BE-Sustainable magazine june 2017

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Be sustainable

The magazine of bioenergy and the bioeconomy May 2017


Bioeconomy in Finland | Chemical Looping Combustion | Torrefaction Bioenergy in Sweden and in Denmark | Future Biorefineries


20 years supporting the European biomass industries, promoting the market uptake of biomass as sustainable energy source. Feasibility studies on biomass technologies and strategies Organization and support of international events



A FASTER DEPLOYMENT OF SUSTAINABLE BIOENERGY IS NEEDED TO KEEP UP WITH RISING CO2 LEVELS On Tuesday 18 April, the Mauna Loa Observatory recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading, in excess of 410 parts per million. Carbon dioxide hasn’t reached that height in millions of years. […] In 2013, it passed 400 ppm, just four years later, the 400 ppm mark is no longer a novelty, it’s the norm. These quotes are taken from an article published last April by and they remind us of the speed at which the concentration of CO2 is rising towards the levels identified as the maximum limits to mitigate climate change. With this trajectory, the concentration of 450 ppm considered as the maximum threshold to stay within a 2°C increase scenario, will be met in 22 years. However, the IPCC has estimated that 430 ppm is the level of CO2 atmospheric concentration to meet the 1.5° C target of the Paris Agreement, so in absence of significant changes, the time we have is even less than that. The planet has already warmed 1°C and a run of 627 months in a row of above-normal heat was recorded.

Clean Energy Progress 2017” examines the progress of a variety of clean energy technologies towards interim 2°C scenario targets in 2025 and finds out that only 4 out of the 26 tracked technologies are on track toward a sustainable energy transition: onshore wind, solar, electric vehicles, and energy storage. The report states that advanced biofuels are one of the key options for the decarbonisation of long-distance transports, however Advanced biofuels need a 25-fold scale-up in production volumes by 2025 to be on track with this scenario, therefore […] rapid commercialisation will be necessary over 2020-25 to stay on track. This issue of BE-Sustainable features a range of new national and international initiatives aimed at the rapid industrial development of advanced biofuels, focused both on technological research and on removing the non-technological barriers for their further deployment.

incentives to drive its deployment further. Bioenergy combined with CCS (BECCS) can lead to negative emissions. Although this is still seen as a futuristic approach, research and development activities are showing encouraging results.For example, the technology of Combined Looping Combustion presented in this issue, seems like a promising and cost-competitive way to capture CO2 from biomass energy. As usual, all these topics and many more will be discussed at the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, which celebrates its 25th edition this year in Sweden, a country that has created an enabling environment for the large-scale development of bioenergy over the last forty years. This is well explained in the article by Alan Sherrard, editor-in chief of Bioenergy International, a magazine that has been following EUBCE across Europe since the early years. We are glad to feature this article as new collaboration for the common goal of promoting biomass use for sustainable development.

We are also glad to publish a recent brief produced jointly by IRENA, IEA Bioenergy and FAO about the potential for the sustain- Happy reading. We need to act now on a glob- able intensification of land use, al scale and bioenergy is widely to boost bioenergy production acknowledged as a fundamental alongside greater food production tool in the mix of solutions to and increased storage of carbon. fight climate change, although it seems like its deployment is still Carbon Capture and Storage is advancing too slow to achieve another technology examined by Maurizio Cocchi the necessary impact. The report the IEA report, which is continuEditor released this June by the Interna- ing to prove its viability across tional Energy Agency “Tracking sectors, but needs targeted policy

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Be sustainable

BE sustainable ETA-Florence Renewable Energies via Giacomini, 28 50132 Florence - Italy Issue 8 - May 2017 ISSN- 2283-9486

Editorial notes M. Cocchi Bioenergy for Sustainable Development J. Skeer, K. Kwant, O. Dubois Bioenergy in Sweden a brief review A. Sherrard In Denmark, the land of windmills, bioenergy is by far the largest contributor of renewable energy M. Persson Driving innovations for the bioeconomy in Finland K.Kruus, P.Bergqvist Negative emissions of CO2 at reduced cost using Chemical-Looping of Biomass A.Lyngfelt Future Biorefineries from raw materials to bio-products: development and analysis V. Mapelli ETIP Bioenergy at the forefront of European bioenergy demands F. Lempe, B. Kerckow, I. Landälv “beReal” – Novel test methods for firewood and pellet room heaters focusing on real-life operation R. Sturmlechner, G. Reichert, C. Schmidl, H. Stressler, M. Schwabl, W. Haslinger New cost-effective additive for torrefied biomass pelletization J. Gil BECOOL - A new research and innovation project will fost er the cooperation between Europe and Brazil on advanced lignocellulosic biofuels M. Cocchi, A. Monti TOSYNFUEL - Turning sewage sludge into fuels and hydrogen S. Capaccioli, R. Daschner Tesla Motors and Google Cars agree at Geneva Car Show 2018: Biogas fuelled cars have “unfair advantage” in marketing. F. Scholwin, J. Rapp EUBCE Back to the Future M. Cocchi IMPRINT: BE Sustainable is published by ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, Via Giacomini 28, 50132 Florence, Italy Editor-in-Chief: Maurizio Cocchi | | twitter: @maurizio_cocchi "Direttore responsabile: Maurizio Cocchi" "Autorizzazione del Tribunale di Firenze n. 548/2013" Managing editor: Angela Grassi | Authors: Jeffrey Skeer, Kees Kwant, Olivier Dubois, Alan Sherrard, Michael Persson, Kristiina Kruus, Paula Bergqvist, Anders Lyngfelt, Valeria Mapelli, Birger Kerckow, Ingvar Landälv, Friederike Lempe, Rita. Sturmlechner, Gabriel Reichert, Christoph Schmidl, Harald Stressler, Manuel Schwabl, Walter Haslinger, Javier Gil, Andrea Monti; Walter Zegada Lizarazu, Stefano Capaccioli, Maurizio Cocchi, Robert Daschner, Frank Scholwin, Jan Rapp. Marketing & Sales: Graphic design & Layout: Laura Pigneri, ETA-Florence Renewable Energies Print: Pixartprinting Website: The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. Images on cover by © Image on page 30 by © ISSN - 2283-9486

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Bioenergy accounts for half of the cost-effective potential for doubling the renewable share of energy supply by 2030. A brief developed by IRENA jointly with IEA Bioenergy and FAO explains there is great potential for the sustainable intensification of land use to boost bioenergy production alongside greater food production and increased storage of carbon.


ioenergy represents a major type of renewable energy. As such, it is key to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of climate change and energy security. As summarized by the IPCC 5th Assessment Report, integrated assessment modelling indicates a high risk of failing to meet long-term climate targets without bioenergy. Global assessments by REN 21, IEA and IRENA find that bioenergy accounts for three-quarters of all renewable energy use today and half of the most cost-effective options for doubling renewable energy use by 2030. Bioenergy is part of a larger bioeconomy, including agriculture, forestry and manufacturing. BIOENERGY HAS A ROLE IN EVERY ENERGY SECTOR In the power sector, bioenergy can provide flexibility to balance expansion of intermittent and seasonal wind and solar resources. For industry, biomass can efficiently supply high-temperature process heat, in conjunction with a wide variety of valuable bio-based chemicals and materials. In the building sector, biomass provides the feedstock for highly efficient district heating systems, furnaces and cook stoves. In transport, liquid and gaseous biofuels can, together with electrification and vehicle energy efficiency, help achieve rapid and deep reduction in fossil fuel use. Biofuels are moreover the only current practical alternative to fossil fuels for aviation, marine shipping and heavy freight transport.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF BIOENERGY Bioenergy typically enhances regional energy access and reduces reliance on fossil fuels. It can vitalize the forestry and agriculture sectors and support increased use of renewable resources as feedstocks for a range of industrial processes. It can contribute to our global climate change mitigation goals as well as other social and environmental objectives. But bioenergy can also have negative impacts if not developed and deployed properly. Three key concerns are food security, risks that land use and land use change from bioenergy expansion may increase carbon emissions or reduce biodiversity, and challenges in achieving economic competitiveness and providing high quality and affordable energy services. Bioenergy is multifaceted. Specific bioenergy options (such as biofuels produced from edible vs. nonedible feedstocks) are not good or bad per se; sustainability impacts are context specific and depend on the location and management of feedstock production systems. Fortunately, significant knowledge and competence are available to govern bioenergy expansion so as to harness opportunities and minimize risks of negative impacts. OPTIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE BIOENERGY EXPANSION Inclusive multi-stakeholder processes can identify areas best suited for bioenergy production (such as for agroecological zoning) as well as appropriate arrangements for promoting positive

effects of production and development while avoiding or mitigating possible negative impacts. As an example, contract farming can provide an opportunity for small-scale farmers to diversify their land use and gain new incomes from selling part of their produce for bioenergy. Sustainable intensification and landscape planning – increasing output per unit of land while maintaining or improving ecosystems’ health and productive capacity – can make land available for additional production while enhancing ecosystem services. So can restoring degraded land and reducing losses in the food chain. Biomass demand for energy can be met by integrating novel biomass production systems into agriculture and forestry landscapes. Such systems may use crop rotations, flexible crops (which can be used for multiple purposes), intercropping, and agroforestry approaches (such as use of nitrogenfixing energy crops to boost yields of neighboring food crops). Integrated systems can produce food, feed, bioenergy feedstocks and other bio-based products from the same land area. They can also enhance biodiversity and mitigate land use impacts such as soil erosion, soil compaction, salinization, and eutrophication of surface waters related to excess fertilization. As food production expands to feed growing populations, this will induce more organic residues, both on the field and in processing. A portion of crop residues is typically required for soil management, depending on local circumstances such as climate, 7 Be

soil conditions, topography and crop type. Other crop residues are used for animal bedding or feed. The remainder (including residues currently burned in the field, with high air pollution and climate change impacts), along with nearly all processing residues, can be removed for bioenergy production. Similarly, as wood production in forests expands to meet growing demand for traditional forest products such as lumber and pulp and paper, there are significant opportunities to utilize process and manufacturing residues. Furthermore, significant volumes of forest wood that currently have no industrial use (such as wood of inferior quality and wood generated in natural disturbance events) can be used for bioenergy. Applying sustainable forest management principles will enhance the health and productivity of forests. Furthermore, population growth and urbanization results in larger quantities of post-consumer waste – not only food waste but also construction waste and discarded goods with substantial energy content. Converting waste to bioenergy or higher value materials reduces the need for landfills and can also substantially reduce associated emissions of methane, which is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND PARIS AGREEMENT Bioenergy can play an important and constructive role in achieving the agreed UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, thereby advancing climate goals, food security, better land use, and sustainable energy for all. Enabling bioenergy expansion that supports SDG implementation requires that policies and measures to promote best practices are put in place. These should consider 8 Be

the variation in conditions across continents, ensure biodiversity safeguards, and promote multiple ecosystem services in landscapes. This requires coordinated land management and involvement of individual farmers, landowners, policy makers and other local and national stakeholders. Trade-offs and synergies need to be discussed with relevant stakeholders who can also provide necessary information about the current land use and social, economic, and practical preconditions for ongoing as well as suggested new land uses. Knowledge and management experience in use of biomass for energy should be shared across regions to promote best practices. This would facilitate the development of locally adapted management guidelines. MEASURES TO SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE BIOENERGY EXPANSION Several measures can help boost yields and promote multifunctional land uses, providing sufficient food and animal feed for a growing population, as well as biomass for bioenergy and other valuable bio-based products. Agricultural extension services can promote adoption of modern farming techniques and development of good management practices at a local level, including agroforestry strategies for growing a mix of high-yielding food and fuel crops in different soils and climates. Secure land tenure can give farmers financial incentives to manage their land for high yields while sustaining soil productivity. Logistical approaches for costeffective harvesting and transport of agricultural and forest residues can be disseminated. Other steps can support better use of residues and waste from agriculture and forestry value chains. Examples include incentives for sustainable use of

residues, supported by guidelines to promote appropriate residue extraction rates in different conditions. Soft loans for machinery can further support the ramping up of bioenergy systems that use residues and waste as feedstock. Use of degraded or marginal land is an option for biomass production that helps restore soil productivity and avoids or mitigates competition for higher quality land. Economic incentives to use such land should be combined with dissemination of information on suitable production systems and experience from previous initiatives, while protecting vulnerable communities.  Food chain losses could be reduced by promoting good harvesting techniques, investing in storage and refrigeration facilities, developing transportation infrastructure to safely deliver food to markets, discounting imperfect food items to encourage their sale, modifying labels so food is not discarded prematurely, and educating consumers to better match food purchases to their needs. Guidelines and support packages for governments and practitioners exist which show a number of practical approaches to sustainably meet food, feed and biofuel demand in the coming decades. BIOENERGY INTEGRATED IN THE BIOECONOMY Bioenergy is part of a larger bioeconomy, also including agriculture, forestry, fisheries and the manufacture of food, paper, wood and agricultural fiber products, biomaterials, bio-based chemicals and medicines. This broader bioeconomy accounts for about USD 2 trillion of annual trade and one-eighth of overall global trade volume. Policies to promote the bioeconomy may include intensified efforts to map global soils, systematic monitoring of contributions to SDGs,

development of skills and knowledge for using bio-based materials in manufacturing and consumer products, biorefinery demonstration projects combining production of energy and higher value materials, and research on new food systems, sustainable aquaculture, and artificial photosynthesis. They may also include specific renewable energy targets, mandates, loan guarantees and financial incentives. The attitude towards biomass production for food, bioenergy and other purposes should evolve from single end-use orientation to integrated production systems that ensure high resource use efficiency and reward sustainable production and use. The output of such systems should be used with great care, striving to minimize waste and maximize efficiency while maintaining a healthy resource base for future generations.

