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Be sustainable

The magazine of bioenergy and bioeconomy

reeds will help us meet our energy needs

Sustainable biomass supply | Commercial torrefaction | Biomethane as transport fuel | Malaysia’s biomass potential | Biograce

A European Project supported through the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development



From Bioenergy to a Sustainable Bioeconomy

ioenergy already provides for the largest share of renewable energy in many developed countries and will undoubtedly play an even greater role in the future energy mix of these countries. The ambitious targets for renewables set by the European Union for 2020 rely on a large use of biomass in all energy sectors: from power generation to heating & cooling and transports. While the importance of bioenergy is acknowledged, the debate on the environmental and social sustainability of its large scale deployment is more and more heated; it is a legitimate debate and these issues must be properly addressed, though they cannot be oversimplified. The complex nature of biomass and bioenergy should always be regarded more as an opportunity rather than a threat. As a matter of fact, sustainability has become a key factor for the development of the biomass and bioenergy industry. The sustainable use of biomass is rapidly becoming a wider issue than just bioenergy and biofuels. Last February the European Commission presented a strategy document called "Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe", a cross-sectoral plan with a goal to reconcile demands for sustainable agriculture and fisheries, food security and the use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes. According to this document, each euro invested in EU-funded bioeconomy research and innovation is estimated to trigger â‚Ź10 of valueadded in bioeconomy sectors by 2025. The aim of this publication is to discuss the challenges and the solutions to secure a sustainable supply of biomass, highlighting innovative systems and technologies, presenting the results of the most advanced demonstration projects and monitoring trends, market and policies across the world that are shaping the bioenergy industry and developing the bioeconomy. All of these topics are extensively discussed each year by leading experts at the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, an event that has always contributed to foster dialogue and cooperation among research, industry and policy makers in the biomass community. The content of this issue is based on a selection of some of the most relevant and cutting-edge contributions presented during the last edition. We look forward to continuing this venture with new issues and we welcome feedback and suggestions from you to help us improve and deliver high-value content for our readers. Maurizio Cocchi Editor-in-Chief


Under a lucky star

or years now the organisation of the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition has been an integral part of my professional work schedule. Every year I take part the process of handling more than a thousand prestigious scientific contributions written by authors from more than 60 countries worldwide. All selected contributions have been published in conference proceedings and online scientific publications amounting to thousands of pages of citable scientific contents. This hard work has lead me to take on the challenge of editing and publishing a journal in the biomass sector to address and propagate the scientific targets of the European Biomass Conference to a wide audience with a broad interest in the bioenergy sector. This journal is a fruit of years of experience and its title, "BE sustainable - addressing BioEnergy and BioEconomy" inspired me. Now having the possibility, I am glad to step forward and turn this inspiration into reality. BE Sustainable aims to be a platform for exchange and collaboration for the biomass community as well as offering a chance to improve the understanding of the opportunities given by this sector. In a period of uncertainty, due to a difficult global economic and social situation, the biomass industry may offer a brighter future marked by a more reasonable relationship with nature and a sustainable economic development. We at BE Sustainable would like to be protagonists along with all of you, of this new horizon...because the future of sustainable energy is born under a lucky star and under the best auspices for success, particularly in being aware of the needs of future generations. Angela Grassi Managing editor

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EU BC&E 2012

20th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Setting the course for a biobased economy Conference Programme Online - Register Now

2012 a special focus on: Biogas, Biowaste, Bioenergy in Smart Grids Milano Convention Centre - MiCo - Italy Conference Exhibition

18 - 22 June 2012 18 - 21 June 2012 â—?

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Be sustainable








BE Sustainable Publication pending ETA-Florence Renewable Energies via Giacomini, 28 50132 Firenze - Italia Issue 0

Editorial notes · M. Cocchi, A. Grassi


News | A year of bioenergy


Policy · E. Manning | Expected policy developments in the EU for 2012


Resources · B. Elbersen et al. | Sustainable biomass supply in EU


Industry · D. Chiaramonti, A. Giovannini | Reeds will help us meet our energy needs


Industry · A. Nordin | The dawn of commercial torrefaction


Markets | The wood pellet market at a glance


Events | 20th EU BC&E Setting the course for a biobased economy


Scenarios · D. Baxter | Biomethane as transport fuel in Europe


Regions · D. Leong Kin Mun, N. Abd Aziz, M. Cocchi | Malaysia's biomass potential


Sustainability · N. Ludwiczek, D. Bacovsky, J. Neeft | Biofuels greenhouse gas calculations


Events · A. Flammini | Sustainable biomass for electricity


Calendar | Upcoming events


IMPRINT: BE Sustainable is published by ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, Via Giacomini 28, 50132 Florence, Italy Editor-in-Chief: Maurizio Cocchi | | twitter: @maurizio_cocchi Managing editor: Angela Grassi | Authors: Dina Bacovsky, David Baxter, Hannes Böttcher, David Chiaramonti, Maurizio Cocchi, Berien Elbersen, Alessandro Flammini, Uwe Fritsche, Arianna Giovannini, Dato' Leong Kin Mun, Nikolaus Ludwiczek, Eibhilin Manning, John Neeft, Anders Nordin, Calliope Panoutsou, Aylu Uslu, Joost van Stralen Marketing & Sales: Graphic design: Tommaso Guicciardini Corsi Salviati Layout: Valentina Davitti, ETA-Florence Renewable Energies Print: Mani srl | Via di Castelpulci 14/c | 50018 Scandicci, Florence, Italy Website: Cover image by © | Image on page 38 by © Graesing


A Year of Bioenergy

The highlights and the most featured stories of the bioenergy FAO Study: integrated food and energy crops work for poor farmers Producing food and energy side-by-side may be one of the best formulas for boosting countries' food & energy security while reducing poverty.

