. As part of this work, AMBITION contributes open access, cutting edge, scientific information in biofuel research. To find out more about AMBITION’s research partners and keep up to date with project news, and be the first to know of the projects’ forthcoming research outputs, visit the website at www.ambition-research.eu This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement number 731263 AMBITION’s research partners are: SINTEF Industry (Norway), Aston University (UK), LNEG - National

AMBITION project partners

Laboratory of Energy and Geology (Portugal), ECN part of TNO (Netherlands), DTU - Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), KIT - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), CENER -

National Renewable Energy Center (Spain), ENEA -Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Italy). Use discount code

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CORDIS: YOUR PATH TO THE RESULTS OF EU RESEARCH AND INNOVATION Are you looking for state-of–the-art technologies and scientific breakthroughs? Are you interested in developing innovative products? If so, CORDIS definitely has something for you. WHAT IS CORDIS? CORDIS is the European Commission’s primary source of results from the projects funded by the EU’s framework programmes for research and innovation. Its mission is to bring research results to professionals in the field in order to foster open science, create innovative products and services and stimulate growth across Europe. WHAT CAN I FIND ON CORDIS? CORDIS has a rich and structured public repository with all project information held by the European Commission such as project factsheets, participants, reports, deliverables and links to open-access publications. CORDIS also produces its own range of publications and articles to make it easier for you to find relevant results that you can use in your domain. The print editions are in English while the web versions are also available in French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish. • Research*eu magazine highlights the most promising project outcomes in a range of domains, with a focus on a particular theme in every issue. Published 10 times a year, you can browse it online, order a print edition and subscribe for free postal delivery worldwide. • CORDIS results packs are collections of up-to-date articles that focus on a specific theme for specialised audiences; they are available online and as print brochures. • Results in brief are articles that summarise the main outcomes at the end of each selected project, explaining the project’s achievements and shining a spotlight on the next steps. • News and events articles provide topical updates from ongoing projects, as well as articles contributed directly by project teams. RESULTS IN BRIEF : DISCOVER PROJECTS’ MAIN OUTCOMES • summarise are articles that summarise the main outcomes at the end of each selected project, explaining the project’s achievements and shining a spotlight on the next steps. • News and events : get topical updates from ongoing projects • articles provide topical updates from ongoing projects, as well as articles contributed directly by project teams. On cordis.europa.eu you can also browse the website, search the database or set up customised email or web-feed (RSS) notifications. You can download all data in reusable formats from the EU Open Data CORDIS is the European Portal.   Commission's primary PROMOTE YOUR PROJECT ON CORDIS source of results from If you are part of an EU-funded research and the projects funded by innovation project, we can help you tell the world the EU’s framework about your research. programmes for • Tweet with CORDIS research and innovation When tweeting about exciting developments (FP1 to Horizon 2020). taking place within your project, you can Its mission is to bring mention @CORDIS_EU and we will retweet you research results to to our thousands of followers. • Announce your news and events via CORDIS professionals in the field Wire in order to foster open Wire is a free web application that allows you to science, create submit your own articles and upcoming events innovative products and and link them to your project page on CORDIS. services and stimulate • Have a dedicated article written by CORDIS

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Upcoming bioenergy events JUNE 2019 05 - 06

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JULY 2019

AUGUST 2019 16 - 18 SEPTEMBER 2019




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www.tosynfuel.eu info@tosynfuel.eu @tosynfuel


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 745749.

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BE-Sustainable Issue 10 - May 2019  

BE-Sustainable Issue 10 - May 2019