Contributing organizations: IRENA International Renewable Energy Agency- IEA Bioenergy – IEA Technology Collaboration Programme on Bioenergy FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


While this paper represents the considered views of the author organisations (IRENA, IEA Bioenergy and FAO) it does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the individual members of the author organisations or of the IEA. The author organisations, their individual members and the IEA are not liable to any user or anyone else for any inaccuracy, error, omission, or use of any content for damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained in this paper. Unless otherwise stated, material in this paper may be freely used, shared, copied, reproduced, printed and/or downloaded, for non-commercial purposes only, subject to acknowledgement of the source. Links to web sites are provided for the user's convenience only and do not constitute endorsement by the author organisations of material accessed on those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service. IEA Bioenergy, also known as the Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) on Bioenergy, operates under a co-operative framework created by the International Energy Agency (IEA).


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BIOENERGY IN SWEDEN A BRIEF REVIEW Alan Sherrard – Editor Bioenergy International, Sweden

How Sweden created an enabling environment for the large-scale development of sustainable bioenergy over the last forty years.


weden is one of eleven European Union (EU) Member States (MS) to have already reached its overall EU 2020 renewable energy target and one of three MS to have achieved the sub-target of 10 percent renewables in transport. According to the figures from Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, Sweden had 53.9 percent share of energy from renewable sources in its gross final energy consumption and 24 percent share of renewables in transport in 2015. Almost half a century ago, at the beginning of the 1970’s, the picture was very different with fossil fuels, especially oil, dominating the Swedish energy supply. It is worth noting that with the exception of

some limited amount of shale-oil/ shale-gas, Sweden has no fossil fuel resources of its own nor does it have a nationwide gas pipeline infrastructure, only a few regional networks. According to the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten), crude oil and petroleum products accounted for 76 percent or 336 TWh of the total energy supply of 442 TWh in 1970 whereas hydro and biomass, which also included peat and municipal solid waste (MSW) in the statistical grouping, each had almost a 10 percent share (41 TWh and 43 TWh respectively). In 2014, biomass (now excluding peat and the fossil component of MSW) tripled its contribution to the Swedish energy supply reaching 130 TWh, which paired

oil at 134 TWh out of a total energy supply of 555 TWh. A primary reason for this remarkable development can be attributed to a combination of broad political support, the use of strong general fiscal incentives, an entrepreneurial disposition within industry and research and a tradition in developing, utilising and safeguarding natural resources, in this case forests. Numerous research programmes on biomass resources and conversion technologies including peat, short-rotation coppice (SRC), stumps, ethanol, methanol, pyrolysis and gasification to mention a few have been initiated over the five-decade period. Many of the results and findings have been presented in papers and debated at conferences

Above Fortum CHP - Värtaverket KKV8 is Fortum Värme’s recently commissioned ≈ EUR 480 million biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Stockholm. With 280 MW thermal and 150 MW electrical capacity, it is currently one of the largest plants of its kind in Europe

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such as the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE) so the main focus of this article is on some of the fiscal enablers. REPLACING OIL AND REVERSING A NUCLEAR PHASE-OUT Sparked by the oil crisis in the autumn of 1973, followed by a cold winter along with an ongoing public debate over nuclear power, the focus was on developing alternative domestic energy sources such as biomass and peat to decrease oil dependency. A second oil crisis in 1979 along with the Three-Mile Island nuclear accident in the United States (US) all but hastened the sense of urgency. From 1980 onwards the focus for policy legislators was on saving energy as well as reducing oil dependency for heat and power. Accounting for around 40 percent of Swedish power production, large-scale hydro had essentially already been exploited with a moratorium preventing any large-scale hydro projects on the last remaining untapped river systems. Any capacity expansion going forward would have to come through turbine upgrades and refurbishments on existing dams or installations. A specific tax on hydro production was introduced in 1983, and in 1997 it was replaced by a real-estate tax. Also accounting for 40 to 45 percent of power production is Sweden’s nuclear fleet. With currently ten reactors in operation nuclear has been a source of public and political consternation ever since the Three-Mile Island accident. Following a referendum in 1980 the outcome of which would have provided non-binding guidance, politicians placed a moratorium on developing new nuclear plants with the 1984 “Nuclear Activities Act” (Kärntekniklagen) and agreed that nuclear plants should have been phased out by 2010. It took until 1997, over a decade after

In 2014, biomass, excluding peat and the fossil component of MSW, tripled its contribution to the Swedish energy supply reaching 130 TWh the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in present-day Ukraine, before parliament passed the Nuclear Phase-Out Act, although decisions had been made and repealed by changes in government in the lead up to 1997. A variable production tax on nuclear power was introduced in 1984 and in 2000 it was replaced by an installed nuclear capacity tax, unique as it was based on the thermal output not electrical output. In addition, a renewable portfolio standard (Elcertifikat) system was introduced in 2003 to stimulate more renewable electricity production that would replace the nuclear being phased out. A partial phase out took place with two reactors decommissioned in 1999 and 2005 respectively as agreed in the Nuclear Phase-Out Act. However, public and political sentiment also shifted since 1980 despite Chernobyl and politically things came to a head in 2009 with the climate policy document “A sustainable energy and climate policy for the environment, competitiveness and long-term stability”, as it opened for a repeal of both the 1984 Nuclear Activities Act and the 1997 Nuclear Phase-Out Act. In 2016, despite the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, a broad parliamentary agreement on the future direction of Swedish energy policy, including a new 100 percent renewable energy target by 2040 was reached. Amongst other things, the agreement includes energy efficiency targets to 2030, the abolishment of the nuclear capacity tax, a reduction on real-estate tax for hydro-power and the abolishment of both the Nuclear Activities– and the Nuclear Phase-Out Acts albeit with restrictions; no state support would

be given and only current operators would be eligible to apply for any new building or reactor replacement on existing facilities only. SAVE A TREE, BUY PVC AND IMPORT COAL Leaving nuclear and large-scale hydro aside oil was widely used for heat as well as power production. In 1981, in a bid to replace 9 million tonnes oil (toe) equivalent by 1990, the “Solid Fuel Act” (Fastbränslelagen), was passed. This stipulated that new heat and power boilers over a certain size had to be able to use a solid fuel such as biomass or peat with coal permitted in cases where large-scale biomass was not feasible. While the Solid Fuel Act was a move in favour of industrial use of biomass for heat and power, the 1987 “Wood Fibre Act” (Träfiberlagen) was a move in the opposite direction restricting the use of forest biomass for energy including for the production of biomass fuels. As a result the use of imported coal jumped 10 – 15 TWh during the 1980’s compared to the previous decade peaking at 36 TWh in 1985 despite domestic fuels becoming exempt from value-added tax (VAT) in 1983. Already in 1991 the Wood Fibre Act was repealed except for sawmill by-products such as sawdust and wood shavings, which was kept in place until mid-1993 to safeguard raw material supply to the panel board industry, an industry that has all but disappeared for other reasons than fibre supply. Apart from nuclear radiation, the 1980’s also saw much discussion and focus on forests and public health – acid rain and dioxin. The use of coal particularly in the UK was blamed for the former and wa11 Be

A primary reason for this remarkable development can be attributed to a combination of broad political support, the use of strong general fiscal incentives, an entrepreneurial disposition within industry and research and a tradition in developing, utilising and safeguarding natural resources, in this case forests. ste-to-energy plants as well as the pulp- and paper industry’s use of chlorine for the latter. “Save a tree, buy PVC” was a slogan against the use of (tropical) wood in joinery products like windows touted by at the time prominent international environmental activist group known for its spectacular campaigns, exemplifies the sentiment. 1991 A PIVOTAL YEAR In environmental and climate change terms, 1991 is generally viewed as the watershed year as it is the first time legislators paid attention to the global warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2). The Swedish energy tax system was overhauled shifting from direct taxation to indirect taxation with addition of three key fiscal “polluter-pays principle” (PPP) components; a sulphur tax, a carbon dioxide (CO2) tax (often referred to as just carbon tax), and a levy system on nitrous oxides (NOx). These were in addition to a reduction of the energy tax, which was first introduced in 1957 and levied on all energy carriers, except most biofuels, waste and peat used for internal combustion engines and heating. The former was introduced with the intention of reducing sulphur emissions associated with the burning of oil, coal and peat. With few exceptions, the tax is based on the sulphur content of all fuels that are liable for 12 Be

energy and CO2 taxes though if the sulphur emissions are treated or fixed in ash, deductions may be claimed on tax returns at the same rate per kg of sulphur removed. Levied on the carbon content of all fuels, except biomass fuels and peat, the CO2 tax is the most prominent fiscal instrument. While often associated with Sweden, it was not the first country to introduce a CO2 tax as both Poland and Finland introduced it in 1990. Originally when introduced in 1991 it was a flat rate of ≈ EUR 25 per tonne CO2 levied on all sectors though very soon it was reduced to ≈ EUR 8 per tonne for industry and increased to ≈

EUR 32 tonne for consumers and service sectors on the grounds that industry would otherwise lose competitiveness. In addition, industries subsequently covered under the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) became exempt from CO2 tax – Sweden joined the EU in 1995. The tax rate has been raised several times since, especially during the period 2001 to 2006 under the “green tax switch” whereby environmental taxes were raised whereas taxes on income or labour were reduced. Thus the total level of taxation remained unchanged yet stimulated fossil derived energy switch-out also in industry and growth in green technologies. The reduction in CO2 rates levied on industry outside of the ETS compared to consumers and the service sector has also decreased and ultimately will be removed entirely to a single rate as originally intended in 1991. Perhaps more importantly the staggered reduction of reduction rates was agreed and communicated in advance allowing industry to prepare. In 2011, the CO2 tax reduction rate was 70 percent– in other words industry and

Fig.1 - Decoupling The carbon dioxide (CO2) tax effect – decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With 1990 as baseline 100 percent figure 1 shows that during the period 1990 to 2015, gross domestic product (GDP) in Sweden increased by over 60 percent in real terms, GHG emissions decreased by 25 percent and the use of bioenergy doubled. At the same time the standing volume of the forest continued to increase (figure 2) over the period. Source: Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio).

DEVELOPING THE FOREST ESTATE While 1991 was a pivotal fiscal year for carbon legislation one could argue that 1903 was a pivotal year for carbon capture and storage, the forest. With its current 23 million hectare (ha) forest estate approximately 59 percent of the land area, Sweden is a forest rich nation. However, that has not always been the case. Over and above the use of firewood for heat and cooking, forestland conversion to agriculture began in earnest in the Middle Ages along with shipbuilding and wood for other military uses as the various Kingdoms and Hansa cities around the Baltic Sea were in flux seemingly constantly at loggerheads. This was followed by two centuries of industrialization, with the forest- and the iron and steel industries consuming ever-larger volumes of wood for energy and charcoal while at the same time, subsistence farming with extensive livestock grazing left the national estate in very poor condition. So much so that at the turn of the last century, in 1903, the first Forest Act (Skogsvårdslagen) was passed by parliament with a special focus on forest regeneration. Already in 1905 a county level forestry authority was established, university-level forest education was initiated in 1915 and the Swedish National Forest Inventory began in 1923. Swedish forest policy and the Forestry Act have been revised several times since 1903, intensifying further post World War II in tandem with market demand for forest products and technical advances in forest mechanization and wood processing. This culminated with the very detailed legislation

Millions cubic metre (m3) standing volume

others outside the ETS paid 30 percent of the full CO2 tax rate levied on consumers and the service sector. In 2015, the amount payable was 60 percent, in 2016 it was 80 percent and finally, as of 2018, there will be no reduction, the full CO2 tax rate will apply to all that the said tax is applicable on.

Dry or windthrown trees


Norway spruce

Scots pine

Fig.2 - Foreststock The amount of stored carbon in Swedish forest estate has over doubled over the last century. Figure 2 shows the total standing volume (stem volume over bark from stump to tip) in million cubic metres. Source: Swedish National Forest Inventory statistics from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Swedish Forest Agency.

that was passed during the late 1970s concurrent with harvesting mechanization and a perceived fear that there would be a fibre shortage for the pulp and paper industry by the turn of the millennium. In 1993, a fundamental change to forest policy objectives was made when

environmental considerations including biodiversity was integrated with modern forestry practices placing equal importance on each of the two overarching objectives. In 2008 it was amended to also include the social values of the forest, which is over and above the “Right of Public Access”

Fig.1 - Sales of renewable fuels Figure 3 shows the volume of renewable liquid fuels (i.e. excl. biomethane/bio-CNG) supplied to the Swedish transportation market 2009 – 2016 in thousand cubic metres (000 m3). Note the volume is the volume of the renewable fuel component only in a pump ready fuel blend e.g. ethanol low blend refers to the volume of ethanol that has been blended into 95-octane gasoline fuel. Data source: Svenska Petroleum & Biodrivmedel Institutet (SPBI).