The Global Bioenergy Partnership agrees on a set of sustainability indicators for bioenergy The agreement marks the first global, governmentlevel consensus on a set of voluntary, sciencebased indicators for assessing the sustainable production and use of bioenergy.

17 February

EC public consultation on sustainability measures for solid and gaseous biofuels

24 May

The majority of respondents supported the establishment of binding sustainability criteria for solid biomass and biogas at EU level.

German RWE opens pellet plant in U.S. Operated by subsidiary Georgia Biomass the plant will export pellets to Europe and will help RWE to integrate its biomass supply chain controlling quality, supply, and price.

16 February

American pellet manufacturer Enviva expands its shipping capacity with the acquisition of a deep water port terminal in Virginia

17 May

IEA Biofuels Technology Roadmap Biofuels can provide up to 27% of world transportation fuel by 2050. Efficient technologies for advanced biofuels are still needed; aligned international sustainability standards and cooperation with developing countries are vital.

The acquisition will enable the company to receive, store and load in excess of 3 million tons of woody biomass for export annually. 16 February

20 April

World’s biggest pellet plant ships its first vessel to Europe In Russia, Vyborgskaya Cellulose starts delivering pellets to Europe, when fully operational it will have a capacity of 900.00 tons/y.

EC Report: Renewable Energy Progressing Towards 2020 Target


“Biomass will remain the dominant technology with 50% of the growth up to 2020 in energy from this source”.

World's largest cellulosic ethanol plant breaks ground in Italy.

IPCC presents its Special Report on Renewable Energy The contribution of bioenergy in GHG stabilization scenarios can be expected to be significantly higher than today. Combining biomass conversion with developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) could lead to long-term substantial removal of GHGs from the atmosphere. 9 May

The 50 million liters commercial plant built by M&G group will be 10 times larger than the largest demonstration facilities in operation; it will be energy independent and will use giant reed and wheat straw as feedstock.

KLM launches commercial flights on biofuels More than 200 flights between Amsterdam and Paris will be operated on bio-kerosene produced from used cooking oil.

12 April

31 January

22 June

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sector seen from the most popular headlines of 2011


Obama launches initiative to spur biofuels industry and enhance America's energy Security

U.S. Navy conducts its largest algae biofuel test ever UK launches world’s first green heating scheme

The USDA, DOE and Navy will invest up to $510 million in 3 years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation. "Biofuels are an important part of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs here at home", said President Obama.

Designed to support the use of renewable energy sources for heating, the Renewable Heat Incentive will give quarterly subsidy payments guaranteed for 20 years to successful applicants. The UK government expects 126,000 renewable heat installations by 2020 in the industrial, commercial and public sectors.

16 August European Commission approves first 7 sustainability schemes for biofuels

Danish utility Verdo signs 5 years biomass supply agreement with Africa Renewables The deal is worth 750.000 metric tons of woodchips and will represent a doubling of biomass exports from Africa to Europe. Woodchips will be produced in Ghana from redundant rubber trees that are cut in order to prepare for replanting.

Lufthansa and Airbus launch passenger biofuel flights

15 July

The refinery employs 150 people and has a capacity of 800,000 metric tons of premium-quality NExBTL renewable diesel, ISCC certified for compliancy with sustainability requirements. The facility will use a wide feedstock base of vegetable oils, fats and veg. oil by-products, as well as innovative algae based feedstock.

The 750 megawatt power plant built by RWE will burn wood pellets to produce electricity and is located on the site of the utility's ageing Tilbury coal-fired power plant. Most of the wood pellets used at Tilbury will originate from North America, where RWE owns the Georgia Biomass pellet plant.

19 December

25 November

27 October European Commission publishes 2050 Energy Roadmap

Global Bioenergy already almost 2 times larger than nuclear

APX-Endex launches world’s first biomass exchange

According to a position paper from the World Bioenergy Association, based on IEA stats bioenergy covered 10% of total primary energy supply while nuclear only 6%. WBA stated the potential for bioenergy use worldwide in 2050 could be 20-30 times the current use.

Developed in cooperation with the Port of Rotterdam, the exchange will adopt certification schemes for industrial wood pellets used in bilateral contracts in order to ensure sustainability. Contracts offered for trading include three months, three quarters and three calendars.