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(Allemansrätten), a unique institution guaranteed in the Swedish Constitution that dates back to medieval times. It gives the freedom to roam just about anywhere in the countryside without needing permission to cross private land. ETHANOL HANGOVER AND DIESELISATION In the district heat sector the switch from fossil fuel to biomass has been dramatic. The last coal a remnant from the 1980’s Solid Fuel Act is being phased out with Fortum’s Värtaverket combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Stockholm a case in point. Oil had dropped from a 90 percent share in the late 1970’s to only two percent in 2014. However, the rate of decline for oil has since 2013 almost stalled as it is within the transport sector that much of the remaining oil is found. On joining the EU in 1995 Sweden with its two automakers (Saab and Volvo) had one of the older passenger vehicle fleets in Europe, an unintended consequence of the mandatory vehicle testing for roadworthiness, safety and tailpipe emissions. A change in taxation for diesel cars for private use together with a “scrap trade in” programme for old cars, generous incentives for low environmental impact vehicles and the introduction in 2005 of the “Pump Act” (Pumplagen), which obliged filling stations over an annual (fossil) fuel retail volume of 1 500 m3 to offer a renewable fuel alternative, sought to address this. Although renewable fuel agnostic, the Pump Act has in effect enabled an initial countrywide roll-out of E85 that also coincided with flexifuel vehicles (FFV) model launches by several automakers. It has to some extent also made biodiesel (FAME) more accessible. The investment into an additional pump and storage infrastructure for these renewable fuel alternatives was on par with fossil fuels whereas for gaseous fuels like biomethane the cost is significantly 14 Be

higher. In addition, the availability of vehicle grade biomethane and biodiesel is comparatively limited whereas E85, which was first introduced into the country by Swedish ethanol producer and distributor SEKAB already in 1994, is readily available. However, overall ethanol (low-blend, E85 and ED95) sales have declined dramatically since record sales in 2012. The outlook is not encouraging, FFV vehicles made less than 2 percent of new car sales 2016 with only one automaker offering a FFV model on the market and E10 has yet to be introduced. A consequence of public perception surrounding the erroneous “food versus fuel” debate and EU’s cap on crop-based biofuels along with lower oil prices that have eroded the mileage cost advantage differential. Instead, a dieselisation of a previously gasoline heavy passenger car market seems to have taken place along with public preference for electric-hybrid and biomethane, which is reflected in overall rise of biodiesel and HVO sales and drop in overall fuel ethanol sales including low blend and ED95. Also pioneered by SEKAB, the latter fuel is used mainly by captive fleets such as buses and efforts are being made by ethanol producer colleague Lantmännen Agroetanol and truck manufacturer Scania to revitalise market interest. It should also be mentioned that apart from rail, which is almost completely electrified, marine and aviation are two transportation subsectors that are in very early stages of fossil decarbonisation. Both have a number of on-going industrial research projects to develop alternative fuels and infrastructure. DECARBONISING INDUSTRY With industry outside the ETS set to be levied the full CO2 tax rate in 2018 much effort is being put in trying to reduce fossil fuel usage in industrial processes. For natural gas, coal and

coke the former was at around 9 TWh in 2014 whereas the latter two were back down to mid-1970’s level of 21 TWh. These three fuels are still primarily used in heavy industry especially foundries, cement works, glassworks, iron and steel processing. Furthermore, research is on-going looking to substitute the use of fossil fuels in industrial processes with biomass alternatives, the Probioståhl project is one such initiative in which metal powder producer Höganäs AB has recently signed a long-term agreement with biomass gasification technology developer Cortus Energy AB for the “continuous supply of renewable energy gas and other energy products”. STOCKHOLM TIMELY HOST The vast majority of bioenergy in Sweden is directly or indirectly forest derived yet at the same time figures from the Swedish Forest Agency show that the forest products industry continues to flourish and the growing stock in the national forest estate continues to increase. Indeed the forest industry sector is in itself a key bioenergy player both as a third party supplier of excess heat and power, a producer of biomass fuels such as bark, wood chips, pellets and biogas and/or as a supplier of residues and by-products such as lignin, tall oil and sawdust to other biomass fuel producers. Sweden’s leadership role in bioenergy implementation taken together with the other Nordic and Baltic countries places the Baltic Sea Region in a league of its own when it comes to implementing EU’s 2020 renewable energy targets. Several have already exceeded one or more of these targets, pioneered fiscal steering instruments and decoupled economic growth from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this context it is a very fitting that Stockholm, the first European Green Capital, play host to this year’s 25th anniversary edition of the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition in June.


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IN THE LAND OF WINDMILLS, BIOENERGY IS THE LARGEST CONTRIBUTOR OF RENEWABLE ENERGY Michael Persson, Head of Secretariat, DI Bioenergy - Danish Bioenergy Association

Straw bales entering the Avedøre biomass plant near Copenhagen Source: DONG Energy A/S

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Denmark is widely regarded as a pioneer in renewable energy, not least due to its highly developed wind energy industry. What few people know however, is that bioenergy is by far the biggest contributor to renewable energy in Denmark. Moreover, bioenergy also contributes substantially to the Danish economy in terms of jobs and exports. DI Bioenergy – Danish Bioenergy Association – carried out an analysis to bring numbers to the table in the discussion.


here is no doubt among people in the Danish bioenergy sector that bioenergy has many positive features. It has facilitated a fast transition away from coal, it provides flexibility to the energy system, and it solves a waste problem in agriculture. Moreover, it appears to be the only solution for heavy and air transport, and it is a stepping stone towards the bio-based society. However, not all stakeholders understand this.

IMPORTANCE OF THE BIOENERGY CLUSTER IN DENMARK Lacking data, it has been difficult to explain the importance of bioenergy in Denmark. On this background in 2016 DI Bioenergy – Danish Bioenergy Association, together with FORCE Technology and INBIOM (The Innovation Network for Biomass) decided to map the Danish bioenergy industry cluster and its importance for the Danish society.

Fig 1: The importance of the Danish bioenergy cluster The analysis reveals that the Danish bioenergy cluster encompasses more than 1,200 companies with a combined turn-over of 25 bn DKK (= 3.3 bn Euro). 11,500 jobs have been created covering feedstock production, logistics, energy production as well as production of equipment, engineering and services. The cluster has a total annual export of 8 bn DKK (= 1.1 bn Euro) in equipment, products and services.

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The result is clear, bioenergy brings about a considerable turnover, creates many jobs and exports, in addition to being an indispensable part of the energy transition. THE IMPORTANCE OF BIOENERGY IN THE DANISH ENERGY SYSTEM In Denmark, renewable energy constitutes 23% of the energy production and 28.6% of the energy consumption, according to the Energy Agency’s Energy Statistics 2015. Bioenergy is by far the largest contributor of renewable energy, with 60% of the production and 69% of the consumption. The large share of bioenergy is mainly provided by the conversion of CHP plants from coal to biomass, particularly imported wood pellets. Every year the Danish Energy Agency publishes a base scenario

Fig 2: Renewable energy consumption in Denmark – according to type of energy. Source: DI Bioenergy, FORCE, INBIOM

biological part of municipal solid waste), gasification (anaerobic digestion and thermal gasification), biorefining, including biofuels. The value chain of bioenergy has been divided into the following steps: 1) raw material production, 2) collection, preparation and transportation of biomass, 3) energy production or conversion, 4) equipment manu-

The Danish bioenergy cluster encompasses more than 1,200 companies with a combined turn-over of 25 bn DKK (3.3 bn Euro). of the future Danish energy supply. It estimates that the largest transition into renewable energy towards 2020 will take place in the power and heat sector with continued conversions of CHP plants from coal into biomass and continued expansion of wind power. It is thus clear that bioenergy will continue to be the largest contributor to renewable energy for many years to come. METHODS FOR MAPPING OF THE DANISH BIOENERGY CLUSTER Bioenergy encompasses all kinds of energy derived from biological material, whether from agriculture, forestry and livestock, as well as households and industry. Different technologies are used to convert biomass into energy. In this analysis the following technologies are included: combustion (heat, combined heat and power and process, as well as incineration of the 18 Be

facturers and suppliers, 5) consulting and services, in order to analyse the relative importance of the various steps in the value chain. All companies operating within the above framework are included in the bioenergy cluster, but a conservative definition of the boundary of the cluster is used. For example, biomass produced as a residue at the farms is not included, as the residue is only a by-product of the main activity of the farm. The distribution of power and heat from biomass is not a part of the bioenergy cluster, as the power grid and district heat grid can carry power and heat from any type of technology. Likewise, biofuels blended into ordinary petrol and diesel are not included in the bioenergy cluster. More than 1,200 companies were identified as belonging to the bioenergy cluster. The companies were divided into 43 segments according to technology and step in the value chain. For each

segment, data were drawn from the Statistical Bureau of Denmark and a bioenergy share was determined. 71 companies were too complex or there were too few companies in the segment to keep confidentiality. These companies were analysed individually and their data added back into the segments. Furthermore, the companies of some sectors were analysed in a sectorial approach, when it was deemed more accurate. The analysis covers the year 2014, which is the most recent year available from Statistical Bureau. Relevant industry associations were involved to ensure validity of the analysis, but the analysis and results is the responsibility of the three partners only. JOBS IN THE BIOENERGY CLUSTER One of the most sought after data on the bioenergy cluster is its impact on jobs. The cluster brings about 11,500 jobs in total, including

Source: Nature Energy

raw material producers, logistics, energy production, technology suppliers, consulting and services for the bioenergy industry. Technology suppliers are responsible for almost 6,000 of the jobs, while raw material production gives a bit more than 2,000 jobs and operators, i.e. energy companies, are responsible for approx. 1,800 jobs. Thus through their demand, the energy companies have helped to create a supplier industry with 3.5 times as many jobs. EXPORTS FROM THE BIOENERGY CLUSTER The total export of equipment, additives, bioenergy products and services of the bioenergy cluster is about 1,1 bn Euro. Distributed on technology, combustion, including waste incineration, is 47%. Liquid biofuels and biorefining is about 29% and biogas technology is about 19%. IMPACT OF THE ANALYSIS The target group for the analysis is all stakeholders around the bioenergy industry. The intention was to emphasise the positive aspects of bioenergy, particularly its positive impact on jobs and exports. With this knowledge, politicians, organisations, industry players obtain a more holistic picture of bioenergy. This can be very helpful when there are discussions of the future role of bioenergy in the future energy system. It is also beneficial when discussing priorities of public funding of research and innovation within energy. The impact of the analysis has been very positive. The analysis has been reported in the press, especially the industry related press, but also in national media. Internationally there has also been much interest in the analysis and its methodology from other bioenergy associations. With such positive interest and feedback the partners are committed to follow up and expand the analysis in the future. The full report is available in Danish and English on the website of DI Bioenergy:

Source: Nature Energy

Fig 3: Jobs in the bioenergy cluster.

Fig 4: Exports from the bioenergy cluster.

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DRIVING INNOVATIONS FOR THE BIOECONOMY IN FINLAND Kristiina Kruus, Antti Arasto – VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

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How the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is supporting the industrial renewal and the implementation of the country’s Bioeconomy Strategy.


ioeconomy relies on the utilization of a wide range of different biomass feedstocks for energy, chemical, material, food and feed applications in a sustainable way. Finland has the largest biomass resources per capita in Europe. Our biomass is mainly forest biomass, although we do also have agricultural biomass, and recently recycled waste materials are becoming increasingly important. Biomass is not an endless resource, therefore it should be used in a sustainable way. We need technologies for resource-efficient use of biomass, to produce various products with both high and lower value and minimize waste production. Finland is taking a leading role in the bioeconomy. The Finnish Government has selected the bioeconomy as a future growth area, also the national bioeconomy strategy from 2014 sets ambitious growth targets. Bioeconomy is already an important part of the Finnish economy mainly because of our strong biomass processing industries and the industries related to biomass harvesting and technology development. Currently forestry products represent 21.5% of exports of Finland in addition to machinery, equipment and engineering services closely linked to the sector. The sector is constantly changing while technologies and industries are developing. A majority of new business will grow in connection to the existing businesses of forest, chemical and food industry, agriculture and energy production. SUPPORTING THE TRANSITION TO THE MODERN BIOECONOMY The global demand of print paper, which has been the biggest biobased

value-added product in Finland, is diminishing. We are now heading towards other value added products. An increase in packaging is a current, web-commerce driven trend followed by a demand of specialty packaging e.g. for food products. Generally the drivers are increased use of packaging and a need to find low carbon replacements for products in the manufacturing industry and food production. Clever and sustainable use of sidestreams for added-value products in a resource-efficient way, to increase feasibility or to create new business, is fostering a shift from large volume bulk production to smaller, specialized product streams and tailor-made services for consumers.

as paper and board. However, there could be more use for cellulose. Because of the unique fibre properties and the increasing demand for materials, cellulose is studied and applied in high-performing materials, in nanocellulose, the finest fibre elements, in textile fibres or in composites. VTT has developed a concept for recycling of cotton. It is based on VTT’s proprietary cellulose carbamate process, which is possible to apply in the existing viscose plants. The technology is environmentally sustainable; instead of carbon disul-

Currently forestry products represent 21.5% of exports of Finland

VTT has in particular focused on the sustainable use of biomass and its components. We have developed novel and value added product and process concepts for energy, pulp and paper, packaging, textile, chemical and food sectors often in cooperation with the industrial stakeholders. VTT is a multidisciplinary research organization, and therefore we can combine different competences needed for successful bioeconomy solutions: chemistry, biotechnology, process and nanotechnology, modeling, techno-economics, machinery, electronics, sensor technology etc. INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS AND APPLICATIONS FOR CELLULOSE Applications of wood cellulose have traditionally been based on utilization of fibres in web structures, such

fide it uses urea for the solubilization of cellulose. Cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) have high strength and stiffness and high aspect ratio, which together with biodegradability makes them interesting for material applications. CNF filaments can be tailored to be conductive, magnetic, bioactive or flame retardant. Promising results have been obtained when CNF has been applied to LEDs, sensors and nanoelectronics. The filaments could also be used in medical applications. VTT has developed a method to produce CNF films in a roll-to-roll technique. This is a first of its kind and the technology has been piloted. VTT’s enzymatic method to produce nanofibrillated cellulose allows 20-40% consistency. Another development achieved by VTT is the technology to utilize recycled materials and side-streams for composite production. Using thermoplastic lignin-wood compo21 Be

sites, up to 80 weight-% wood-derived raw material content was reached. NEW PRODUCTS FOR TRADITIONAL PAPER MACHINES VTT’s foam forming technology allows to use paper machines in a totally novel way for production of various fibre products. In the foam process air is mixed in a fibre suspension using intensive mixing and surface active chemicals. The technology allows use of fibres in various non-woven applications such as insulation materials, acoustic panels, packaging materials and textile fabrics. Besides its flexibility, the processsaves 10% energy and raw material compared to the current technologies. HIGH VALUE PRODUCTS FROM LIGNIN Lignin is the most important by-product of the lignocellulosic biorefineries. Totally 55-60 M tons of lignin are produced annually. More than 99% is used for heat and power production. CatLignin and LigniOx, are patented technologies developed by VTT for the valorization of lignin. CatLignin is a highly reactive catechol-rich lignin produced from pulp industry sidestreams in a simultaneous lignin separation and activation process. It is an ideal replacement for phenol in phenol formaldehyde resins and could become a new, high-value product for pulp mills. The CO2 footprint of lignin is only approx. 20% of the footprint of phenol. The technology has been demonstrated for soft and hardwood kraftlignins and the process has been scaled up at VTT. The LigniOx technology is a simple and cost-efficient lignin functionalization method based on alkali-O2 oxidation. LigniOxlignins can be used as surface active agents, for example in high-performance concrete plasticizers and dispersants. 22 Be

Due to its superior reactivity, CatLignin is an ideal replacement for phenol in phenol formaldehyde resins.

VTT’s AlkOx fractionation technology is capable of processing various raw materials including hard and softwood, annual plants and agricultural resins. The main components cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin can be separated and proces2 sed to a variety of intermediate products. VTT has also successfully applied Ionic Liquids and Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) for fractionation of proteins and are developing DES-based methods for lignin removal.

but can have value in energy production. Electric cars powered by renewable electricity can be the main solution in transport sector for light-duty vehicles, while heavy-duty road-transport and air traffic require renewable f u e l s . VTT’s gasification development is targeting this market. If 5% of the European transport fuel market would be satisfied by the diesel and jet fuels producedwith our technology, that would mean an annual production of 14 million tons of oil equivalent corresponding to 200–300 production plants and equipment sales of some 40 billion €. In all gasification-based fuel production concepts part of the biomass energy is converted to by-productheat and synthesis off-gases. The energy efficiency from biomass to Fi-

The CO footprint of lignin is only approx. 20% of the footprint of phenol.

BIOMASS TO LIQUID Biomass should be utilized for high value products and products which fix the carbon for a long period. However, there will always be fractions and sidestreams which cannot be used for wooden products, fibres or chemical production,

scher-Tropschwax may at best be of the order of 50–55%, while an additional 20–30% energy is available for generating heat and power. The VTT gasification-BTL process is based on several innovative process simplifications. Gasification is carried out without a need for an expensive oxygen plant. Another key unit operation developed is the catalytic reforming of tars and hydrocarbon gases, which improves the syngas efficiency and makes it possible to operate the gasifier at low temperature, which is beneficial for the conversion efficiency. Simplified final gas clean-up followed by once-through synthesis can also be appliedwithout decreasing the conversion efficiency. As a conclusion of these processes, modification of the BTLplant can be economically down-scaled from 300–500 MW to below 150 MW. This makes it possible to integrate the production into the heat requirements of district heating systems of medium-size towns. OPEN ACCESS FACILITIES FOR RD&D VTT has a long history of creating, developing and enabling deployment of new process concepts in close cooperation with industrial partners from the ideatolaboratory phase and to industrial pilot demonstrations. At the Bioruukki piloting centre in Espoo, VTT can help companies to accelerate their global market launches.The flexible infrastructure in the 10,000 m2 Bioruukki facilities offers a world-class platform for scale-up, demonstrations and small-scale manufacturing. Experimental pilot production is often needed to speed up the development and to lower technological andmarket uncertainty to the acceptable level for large investments. VTT’s open access shared pilot facilities providing scale-up research andservices offer a cost-effective route from piloting to demonstration and deployment.

VTT’s HefCel technology exploits industrial enzymes and mixing technology to fibrillate cellulose into nanoscale fibrils without the need for high energy consuming process. The resulting nanocellulose is in the consistency of 15-25% when traditional nanocellulose production methods result in 1-3% consistency.

VTT’s Bioruukki piloting centre offers a world-class platform for scale-up, demonstrations and small-scale manufacturing.

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Prof. Lyngfelt and his team at the pilot CLC plant at Chalmers University

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he Nordic project “Negative CO2” investigates Chemical-Looping Combustion (CLC) as a way to capture CO2 from biomass, in order to accomplish negative CO2 emissions. CLC is a technology that is expected to be well suited for biomass and furthermore it has the potential to avoid the need for, and high cost of gas separation processes. This is because the CO2 capture is inherent to the process. INTRODUCTION The Paris meeting (COP21) agreed on a maximum global temperature increase well below 2°C. However, the global carbon budget corresponding to this temperature increase will soon be exhausted. A 1.5-2 degrees increase corresponds to additional emissions of 200-900 Gton of CO2. This is 6-25 years with today’s emissions of more than 35 Gton/year. Eliminating fossil CO2 emissions in such short time is an unprecedented challenge from technical, economical and societal point of view. Moreover, it is highly uncertain if the very tough political agreements and decisions needed to make such a shift possible can be in place in time. Thus, it seems highly unlikely that we will reach the climate goals with reduced emissions only. Consequently, the scenarios of IPCC that meet climate targets include very large negative emissions, typically many hundreds Gton of CO2. Negative emissions means removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Most important among negative emission technologies is likely the capture and storage (CCS) of CO2 from biomass combustion/conversion, i.e. Bio-CCS or BECCS. WHAT IS CHEMICAL-LOOPING COMBUSTION? Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC) is a novel combustion technology with inherent CO2 separation, which uses a circulating oxy-

gen-carrier to transfer oxygen from air to fuel, (Fig. 1). It is expected to give a dramatic reduction in cost and energy penalty of CO2 capture. This is because the technology ideally can capture CO2 without any need for costly gas separation, as the capture is inherent to the technology. This is in contrast to other capture technologies that are burdened with significant costs and efficiency losses related to gas separation. The reactor system used involves two interconnected fluidised beds, a fuel reactor where the fuel reacts with the oxygen-carrier to form CO2 and steam, and an air reactor where the oxygen carrier is regenerated, (Fig. 2). After condensation of the steam a flow of essentially pure CO2 is obtained – without any active gas separation. SIMILARITIES TO COMBUSTION IN CIRCULATING FLUIDIZED BED (CFB) AND COSTS The CLC process has important similarities to combustion of solid fuels in Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) boilers. Thus, CFB combustion is an integral part of the state of art for CLC. A previous comparison of technology and costs between a 1000 MWth CFB boiler and a 1000 MWth CLC boiler hi-

Figure 1. CLC principle. MeO is the metal oxide circulated.

ghlights important differences and similarities. The two boilers are outlined in Figure 3. The most important differences and similarities are: 1) the horizontal cross-section area is similar, because of similar gas flows and gas velocities; 2) in the case of CLC the combustion chamber is divided in three parts, with one adiabatic fuel reactor in the middle surrounded by two air reactors; 3) the air reactors are shortened because air reactor height has no benefits as there are no homogeneous gas phase reactions that should be brought to completion. Furthermore a lower air reactor riser has the advantage of giving increased solids circulation. The adiabatic fuel reactor will give added costs for insulated walls that are not used for steam generation. Based on the cost of insulated boiler wall, 1500 €/m2, and the total wall needed, 2500 m2, the added investment cost of the fuel reactor would be around 4 M€. If this corresponds to a yearly cost of 0.4 M€, and 2 million ton CO2 is captured yearly the corresponding CO2 capture cost is 0.2 €/ton. This is well below 1% of the estimated costs of other CO2 capture technologies. Thus, it is clear that the major added costs of CLC are not associated

Figure 2. CLC reactor system for gas, 1) air reactor, 2) cyclone, 3) fuel reactor 4) loop seals.

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Sweden could reduce the emissions of CO2 by more than 150% by stopping fossil emissions and capturing biogenic CO2. At the same time Norway is a pioneer in geological CO2 storage with two large-scale projects ongoing, one that has been in operation for more than 20 years. Figure 3. Left: layout of 1000 MWth FBC boiler, Right: Layout of 1000 MWth CLC boiler. From [1]. Norway is presently investigating three options for CO2 capture plants with the boiler, [1]. The largest cost is APPLICATION TO BIOMASS and would have the possibility to CO2 compression, 10 €/ton, which The use with biomass, i.e. Bio-CLC, combine this with a solution for reis inevitable and common to all CO2 presents several novel challenges ceiving and storing CO2 from sourcapture technologies. The second and opportunities, compared to ces in Northern Europe. This would largest cost, 6.5 €/ton, is air sepa- CLC of coal. Some of these oppor- be a CO2 hub in western Norway, ration for production of oxygen. tunities that need investigation are: i.e. a harbour that would receive This assumes a gas conversion of [3], CO2 transported by ship for further 90% meaning the need for oxygen 1) the chance to reduce costs and pipeline transport to a permanent is 10% of that of oxyfuel CO2 cap- operational difficulties related to storage in the Utsira formation – a ture. Other added costs are related fouling/corrosion caused by ash im- thousand meter beneath the floor of to oxygen carrier, insulation of fuel purities; the North Sea. reactor, steam fluidization of fuel 2) increasing steam data and thus The Nordic region has excellent reactor and fuel grinding. The total the overall efficiency of power ge- conditions for negative emissions, cost of CO2 capture for CLC with neration; with its high production of biomass coal is estimated to be 20 €/tonne 3) reducing or eliminating the emis- and large biogenic CO2 releases, as CO2 and within the range of 16- sions of NOx; well as the vicinity to a large geo26 €/tonne,[1]. No similar detailed 4) extending the range of possible logical formation suitable for CO2 analysis has been made for biomass, fuels which can be utilized compa- storage. Chemical-looping combubut downscaling to smaller size and red to normal fluidized bed com- stion is a novel technology with the change of fuel are not expected to bustion, e.g. fuels with significant potential for a dramatic reduction cause any dramatic changes to the fractions of alkali and chlorine. of CO2 capture costs. added costs. Operational experiences with biofuel in CLC are scarce, but recent REFERENCES OPERATIONAL results with a biomass fuel from a [1] A. Lyngfelt and B. Leckner. A 1000 MWth Boiler for Chemical-Looping EXPERIENCES 100 kW pilot indicated gas conver- Combustion of Solid Fuels – Discussion of CLC research has expanded rapi- sions up to 78% [4]. Such a conver- Design and Costs. Applied Energy 2015; dly in the last decade, and present sion would reduce the need for oxy- 157:475-487. operational experience is more than gen with almost a factor of five as [2] A. Lyngfelt and C. Linderholm. Chemi9000 h in 34 pilots from 0.3 kW to compared to oxy-fuel combustion, cal-Looping Combustion of Solid Fuels – 3 MW. Previous operation with coal one of the competing CO2 capture status and recent progress. In: To be publiin e.g. a 100 kW pilot clearly demon- technologies. However, it is believed shed in Energy Procedia, Presented at 13th strates that the process works well, that gas conversion could be signifi- International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, GHGT-13. although a full conversion of the gas cantly improved in the full scale [2]. Lausanne, Switzerland; 2016 is not attained leading to the need of adding oxygen to the exhaust NEGATIVE EMISSIONS IN [3] Magnus Rydén, Anders Lyngfelt, Tobias Mattisson, et al. About the possibilities stream. Pilot experiences indicate THE NORDIC COUNTRIES that gas conversion typically ran- The release of biogenic CO2 from to utilize Chemical-Looping Combustion (CLC) for abatement of corrosion and ges from 75-95% depending on fuel larger point sources suitable for fouling in fluidized bed combustion of and operating conditions, [2]. This is CO2 capture is more than 50 Mt/ biomass. In: EUBCE. Stockholm, Sweden; when using low-cost oxygen-carrier year in the Nordic countries. This 2017 materials such as natural ores. release is also increasing. It can be compared to the emission of a to- [4] Carl Linderholm, Anders Lyngfelt, Magnus Rydén, et al. Chemical-looping tal of 200 Mt CO2/year from fossil combustion of biomass in a 100 kW pilot. fuels. Sweden and Finland have the In: EUBCE 2017. Stockholm, Sweden; largest biogenic CO2 releases. Thus, 2017 26 Be

FUTURE BIOREFINERIES FROM RAW MATERIALS TO BIO-PRODUCTS: DEVELOPMENT AND ANALYSIS Valeria Mapelli on behalf of the BioBuF consortium - Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

BioBuF investigates and develops the idea of a Swedish biorefinery


ioBuF is the acronym for Biobased production of Bulk and Fine chemicals and is the name of a collaborative research project that was born in 2013, when the partners of the BioBuF consortium proposed a research idea responding to the research and innovation agenda developed by the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (FORMAS). The long and more explicative name of BioBuF is “Upgrading of renewable domestic raw materials to value-added bulk and fine chemicals for a biobased economy: technology development, systems integration and environmental impact assessment”. The renewable raw materials of choice are forest waste e.g. roots, stumps, tops and branches (in Swedish, GROT) and micro-algae; this says that BioBuF aims at assessing the possibilities to establish a refinery based on non-fossil sources, that is a

so called biorefinery. The main aim of the inter-disciplinary BioBuF project is to investigate a complete biorefinery concept to convert Swedish domestic waste materials to value-added bulk and fine chemicals, thus contributing to the transition to a biobased economy. Thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, BioBuF represents a crossroad between different scientific and technical fields that are all necessary in the establishment of a biorefinery. The diverse nature of the raw materials (GROT and microalgae) and the diversity of the streams coming from those sources (sugars from cellulose; phenols from lignin; pigments from microalgae; and the by-product streams) require the application of different extraction, separation, and conversion technologies. Furthermore, technology development, system integration, and life cycle assessment are a considerable part of this research, as we believe that careful pro-

cess design, life cycle and environmental impact analyses have to go hand in hand with the development of new technologies for biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals in order to fulfill the requirements for economic, social and environmental sustainability. The BioBuF biorefinery is based on the “biomass cascading” concept, that is the conversion of biomass to a portfolio of products and energy carriers through a chain of subsequent steps; the first step, usually producing the highest added-value product, produces a waste stream that is not simply disposed, but it becomes the feedstock for the second step and so on until the “end of life” waste stream, which is disposed of in an environmentally friendly and energy efficient way. In particular, BioBuF proposes the conversion of the sugar streams coming from GROT into the bulk chemical adipic acid via the establishment of a microbial cell factory. 27 Be

Adipic acid is nowadays a product of the oil-based chemical industry and its market value is projected to reach $ 7 539 million by 2019. The main application of adipic acid is the synthesis of the polymer nylon 6,6; however it is also used at lower volumes in very diverse fields, e.g. flavoring and gelling aid in food and beverage industry. The microbial cell factory for bio-based adipic acid production will be the core of the biorefinery and will make use of a microorganism able to tolerate high titers of adipic acid, as an economically sustainable process will have to produce titers of 50 – 100 gL of adipic acid that is extremely challenging in terms of acid tolerance. Furthermore, we are developing a metabolic en-

gineering and strain improvement approach to make such microorganism capable of converting sugars to adipic acid. Upstream to the production of adipic acid, separation of biomass represents a very important element of the BioBuF biorefinery. Sugars will be extracted from algae and GROT and the remaining components will be converted in added-value products. Pigments and high added value chemicals will derive from the algal biomass; while a whole work package of the BioBuF project is dedicated to develop a proper processing and separation technology that will allow the separation of lignin from GROT (Fig.1).

The technology developed for lignin separation will result in a lignin fraction to be used for production of added value products, exploiting the bioconversion (i.e. enzymatic/ microbial conversion) of the phenolics into aromatic compounds of interest. The spent fermentation broth and all the residual organics from the described bioprocesses in the BioBuF biorefinery are meant to be the substrate for anaerobic digestion (AD) and for bioelectrochemical systems (BES). These two biotechnological processes will result in the production of nutrients that can be used as fertilizers and in water that has been cleaned from the by-products of the upstream bioproces-

Figure 1. Schematic representation of the BioBuF biorefinery project and the its organization in work packages (WP).

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ses. In addition, AD will generate energy in form of the combustible methane; while BES could be the source of additional products of interest that will be generated via bioelectrosynthesis. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and process modelling and integration make BioBuF an exhaustive project, as these will allow to evaluate the actual feasibility of the proposed biorefinery. LCA is performed to lead the technology development, hence leading the development of novel technologies via the evaluation of the environmental impact, e.g. global warming potential (green house gasses emissions) or eutrophication potential. Process modelling and integration aim to model and simulate the proposed biorefinery as close as possible to the real process including all fluxes and mass/energy balance entering the system, leaving the system, as well as connecting the different internal process operations. Thus, the project will add to the transition to a bio-based economy, including both scientific achievements and current state-of-the-art technology assessments. Ultimately, this will support the industry sector by creating new business in the bioeconomy.

Science • Communication • Knowledge • Innovation

Letting knowledge flow


Horizon 2020 presents new opportunities for collaboration in scientific research projects. ETA Florence Renewable Energies, a private company established in 1994, is committed to partnering in projects in order to provide communications, dissemination, knowledge transfer, knowledge management, and project management solutions in several Horizon projects.


ETA Florence Renewable Energies is currently a partner in several EC-funded projects. Its experienced multi-disciplinary and international team includes 18 team members and a roster of experts consultants, with specialists in scientific research, project management, communications, training, and business development.


ETA Florence works with more than 300 research institutions in over 30 countries to design projects with beneficial effects. Using our team’s collective expertise, we facilitate knowledge transfer and provide dissemination plans that are specifically tailored to each new project. We have been partner in more than 250 EC-funded projects.


- -  Market Analysis, Knowledge Management and Transfer. - -  Stakeholder Engagement, Education and Training, Events, Workshops, Webinar, Social Media, Dissemination Material, Publications. - -  Communication, Dissemination and Strategies, Project Management and IPR issues related to the Management of the Consortium. @etaflorence

THE BIOBUF PROJECT PARTNERS The consortium is composed by: Chalmers University of Technology (Industrial Biotechnology division, Energy Technology and Environmental Systems Analysis division, Forest Products and Chemical Engineering group); RISE, Swedish Research Institute; VGR (Västra Götaland Regional Council). Industrial partners: Göteborg Energi, Akzo Nobel Pulp and Performance Chemicals, Hol­men Energi, Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry, SP Processum and Sve­askog. 29 Be


Friederike Lempe, Birger Kerckow, FNR, Germany Ingvar Landälv, Chair of ETIP Bioenergy, Sweden Maurizio Cocchi, ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, Italy


he European Technology and Innovation Platform Bioenergy (ETIP Bioenergy) is an industry-led stakeholder platform including relevant actors from academia, industry and civil society, engaged in the development of sustainable and competitive bioenergy and biofuel technologies. One major task of ETIP Bioenergy is to address the technical and economic barriers to the further development and accelerated commercial deployment of the technologies for the widespread sustainable exploitation of biomass resources. The broad aim remains to ensure at least 12%

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bioenergy in the EU energy mix by 2020 (according to the NREAPs), 27% of renewable energy in the final energy consumption by 2030 and at the same time to guarantee greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings of 70% for biofuels and bioliquids under the sustainability criteria of the new Renewable Energy Directive (REDII). Energy from biological resources is currently the most widely used renewable energy source in the world. It represents two thirds of Europe’s renewable energy sources with a

considerable absolute growth in the last five years exceeding the growth of all other renewable sources. FROM DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT TO MARKET INTRODUCTION Bioenergy pathways include a complex chain of technologies from the sustainable production of biomass to the production of the final energy or biofuel product, with

the opportunity to serve also other markets e.g. for chemicals heating and cooling etc. . There is a variety of possible configurations of bioenergy pathways. ETIP Bioenergy has identified and focused its work on the seven value chains that are presented in the following figure 1. This does not mean that there in the future may not be other, currently non-developed pathways which will need a new value chain. For many advanced and innovative technologies on their way to market maturity, the greatest challenges currently are connected to a lack of prospects to demonstrate

the technology at the appropriate scale – either as pre-commercial demonstration plants or first-of-a-kind industrial-size plants. Basic assessment of the prospective biomass availability, viable and cost-effective logistics for sustainable feedstock production, further development and optimization of technological conversion pathways, are essential pre-requisites for the implementation of demonstration and industrial-sized plants. The former European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) estimated that up to 30 such plants will be needed for the most promising technologies also in order to achieve replication

Figure 1. The seven bioenergy value chains that are object of work of ETIP Bioenergy

of solutions in different climate and geographic contexts across Europe and to take full account of logistical constraints. For the successful and market oriented introduction of new technologies there is the essential need to consider the entire innovation chain encompassing all development phases from basic research to demonstration and support for market roll-out. ENVISAGING A HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF BIOFUELS FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT Many innovative plants for the production of advanced biofuels for transport, using different biochemical or thermochemical conversion technologies, are in the pipeline around Europe. Technologies for the conversion of biomass are evolving quickly and their materialization on commercial scale is crucial for triggering a sustainable advanced biofuels industry that would pave the way for substantial environmental and socio-economic gains. Although there are many potential benefits, the implementation of commercial scale projects is slowed down by two major factors jeopardizing the deployment of advanced biofuels. One weakness is a relatively frail biomass market where value chains need to be strengthened in the context of a growing competition between different end-uses and resulting variability of prices. Another factor is an uncertain political framework, with a lack of coherent strategies and action plans on European and national level. This may even threaten the basis for research and innovation in the field of biofuel technology development as potential investors are deterred. When envisaging an ideal strategy for the long-term deployment of biofuels, it is important to highlight that technology development and integration with existing industries 31 Be

need to be coupled to research and development regarding prospective markets, business models, novel value chain cooperation, policy instruments etc. Thus, the development of technologies and market needs should go hand in hand. Cross-disciplinary research projects involving relevant stakeholders along the value chains and the promotion of long-term collaboration may contribute to the advancement of biofuel and bioenergy-related solutions. ETIP Bioenergy comprises four different Working Groups (biomass feedstocks, conversion, end-use, policy and sustainability) and an interdisciplinary pool of experts with different backgrounds and considerable knowledge regarding the above issues. They regularly coordinate their efforts to seek a holistic approach in developing a sustainable long-term perspective for the advancement of biofuel technologies.

call for a transition strategy towards biofuels of the 2nd generation that includes the present biofuels industry and its ambition to improve the economic and environmental performance of existing plants and technologies. Several units of advanced biofuels (2nd generation) production facilities have already been built at pre-commercial scale. ETIP Bioenergy claims as essential that the current pool of industry stakeholders and their experiences

in the field of 1st generation biofuels become involved in the introduction of advanced biofuels to the energy market. The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the ETIP Bioenergy can help to lay the ground for a fact-based societal discussion involving all relevant stakeholders and their perspectives. A long-term RD&D programme involving all relevant stakeholders along the dif-

FROM 1ST GENERATION TO 2ND GENERATION BIOFUELS At the present stage, biofuel technologies of the 1st generation are mature and available commercially. Most of the biofuel stakeholders Figure 2: Biofuels deployment (Source: EBTP 2016: Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2016).



ADVANCED BIOFUELS Improve performance

2.15 Mtoe produced by 2020 +30% process efficiency by 2030

Reduce production costs excl. feedstock cost and taxes (Eur/MWh)

<50 <35

HIGH EFFICIENCY LARGE SCALE CHP Reduce conversion costs by (minimum percentage)


INTERMEDIATE BIOENERGY CARRIERS Reduce production costs excl. feedstock cost and taxes (Eur/MWh)

Increase GHG Savings at least 60%

Source: EC (2016), SET-Plan - Declaration of Intent on "Strategic Targets for bioenergy and renewable fuels needed for sustainable transport solutions in the context of an Initiative for Global Leadership in Bioenergy".

Fig. 3 – Main target and priorities for bioenergy included in the Declaration of Intent for Action 8 of the SET-Plan.

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< 10 Solid <5 < 40 < 30

Microbial Oils

< 20 < 10

Liquid & Gaseous

ferent production value chains will help to broaden the feedstock base, increase feedstock supply, and to enhance biomass conversion efficiency. With the advancement of current and new technologies, there will be considerable cost reductions associated with the production of advanced biofuels as shown in the following figure 2.

Action. ETIP Bioenergy will be part of the Temporary Working Group for the Implementation Plan of Action 8 which will start in September 2017. The Implementation Plan shall be drafted in the following 3-5 months. The coordination of the group will be led by DG JRC of the EC, with associated officers from DG RTD and DG ENER.

ETIP BIOENERGY CONTRIBUTING TO THE SET PLAN One of the main activities of ETIP Bioenergy is to contribute to the implementation of the European Integrated Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). Building on the Commission’s Energy Union Strategy, the plan is based on 10 Key Actions, to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies in Europe. Key Action 8 of the SET-Plan targets the development of “Renewable fuels and bioenergy”. To translate actions into measures, in 2016, the European Commission organized a consultation process for stakeholders. In reply to this, ETIP Bioenergy produced an Input Paper which collects the views of all platform members. This and the views of 34 other stakeholder groups were collected by the SET-Plan Secretariat and included in a Declaration of Intent which sets specific and ambitious targets and priorities for Action 8. These targets include significant improvements in the efficiency of conversion processes, along with the reduction of conversion costs and the improvement of GHG savings of advanced biofuels, high efficiency cogeneration and intermediate bioenergy carriers (fig. 3)

As an independent industry-led platform and a formally recognised interlocutor of the DG RTD, ETIP Bioenergy will be the driving force to involve all European bioenergy and biofuel stakeholders in the discussion and to coordinate their inputs to the plan. All interested parties can follow the activities and get involved in its work by sharing expertise and advice, to shape the future of research and innovation in advanced biofuels and bioenergy.

In the second half of 2017 SETPlan Temporary Working Groups will be established to prepare the Implementation Plans which will describe the measures necessary to achieve the targets included in the Declarations of Intent for each Key


LITERATURE: EC (2009): Commission Staff Working Document. A TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP for the Communication on Investing in the Development of Low Carbon Technologies (SET-Plan). In: system/files/Complete_report.pdf (Access: 26.04.2017). EBTP (2016): Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2016. Innovation Driving Sustainable Biofuels. In: pdf (Access: 26.4.2016). EC (2016): SET-Plan – Declaration of Intent on “Strategic Targets for bioenergy and renewable fuels needed for sustainable transport solutions in the context of an Initiative for Global Leadership in Bioenergy”. In: integrated_set-plan/declaration_action8_ renewablefuels_bioenergy.pdf (Access: 02.05.2017). OECD/IEA & FAO (2017): How 2 Guide For Bioenergy. Roadmap, Development and Implementation. In: publications/freepublications/publication/ How2GuideforBioenergyRoadmapDevelopmentandImplementation.pdf (Access 02.05.2017).

ETIP Bioenergy SABS

The project European Technology and Innovation Platform Bioenergy – Support of Advanced Bioenergy Stakeholders 2016-2017 (ETIP Bioenergy-SABS), provides support to all activities of ETIP Bioenergy which are of interest for the biofuels and bioenergy community and for the general public. ETIP Bioenergy-SABS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 727509.

The new ETIP Bioenergy website was launched last May. Visit 33 Be

“beReal” – NOVEL TEST METHODS FOR FIREWOOD AND PELLET ROOM HEATERS FOCUSING ON REAL-LIFE OPERATION R. Sturmlechner, G. Reichert, C. Schmidl, H. Stressler, M. Schwabl, W. Haslinger, BIOENERGY 2020+ GmbH, Austria

© Wolfgang Bledl


omestic biomass heating is common and widespread all over Europe. In order to ensure a high combustion performance of biomass heaters, obligatory requirements for emissions and thermal efficiency for room heating devices are prescribed. In many European countries the thresholds for emissions and thermal efficiency were tightened in the last years. However, they are valid for standard type testing results under laboratory conditions. Emissions in the field are significantly higher than at type testing which is done under optimal operating conditions without respecting typical user habits and transient operating conditions (i.e. ignition phase)[1]. Thus, it is necessary to get to a more realistic assessment of type testing for domestic biomass room heaters in order to better reflect real-life conditions 34 Be

and to enhance manufacturers to optimize their products with respect to real-life operation. A new approach for such testing methods was investigated in the European FP7 project “beReal”. The aim of beReal is the development of real-life test methods for domestic firewood room heaters according to EN 13240 and pellet stoves according to EN 14785. The test methods should be implemented as a label on the European market. This beReal label should be an indicator for high quality products with low emissions and a high thermal efficiency in real-life operation. Beyond that, manufacturers of room heaters should be forced to develop their products exclusively for real-life operation in future.

EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT In a first step an Europe-wide survey (> 2000 respondents)[2] and field monitoring tests were conducted to investigate the typical operating habits of end users in real-life. Furthermore, the influence of different operation modes on gaseous (CO, OGC, NOx) and particulate emissions (TSP) as well as on thermal efficiency, were evaluated in laboratory tests (e.g. ignition modes, influence of draught conditions, fuel properties, efficiency determination,…)[3, 4]. As a result the first draft versions of the beReal test methods for firewood and pellet stoves were developed. Moreover, a web-based tool was established to guarantee standardized data evaluation. This approach was assessed by a comprehensive validation procedure, including several firewood and

pellet stoves[5,6]. Based on the validation process the final beReal methods were defined. THE “BEREAL� METHODS The final beReal methods consist of defined heating cycles, including start at cold conditions (ignition), nominal and part load operation as well as to some extend the cooling down phase. Figure 1 (pellet) and 2 (firewood) show schemes of the operation cycles, testing and measuring parameters. Figure 3 shows the test set-up for pellet stoves and firewood room heaters. For data evaluation the entire test cycles are considered. This procedure is performed with the web-based evaluation tool, which was established in the beReal project. Furthermore, for firewood room heaters a Quick User Guide (QUG) is obligatory. This one-sided manual is provided by the manufacturer and shall include all relevant aspects for a best-practice heating operation (e.g. ignition mode, fuel mass, air flap settings, etc. ROUND ROBIN & FIELD TEST As a final step, round robin and field tests were performed in order to evaluate the reproducibility and to demonstrate the real-life relevance of both beReal methods (firewood and pellet). For the round robin tests one firewood room heater and one pellet stove were tested according to beReal and type testing at seven different laboratories all over Europe. Results showed that for both stoves the beReal method can be reproduced with the same variability or even better than the type testing methods. As an

Figure 1: Scheme of the beReal method for pellet stoves (EN 14785).

Figure 2: Scheme of the beReal method for firewood room heaters (EN 13240).

Figure 3: beReal test set-up for pellet stoves (left) and firewood room heaters (right).

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example, Figure 4 shows test results of the round robin test for carbon monoxide (CO) for the firewood room heater at all laboratories. CONCLUSIONS New real-life oriented testing methods for firewood (EN 13240) and pellet stoves (EN 14785) were developed within the beReal project. The results showed a good reproducibility of the methods. Moreover, the results confirmed that existing standard type test methods are not capable for a sufficient real-life operation evaluation. This applies to absolute figures and even to the ranking of appliances. A web-based tool was established in order to guarantee standardized data evaluation. Finally, a labeling concept was developed which highlights high quality products in real-life operation. The future implementation of the label concept should trigger the development and optimization of new and existing technologies to a better real-life performance. This is an important measure for emission reduction and consequently for better air quality. In a long term perspective the method could become a harmonized testing standard. This would have the biggest effect as all appliances would be covered.


The study leading to these results has received funding from the European Union in the Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement n°606605 ( 36 Be

Figure 4: CO results of the round robin tests for firewood room heaters. X represents the arithmetic mean, s represents the standard deviation

Figure 5: CO results of the field tests (beReal in the laboratory, Day 3 and Day 1) for firewood room heaters REFERENCES [1] Reichert G., Schmidl C., Haslinger W., Moser W., Aigenbauer S., Figl F., Wöhler M. (2014). Investigation of user behavior and operating conditions of residental wood combustion (RWC) appliances and their impact on emissions and efficiency. 4th Central European Biomass Conference. Graz, Austria [2] Wöhler M., Andersen J.S., Becker G., Persson H., Reichert G., Schön C., Schmidl C., Jaeger D., Pelz S.K. (2016). Investigation of real life operation of biomass room heating appliances – Results of a European survey. Applied Energy 169, pp. 240-249. [3] Reichert G., Hartmann H., Haslinger W., Öhler H., Mack R., Schmidl C., Schön C., Schwabl M., Stressler H., Sturmlechner R., Hochenauer C. (2016). Batch-Wise Wood Combustion in Firewood Roomheaters – Impact of Ignition Mode and Draught Conditions. Proceedings WSEDnext Young researchers conference. Wels, Austria [4] Sturmlechner R., Reichert G., Stressler H., Aigenbauer S., Schmidl C., Schwabl M., Haslinger W. (2016). Direct and Indirect Determination of Thermal Efficiency of Firewood Roomheaters. Proceedings WSEDnext Young researchers conference. Wels. [5] Reichert G., 4, Hartmann H., Haslinger W., Oehler H., Pelz S., Schmidl C., Schwabl M., Stressler H., Sturmlechner R., Wöhler M., Hochenauer C. (2016). “beReal” – Development of a new test method for firewood roomheaters reflecting real life operation. 24th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition. Amsterdam, Netherlands [6] Oehler H., Mack R., Hartmann H., Pelz S., Wöhler M., Schmidl C., Reichert G. (2016). Development of a test procedure to reflect the real life operation of pellet stoves. 24th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition. Amsterdam, Netherlands


Javier Gil, Biomass Energy Department, CENER - National Renewable Energy Centre, Spain

Figure 1. Torrefied beech wood chips (Source: CENER)


orrefaction process transforms biomass in a much better product than the original raw biomass. Torrefied biomass, as a product, has a number of clear advantages, in comparison to raw biomass, for coal substitution in many applications: higher caloric value, better milling behavior, lower equilibrium moisture content, higher resistance to biological degradation and much more homogenous characteristics (Fig.1). In order to exhibit advantages in handling and logistics, torrefied biomass should be transformed into densified forms, like pellets, with lower logistic costs and much better handling behavior. Torrefied biomass pelletization is not straight forward, being more challenging than raw wood pelletization. It has been demonstrated that without the use of additives, power consump-

tion in the press mill for torrefied biomass is usually much higher than in the case of white pellets production. Additionally, milled torrefied biomass has lower density and very high dust content, being more abrasive than raw biomass, what increases equipment wear and maintenance costs. Pel­letization could be considered a not completely solved issue, with relevant potential for improvement for many challenging torrefied feedstock. The production of pellets with high density and durability require more optimization work and much practical experience in torrefied biomass pelletization. OPTIMIZATION OF TORREFIED PELLETS QUALITY WITHOUT THE USE OF ADDITIVES CENER initial approach excluded the use of additives. Extensive pelletization tests were executed in our

pilot plant. Torrefied materials produced in our own torrefaction pilot plant with different anhydrous weight loss were used, including eight different type of feedstock: beech, pine, loose straw, poplar, paulownia, olive pruning, eucalyptus and straw pellets. The main focus was the development of pelletization recipes to optimize product properties. Production test have been carried out in a 30 kW mill supplied by MABRIK with a production capacity of 200-700 kg/h depending on the feedstock and pellet quality. Specific power consumption per tonne of product cannot be directly compared with production rates in mills of higher power since lager mills are more efficient with higher production rates per kilowatt installed capacity. CENER’s pelletization pilot plant also consist of a hammer mill (using screen sizes in the range of 2-12 mm) and a mixer with 37 Be

1m3 capacity including devices for moisture content adjustment and additive feeding. For testing purposes, a set of dies designed ad hoc for torrefied biomass are available (with different diameter, compression ratios, number of holes, etc.). The described pelletization pilot plant is shown in Figure 2. Recently the standard ISO 172258:2016, Graded Thermally Treated biomass, has been published. Among the specified quality parameters in the standard for torrefied wood pellets, those being affected by the pelletization behavior are shown in Table 1. Optimization of pelletization was

Pellets with mechanical durability over 97% have been produced, using the suitable die and pelletization settings, for all feedstocks tested to date.

achieved for each torrefied material, first without the use of additives, by adjusting the particle size distribution and moisture content of the feedstock, as well as the die turning speed, testing different die designs with different compression ratios, channel shape, number of channels and channel distribution layout. All mentioned parameter’s effect depends on each other making the

optimization process effort and time consuming. The experience gained with previous torrefied material catalyses the optimization process for new ones. Moisture content is one of the most important parameters in the optimization of the process, since the water plays the role of lubricant, so that the lower the moisture the higher friction and compression. Water also serves as a

Figure 2. The Pelletization pilot plant at CENER Property class

Analysis method



Mechanical durability, DU

ISO 17831‐1


DU97.5 > 97,5

DU96.0 > 96,0

DU95.0 > 95,0

Fines, F e,

ISO 18846

w‐% as received

F2.0 ≤ 2,0

F4.0 < 4,0

F6.0 < 6,0


w‐% dry

< 4, Type and amount to be stated

Type and amount to be stated

Type and amount to be stated


BD650 > 650

BD650 > 650

BD550 > 550

Value to be stated

Value to be stated

ISO 17828

as received

F1.0 < 1,0

BD700 > 700

Value to be stated

Table 1 - Quality parameters for torrefied wood pellets affected by the pelletization behaviour.

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as received


Bulk density, BD


F2.0 < 2,0

F3.0 < 3,0

bonding agent and as a cooling media, so it can be adjusted to control the temperature of the system. Reducing particle size during grinding increase the available surface for cohesion forces but also increase the friction forces during compression. Due to the characteristics of torrefied biomass, particle size after milling is much lower that for raw biomass and contents a higher fraction of fine dust. A high content of very fine particles could create problems in the pellet mill operation, requiring special die design. The torrefaction degree (or anhydrous weight loss, AWL) of feedstock is other parameter to take into account, as the higher torrefaction degree the more friction occurs into the die. Lignin properties are also modified as torrefaction degree increases. Hence, the die selection for every torrefied material is a very important issue to get high quality pellets, and it depends on feedstock conditions (selected biomass, particle size distribution and torrefaction degree). Testing results are summarized in Figure 3 and some samples photographs are shown in Figure 4. In the Table 2, main characterization results of the pellets produced at optimized conditions for each raw material are show.

Figure 3. Pellet production vs pellet durability of torrefied materials without the use of additives (30 kW ring die pellet mill)

Torrefied beech

Torrefied pine

From the quality parameters affected by the pelletization process, the mechanical durability of pellet could be Torrefied straw Torrefied poplar considered the most critical one. In addition, bulk density and fines con- Figure 4. Examples of torrefied pellets samples tent usually correlate with durability and follow the same trend. The heat treatment during torrefaction modifies Parameter Beech Pine Straw Poplar Eucalyptus Olive Paulownia biomass properties (fiber and lignin properties) being much more challenging to reach high durability values. Torrefaction % dry 17 21 14 14 22 14 25 degree basis In spite of the challenge, as result of the optimization process carried out to kg/m3 Bulk 690 650 700 690 710 680 700 find the suitable die and pelletization density (ar) settings, pellets with mechanical dura97.1 97.0 % 97.7 98.4 98.2 97.1 98.4 bility over 97% have been produced, Durability using the suitable die and pelletization 0.09 0.35 % 0.40 0.05 0.05 0.06 0.17 Fines settings, for all feedstocks tested to date. Table 2 - Characterization of torrefied pellets

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Unfortunately, although pellet durability has been improved significantly during the optimization process, production sharply dropped, simply because more energy is needed, as you can see in Fig 3, to produce a harder pellet. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that it seems feasible to produce high quality pellets from any torrefied biomass but power demand is going to be higher than in the case of raw biomass and very high for some torrefied biomass, as pine for example. NEW DEVELOPMENT: EFFECTIVE ADDITIVE FOR TORREFIED BIOMASS PELLETIZATION Analysing the experience gain during the described optimization process, mainly the operational challenges due to the pelletization behaviour, a potential kind of additive for process improvement was identified. Experimental testing has been carried with different feedstock, in the same equipment,

We have developed an improved pelletization solution for torrefied biomass pelletization optimization that increases press productivity by 25-45%. using the same procedures, but resulting in much better performance as shown in the Figure 5 Based on the use of the additive we have developed an improved pelletization solution for torrefied biomass pelletization optimization that increase press productivity by 2545%. The effect of the additive is a reduction on the power consumption, or an increase of production of the press mill, for the same product quality (mechanical durability), or the increase of the pellet durability for the same power consumption. The use of additive makes also pellets mill operation smoother. Additive supply cost is small in compari-

son with the impact in power saving and therefore cost-effective. The improvement has been demonstrated for a broad range of torrefied raw materials in CENER’s pilot plant, as shown in figure 5. CENER is promoting additive testing and validation by third parties. In this way, the improvement has also been also confirmed in the test centre of a pellet mill supplier (70 kW pellet mill). Tests in an industrial torrefaction plant are being arranged for the next weeks. Companies interested in testing the additive could contact CENER for the arrangements.

Figure 5. Pellet production vs pellet durability of torrefied materials. Comparison between test with additive and without the use of the additive (30 kW ring die pellet mill)

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Maurizio Cocchi, ETA Florence Renewable Energies, Italy Andrea Monti, University of Bologna, Italy


new Horizon 2020 project will foster cooperation between Europe and Brazil in the development of advanced biofuels from sustainable agricultural value chains, based on ligno-cellulosic biomass. Coordinated by the University of Bologna, Department of Agricultural Sciences, the four-year BECOOL project will be carried-out by a consortium of fourteen partners from seven EU countries, including universities, research institutes, industries and SMEs. The activities of BECOOL will be aligned those of BioVALUE, a twin project in Brazil, funded by five State Foundations (FAPESP from SĂŁo Paulo state, FAPEMIG from Minas Gerais state, FAPERJ from Rio de Janeiro state, FACEPE from Pernambuco state, and FAPERGS from Rio Grande do Sul state) and five Industrial Companies (Petrobras, Fibria, Klabin, Boeing, and Embraer), with 12 research institutions and universities partners, coordinated by the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE) of the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM). Building on existing complementarities in scientific expertise and experience between EU and Brazil in the development of advanced biofuels, the two projects will adopt a synergistic work programme, to develop

Source: Serge Braconnier

a series of research and demonstration activities, covering the entire value chain in a balanced way: from innovative biomass production and logistics, to efficient conversion pathways and exploitation. The cooperation between Europe and Brazil on advanced biofuels will bring mutual benefits and will create synergies at scientific level that will help to exploit the full economic potential of advanced biofuel value chains, while creating unique opportunities for both Brazilian and European companies. A lesson learned from existing biofuel value chains, both in Europe and in Brazil, is that sustainable, reliable, and affordable biomass production logistics are often a big conundrum.

In the EU, advanced biofuels can be produced from annual and perennial lignocellulosic crops and from crop residues such as cereal straw. Crop residues have a large potential in Europe, however using only crop residues often creates problems of logistics and of biomass supply to large industrial plants, due to fluctuations in yields, local availability and prices. Land pressure of biofuel plants could be reduced by adopting different and complementary cropping strategies that integrate food and biofuel crops production aimed at increasing the productivity of lignocellulosic biomass and at improving the logistics of the value chains. Brazil is speeding up the commercial implementation of advanced 41 Be

biofuel production, currently focused on sugarcane bagasse, with short-term perspectives to diversify the feedstock with eucalyptus, energy cane and sugarcane residues. Using sugarcane bagasse and straw to produce cellulosic ethanol would dramatically increase the total ethanol yield per unit land. It has been estimated, for example, that by transforming only half of the available bagasse and straw into ethanol, the Brazilian ethanol output would increase by at least 50%. Harmonizing and optimizing the entire value chains by improving the logistics and the efficiency of conversion processes, would dramatically increase the sustainability and profitability of advanced biofuels. In this context, one of the main objectives of BECOOL and BioVALUE is to demonstrate a realistic approach of integrated and logistically efficient supply systems, based on the use of both crop residues and high-yield lignocellulosic crops. The two projects will set up innovative cropping systems based on annual and perennial lignocellulosic crops, to increase feedstock availability for advanced biofuel plants without competing for land with food crops. In parallel, the two projects will develop ways to increase the conversion efficiency of biomass to advanced biofuels, by optimizing and integrating thermochemical processes to convert the lignin-rich by-products of advanced biofuel plants, into bio-oil, syngas and into additional fuel products. This will represent a major process improvement, for example, in second generation ethanol plants, where currently lignin is a still a low-value by-product, which is utilized only for power generation. Another project component will develop innovations in the pre-treatment and in the fermentation of lignocellulosic feedstock, to increase the ethanol yield while at the same 42 Be

time improving the chemical-physical characteristics of the lignin rich co-product, for its further upgrading to advanced biofuels. Finally, the two projects will perform a detailed sustainability assessment of the value chains and an integrated market analysis in order to foster the scientific and commercial exploitation of the results. Prof. Andrea Monti, BECOOL project coordinator says: “Conventional transport fuels contribute around one fifth of the total emissions worldwide. Advanced lignocellulosic biofuels are a concrete opportunity of mitigating the GHG emissions, while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. The increasing demand on biofuels is an urgent challenge for EU in order to comply with economical, political, social and environmental targets. Brazil has been the pioneer in the biofuels, and its ethanol production is projected to increase from about 29 Bln L in 2015 to 36 Bln L in 2025. Therefore, the strengthen cooperation between Europe and Brazil on advanced biofuels could provide mutually beneficial solutions for highly efficient and sustainable value chains, encompassing the whole range of activities from biomass production and diversification to logistics and conversion pathways”.


BECOOL (Brazil-EU Cooperation for Development of Advanced Lignocellulosic Biofuels) has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 744821 which will run from June 2017 until June 2021. The members of BECOOL consortium are: University of Bologna (Italy, coordinator), Biochemtex s.p.a. (Italy), Biomass Technology Group (The Netherlands), Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (Spain), Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (Greece), Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria (Italy), Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum Gemeinnuetzige GmbH - DBFZ (Germany), Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (The Netherlands); ETA-Florence Renewable Energies (Italy), Internationales Institut für angewandte Systemanalyse (Germany), Consorzio per la Ricerca e la Dimostrazione sulle Energie Rinnovabili (Italy), Wageningen University & Research (The Netherlands), Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy (Finland).

Antonio Bonomi, BioVALUE project coordinator says: “Production of advanced biofuels in a country rich in biomass alternatives is clearly the future for climate change mitigation, enabling Brazil to reach its Nationally Determined Contributions compromised at COP22 in Marrakech. The opportunity to synergistically develop with Europe new biomass and logistic strategies, as well as new conversion technologies, will allow to reach fundamental results in the new world’s bioeconomy context”.


MILENA gasifier, ECN (photographer, Jasper Lensselink)

TURNING SEWAGE SLUDGE INTO FUELS AND HYDROGEN TO-SYN-FUEL is a project funded by Horizon 2020 EU’s new research and innovation programme, with the aim to build-up, operate and demonstrate the production of synthetic fuels and green hydrogen from waste biomass. Stefano Capaccioli, ETA Florence Renewable Energies Robert Daschner, Fraunhofer UMSICHT In December 2016 the European Commission has released its proposal for the RED II, the Renewable Energy Directive for the post 2020 period. This proposal introduces a gradual phase-out of conventional biofuels and sets a minimum target for advanced biofuels for transports. Therefore, there is an urgent need to bring innovative biofuels from sustainable raw materials to the market. Twelve SME, industrial, and scientific partners, co-ordinated by Fraunhofer UMSICHT, are participating in a new ambitious research project named TO-SYN-FUEL which will build up, operate and demonstrate the production of Synthetic Fuels and Green Hydrogen from waste biomass. Building and extending from previous framework funding, the project is designed to set the benchmark for future sustainable development and growth within Europe and will provide a real example to the rest of the world of how sustainable energy, economic, social and environmental needs can successfully be addressed. TCR® TECHNOLOGY AS A POSSIBLE SOLUTION The TCR® technology developed by Fraunhofer UMSICHT could be the solution. The thermo-catalytic reforming TCR® produces renewable liquid fuels from waste biomass, which can replace fossil fuels. These fuels comply with Eu-

Kick-off meeting, 3 May 2017, Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany Photo Credit: ETA-Florence Renewable Energies

ropean standards for gasoline and diesel EN228 and EN590, which have already been demonstrated on a pilot scale. The TCR® technology converts all kinds of residual biomass into three main products: H2-rich synthesis gas, biochar and liquid bio-oil, which can be upgraded. By high pressure hydro-deoxygenation HDO and conventional refining processes, a diesel or petrol equivalent is created in the distillation and is ready to be used directly in internal combustion engines. OBJECTIVE To demonstrate and validate the technical and commercial viability of this integrated approach, this project will combine in one plant TCR®, HDO and pressure swing adsorption PSA, together with respective environmental and social

sustainability mapping. The main objective is to create TCR® and HDO and the separation of H2 through the combination of a new value chain. Within the project biogenic residues or organic residues are converted into useful, inexpensive and high-performance synthetic fuels on a demonstration scale. The scale up of one hundred of such plants installed throughout Europe would avoid GHG emissions equivalent to five millions people per year and divert millions of tonnes of organic wastes from landfill to sustainable biofuel production. As a result, the TCR® technology opens up long-term opportunities to convert organic waste into renewable fuels and to directly implement these fuels into existing petroleum infrastructure. Dr.-Ing. Robert Daschner, Head of 43 Be

Heliex Power the Renewable Energy Department at Fraunhofer UMSICHT and Project Management Officer: “In this project we want to produce green diesel from waste, which in this particular case will be sewage sludge. In the next four years we will build-up, operate and demonstrate the technology and by the end of the project we want to have a business case for green fuels in order to support the targets of the European Commission”. To achieve this goal, the TO-SYNFUEL project is divided into ten landmarks, each associated with a corresponding work package. In addition, the project will increase the acceptance of biofuels and show the general public that the new diesel and gasoline equivalent synthetic fuel is competitive with fossil fuels. Prof.Dr. Andreas Hornung, Director of Fraunhofer UMSICHT in Sulzbach-Rosenberg and Chair of the Project Board: “We are happy to start this project which will be a major change for the behaviour in the future use of green fuels and sustainable fuels. With its demonstrator in Rotterdam Harbour, the project will show how simple it is to generate green fuels from biogenic residues and wastes, and also to deliver hydrogen and syngas for future synthesis”.

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The consortium with 12 partner organisations has brought together some of the leading researchers, industrial technology providers and renewable energy experts from across Europe, in a combined, committed and dedicated research effort to deliver the overarching ambition. Partners are: Engie Services Netherlands NV, Fraunhofer UMSICHT, HyGear Technology and Services BV, Slibverwerking Noord-Brabant NV (The Netherlands), Verfahrenstechnik Schwedt GmbH, Susteen Technologies GmbH (Germany), Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, ENI SpA, ETA–Florence Renewable Energies (Italy), University of Birmingham, WRG Europe Ltd (UK) and LEITAT (Spain). The project has a total duration of 48 months from May 2017 to April 2021 and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 745749

• Biomass heating plants (from 300 kW up to 30.000 kW)

• Cogeneration - Electricity out of biomass (from 200 kWel up to 20.000 kWel)

• District heating plants

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Polytechnik Luft-und Feuerungstechnik GmbH, 2564 Weissenbach (Austria), Hainfelderstr. 69 - 71 Tel: 0043/2672/890-0, Fax 0043/2672/890-13 E-Mail:,


Frank Scholwin, Institute for Biogas, Waste Management & Energy / Biogasregister International e.V. Jan Rapp, Biogasakademin

Credit: Joakim Ståhl

Everyone in the western world has a toilet connected to a biogas producing sewage treatment facility. Sorting of food waste for local biogas production is becoming standard procedure in every school, restaurant, airport and household. This gives every citizen or car owner a personal link to this super low carbon fuel. How does a commercial brand compete with a fuel that is promoted by tax payers money and society itself ?” As a reader of this journal we assume that you know that biogas is a renewable fuel with manifold advanta-

ges, flexible usability and outstanding environmental features. In Sweden groups with a high knowledge of biogas have a higher percentage of biogas car owners than the average population. The difference is knowledge. This has been the basis for a major part of the existing biogas communication: if consumers learn about the advantages of biogas they will change their behaviour (sort food waste/ buy methane powered cars). However, looking around us it´s obvious that decisions on what to do or buy is influenced by other aspects than environmental advantages.

People don´t choose a mobile phone, computer or clothes only because of quality. They choose them because of identity: if my neighbours or collegues have iPhones or Beatz headphones the likelihood of me choosing the same, regardless of knowledge about their quality, is much higher. Like it or not: biogas may well be the seventh wonder of the sustainable world, but its popularity still depends on the same rules of communication as other “products”. We think biogas deserves a wider market strategy. 45 Be

Credit: Joakim Ståhl

Credit: Joakim Ståhl

Credit: Joakim Ståhl

The first step: make biogas visible. Using a universal logo on vehicles, filling stations, restaurants, schools, laptops, production facilities, etc. we can enhance “biogas visibility” through our own networks at very low cost. This raises curiosity: “What is that logo about? What does my toilet, restaurant, car have to do with each other? Then we need to associate biogas with qualities and images that are desirable. For this “re-branding” we use established brands but also personalities that make biogas a modern, high-tech, smart and cool product. We think it´s time to replace cows, gas flames and pictures of compost with athletes, artists and top executives. OrangeGas in Holland rewards customers with the possibility to vacuum clean your car while fuel46 Be

ling biogas. This is very clever: turning the “disadvantage” of longer fuelling time into an added value making biogas “the smart and clean fuel”. Image result: 1) being a biogas customer is smarter since you get something others don´t. 2) OrangeGas is a creative and customer friendly brand. The same company made a campaign telling the story of how Marrit Leenstra, world champion speed skating 2014, fuels her Audi A3 g-tron with biogas. This reinforces the image of biogas as “healthy”, made in Holland and a fuel for champions. Wise move. On the Swedish island of Gotland Jan offered 15 biogas car owners to put large biogas logos on their cars. After six weeks and one newspaper article on the fuels´ advantages for the local community local dealers

reported an increased demand for biogas cars. Message conveyed: Biogas is here, it´s now and it´s good for Gotland. In order to ensure a prosperous growth of biogas infrastructure we want to create the feeling in our neighbours as well as the top decision makers of this world that they are “embarrassingly out of touch” if they are not up-to-date on biogas. That anyone aspiring to be a frontrunner in the new, modern community is a person that makes sure she or he takes active part in the local biogas infrastructure. How about helping us by making "the biogas aspect" of your companies everyday life visible?


For the last 37 years, the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition has offered its participants a perspective on the evolving trends in bioenergy.

Maurizio Cocchi – ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, Editor BE-Sustainable Magazine

The EUBCE in Vienna in 2014 47 Be


his June in Stockholm the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE) will celebrate its 25th edition. During last year’s conference in Amsterdam, while talking to Editor Alan Sherrard about this milestone and how Bioenergy International has always been a helpful media partner for the conference since the early years, he launched the idea to make a simple retrospective on the evolution of the biomass sector, as it could be observed through the lenses of the past EUBCE editions. It sounded like a nice idea so I accepted, although I could rely only in part on my direct experience, since I’ve been attending this conference only for the last nine years. However, I could count on the memories of the early organizers and on a precious legacy of the conference, the proceedings: thousands of pages in printed books and digital documents, that are carefully preserved in the archives at ETA-Florence. Going through some of those pages in search of information was like making a small journey into the past and having a glimpse of what the future looked like by then. Ever since Europe and its Member States have begun developing policies and research programs for renewable energy, the EUBCE has always been an important event to collect knowledge and to share views of biomass experts from research, industry, and policy. The first “International Conference on Biomass” was held in 1980 in Brighton, UK, and was organized by the Commission of European Communities, DG Research Science and Education, in cooperation with the Natural Environment Research Council of the United Kingdom. “These conferences had three important reasons: first, they helped the Commission to define its R&D programmes; second, they helped to learn about the National research programs and to avoid the duplication of efforts; third, they were an opportunity to promote international cooperation both with industrialized and developing countries”, said Giuliano Grassi,

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Secretary General of the European Biomass Industry Association and former responsible of biomass R&D programmes at EC DG Research. At that time, the policy debate and the technological development in renewable energy was still at its early stages and the awareness about the possible contribution of energy from biomass was limited. The main driver for the diversification of energy sources was securing the supply of energy for Europe, keeping in mind the importance of nuclear energy, Giuliano says. These quotes by the co-chairmen of the 1st Conference describe well this context: “For some European countries, an awareness of the promise of biomass has been slow to develop. Biomass has been regarded as a marginal source of energy that could at best make only a small contribution to national energy supplies. This conference made clear that biomass has much more than a marginal potential…The use of biomass as a source of energy in the EC could in the medium term meet 5% of the Community’s energy requirements and would have a positive effect on employment, the pursuit of regional policy measures and the balance of payments”. (P. Chartier, D.O. Hall, Energy from Biomass 1st E.C. Conference 1980). How does this statement compare to where we are today? According to the latest Statistical Report of AEBIOM, in 2014 bioenergy accounted for 10% of the gross final energy consumption in Europe and represented a share of 61% of all the renewable energy consumed. In the same year, the sector accounted for almost 500.000 direct and indirect jobs, a number equivalent to the jobs created by the wind and photovoltaic industries together. It is important to consider that in 1980 the European Community consisted of only nine Member States, while today’s figures refer to the final energy consumption of EU28. Today, it is widely recognized that bioenergy has a key role to play in the decarbonization of energy and in the mitigation of climate change.

How did we achieve this? Once again, a quote from the proceedings of the first Conference can give us a lead to understand how this was obtained. In 1980, the Executive Board of the Conference wrote: “Generally, the diversity of biomass resources with numerous conversion routes presents a confusing array of choices. It is just this array, however, that gives biomass a meaningful role in satisfying diverse energy requirements. With appropriate research and development, the energy contribution from biomass will continue to grow in the future”. The deployment of the potential of biomass has only been possible thanks to a large, continued and concerted effort in research and development, combined with the introduction of effective policy measures at National and European level. Throughout the evolution of the bioenergy sector as we know it today, the role of the European Union (and the former European Community) has been of basic importance in supporting both these aspects, with resources and with coordination. In this context, the EUBCE has always played its role to help the debate among the different stakeholders: “This type of conferences show how we can meet the challenge of our time with our scientific and technological abilities, and what shall be the central read of action”, stated Hermann Scheer, the German pioneer in renewable energy policies, in its speech at the 6th European Biomass Conference in 1991. Research and demonstration were particularly effective in driving innovation and technological development in biofuels for transports. During the eighties, interest was focused on producing methanol from wood as a biofuel and additive (MTBE). In 1980, the co-chairmen of the1st Conference wrote: “At present time, methanol as a liquid fuel has better prospects than ethanol in developed and developing countries...The advantages of methanol derive from the following considerations:

gasification of lignocellulosic biomass is today more efficient than hydrolysis and fermentation; cost analysis and energy balance are more favourable”. At the same time, ethanol and biodiesel were seen as alternative fuels more for third countries rather than for Europe: “In developing countries where appropriate land is available, pure ethanol or esterified vegetal oil can offer alternative liquid fuel for local fleets…Ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass must be kept as an option for fuel production”. However, the scientific community was also becoming increasingly aware of the drawbacks of methanol compared to ethanol: “Higher capital investment and more sophisticated technology are needed; toxicity to humans of methanol could require its further conversion to gasoline, thus diminishing the overall performance of this route”. In fact, we know well that methanol was not the final choice for the industry, mainly because of the high environmental risks, while 1st generation ethanol and biodiesel were produced widely in the following years, and still are. Knowledge and expertise on other thermochemical conversion routes were also still quite limited: “The direct liquefaction of biomass by thermochemical means can also be kept as an option even though it is some time away from pilot plant demonstration”. In the year 2000 the conference held in Sevilla witnessed the growing interest in lignocellulosic ethanol, although this still belonged to the domain of research, and progress was happening mainly in North America: “In the last decade, ethanol production from lignocellulosic materials has received increased attention by the research community and technical breakthroughs have been reported in the US and Canada” (Kyryakos Maniatis, “R&D Needs for Bioenergy”, proceedings of 1st World Biomass Conference, 2000). Four years later, the conference in Rome highlighted the evidence of concrete technological achievements and the growing industrial commitment in second generation

Hermann Scheer speaking at the 2nd World Biomass Conference in Rome, 2004

biofuels: “There is major development of new biofuels and at present successful pilot plants and first demonstration plants are available with: Fischer-Tropsch, DME, methanol and ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. Several companies in the world announced the first semi-commercial plants” (Kees Kwant, “Conference summary”, proceedings of the 2nd World Biomass Conference, 2004). Today, we are witnessing the outcomes of this pathway. In 2013, at the conference in Berlin, Beta Renewables presented the Crescentino Biorefinery in Italy, the world’s first commercial-scale ligno-cellulosic ethanol plant. In 2015, at the conference in Vienna, UPM Biorefining showed the progress in its Lappeenranta biorefinery in Finland, a plant producing 100,000 tonnes per year of renewable diesel from forestry residues. At the same conference the Flightpath Initiative, a joint initiative of aviation and biofuel companies and the European Commission, presented its achievements in using bio-kerosene blends in over 1,500 commercial flights. Although we are only at the beginning of the advanced biofuels industry, this proves that the research breakthroughs of the early 2000s

have transformed those technologies, that seemed like only second options in the eighties, into proven industrial-scale technologies, that are ready for the market. To recognize the value of those examples is of basic importance to build the consensus needed to finally set a clear, stable European policy framework, which is still lacking, but is essential to enable the development of bioenergy in the context of the bio-based economy. This year, the opening session of the EUBCE 2017 (12-15 June) will discuss “the indispensable role of biomass” as part of the Paris Climate Agreements. With more than 1,000 abstracts from 78 countries, including a record number (584) of proposals for peer-reviewed papers, the EUBCE will continue to focus on how to close the gap between research achievements and industrial implementation. Come join the discussion and meet us in Stockholm!

This article was published originally by Bioenergy International Magazine Issue 2-2017 49 Be

Upcoming bioenergy events JUNE 08

Energy from Biomass

Moscow, Russia


European Biomass Conference and Exhibition

Stockholm, Sweden


Argus Biomass Asia



2017 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo

Minneapolis, Minnesota


RoEnergy South-East Europe in Bucharest 2017

Bucharest , Romania


Oleofuels 2017

Krakรณw , POLAND


5th World BioenergyCongress and Expo

Madrid, Spain


UK AD & Biogas 2017

Birmingham, UK


Biogas Africa Forum

Kenya , Africa


2017 Pellet Fuels Institute Annual Conference

Stowe Vt, USA

Asia-Pacific Biomass Energy Exhibition

Guangzhou , China


Wood Pellet Association of Canada

Ottawa, Canada



Chicago, USA


Asia power week

Bangkok, Thailand


Biomass for Energy 2017

Kyev, Ukraine



Valladolid, Spain


Biomass Trade & BioEnergy Africa

Johannesburg,South Africa


Bioenergy Insight Conference & Expo 2017

Edinburgh, Scotland


Biogas Philippines Forum

Manila, Philippines


EFIB 2017

Brussels , BELGIUM


TBB.2017 ( The Business Booster by InnoEnergy)

Amsterdam, Netherlands



Warsaw Poland

29-1 Nov

11 Algae Biomass Summit

Utah, USA


IBBC 2017

Norfolk , Virginia


European Biomass to Power

Aarhus, Denmark


Renexpo Water & Energy - BiH

Sarajevo , Bosnia and Herzegovina

BIOGAS Convention & Trade Fair

Nuremberg , Germany

Fuels of the Future 2018

Berlin, Germany






DECEMBER 12-14 December JANUARY 2018 22-23 January

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STAND A6 SteamBio is a SPIRE project that started in 2015 and is due to finish in 2018. SteamBio processes AGRO-FORESTRY RESIDUES with superheated steam to convert them into stable commercial outputs. Pilot trials have recovered viable quantities of TRADABLE COMMODITY CHEMICALS and identified bio-based chemical building blocks. Following an economic assessment of the market opportunities, SteamBio Ltd has been registered as a business to exploit the project results. From the middle of this year until the end of the project a demonstration unit will be operating continuously ever y week, in rural locations, in Northern Germany and Spain. VISITORS ARE WELCOME! huw.parr Mobile: +44 (0) 7947107550 Office: +44 (0) 1492 533 902 SteamBio: EU Grant Agreement No: 636865 SPIRE-02-2014

Workshop: Communicating Bioenergy Date: Friday 16th of June Time: 9:30am – 2pm Location: British Embassy, Stockholm Bioenergy is a fast growing sector, but the success of the industry does not only depend on feedstock provision, technology development and investment but can be largely influenced by public acceptance. Public discussions surrounding bioenergy often link the sector to resource competition, deforestation, land use change or unsustainability. Communication strategies therefore play an important role how information is provided to the wider public. This event aims to bring together academia, industry and the public sector to share their experience and discuss the challenges of communicating bioenergy. The workshop will also provide a platform for the participants to engage with key stakeholders and to improve their understanding of communication. To register for this free event, or for more information please email or visit

DRIVE4EU – 'Dandelion Rubber and Inulin Valorization and Exploitation for Europe' a demonstration project, that supports the development of the production chain of natural rubber and inulin from Taraxacum koksaghyz (TKS, Russian or Rubber dandelion). The objective of the project is to set up a European chain for the production and processing of natural rubber and inulin. prmins17208



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