16 September


Decarbonisation will require a large quantity of biomass. Biofuels will probably be a main option for aviation, longdistance road transport, and not electrified rail. Work on sustainability is ongoing. The market uptake of new bioenergy which reduces demand for land necessary for food production and which increases the net GHG savings should continue to be promoted. 15 December

3 November


Neste Oil opens Europe's largest renewable diesel refinery in Rotterdam

UK's biggest biomass plant ready for firing

19 July

29 November

25 November

The different schemes have been thoroughly checked by the commission and each gained recognition for five years. The schemes will verify where and how the biofuels are produced.

The four return daily flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt will use a biofuel blend using 50% Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) developed through a collaboration with Neste Oil. The fuel complies with the EU’s sustainability criteria.

The new test involved a decommissioned destroyer. 20.000 gallons of biofuels were used as drop-in replacement in a 50-50 blend with standard marine petroleum fuel. The test is part of the Navy’s Green Fleet initiative, which calls for shipping out an entire fleet running on alternative fuels by 2016.



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Expected policy developments in the EU for 2012 Eibhilin Manning | EUBIA - European Biomass Industry Association


uring 2012 there are a number of initiatives that will affect the bioenergy sector, the European Commission has scheduled the publication of a number of proposals and communications, the Danish Presidency of the EU has announced its green agenda programme for the first half of 2012 and the European Parliament will continue its reading of key energy dossiers published by the Commission in 2011.

market and promotion of RE growth. Ngos are particularly keen to push for harmonized sustainability criteria for biomass as there are already criteria for biofuels. From a broad stakeholder perspective, harmonizing sustainability criteria for biomass is needed, large electricity utilities have already developed their own sustainability schemes and some Member States have already introduced their own biomass obligation scheme.

Sustainability Issues

The most controversial dossier the Commission is currently dealing with is indirect land use change (iLUC). The review of the impact of iLUC related to GHG emissions from biofuels and ways of minimizing it is due imminently - having been postponed throughout 2011. The Commission should come forward with legislative proposals if appropriate amending the RES Directive & the Fuel Quality Directive, along with an impact assessment on policy options for mitigating iLUC. Following the adoption of a report on iLUC GHG impacts from biofuels in December 2010 the Commission was tasked to carry out an impact assessment on policy options addressing the impact to ensure that any potential policy decisions are based on the best available scientific evidence. The coordinators of the ENVI Committee in the European Parliament have hosted in January 2012, a workshop on iLUC. Provisionally, the June Council on Energy will discuss a possible proposal for iLUC caused by biofuels production. As stated in the December 2010 report, the impact assessment will focus on the following policy options: take no action for the time being, while continuing to monitor; increase the minimum greenhouse gas saving threshold for biofuels; introduce additional sustainability requirements on certain categories of biofuels; attribute a quantity of greenhouse gas emissions to biofuels reflecting the estimated indirect land use impact (‘ILUC factor’).

The main EU Commission proposal that will directly affect the biomass industry and in particular pellet suppliers will be the publication of a report on sustainability criteria for solid biomass in early 2012 accompanied by a possible legislative proposal for binding common sustainability criteria for biomass for electricity and heating. The Commission already published a report on the sustainability requirements for the use of solid biomass in electricity, heating and cooling generation in February 2010 in which it recommended a set of voluntary sustainability criteria for Member States. The Commission was undertaking an impact assessment on the effectiveness of the 2010 recommendations during 2011 with the view to publish a report. This report is now expected to be published in early 2012. A study undertaken by an external tender to support the Commission’s work in this area was looking at the differences between national and Commission sustainability scheme recommendations and whether this could bring barriers to the development of biomass, by hindering the realization on an internal market. The objective of the work for the tender was also to monitor and report on national and regional developments and measures put in place to promote sustainable used of biomass, and to benchmark the compatibility of these measures with objectives of the smooth functioning of the internal 6 Be


Bio-based Economy A communication which will highlight the importance of developing a bio-based economy in the EU rather than an economy reliant on fossil fuels is expected in February this year. The Commission's ‘European Strategy and Action Plan Towards a Sustainable Bio-Based Economy by 2020’ will explore the sustainability and productivity of agricultural production and the food chain, as well as issues relating to governance and policy coherence, environmental protection, public and private investment, innovation and skills. The strategy and action plan could come out in support of consumer uptake of bio-based products, including bioplastics. The Commission has already recognized the importance for building competitive bio-based industries and promoting the sustainable development of bio-based products is one of the main elements that are being considered in this strategy and action plan. 4.5 billion euro has already been earmarked in the next research and innovation programme ‘Horizon 2020’ for ‘Food security, the bio-economy and sustainable agriculture.’ Danish Presidency - Key Dossiers On January 1st 2012, Denmark took over presidency of the Council of the EU and will be in charge of setting the agenda and coordinating some key dossiers during the first half of 2012. The first half of policy work in the EU institutions will be coloured by the Danish Presidency who will seek to push forward a green agenda promoting energy efficiency and low carbon energy technologies. The Danish Presidency will continue work on two key energy dossiers the Energy Efficiency Directive and the 2050 energy roadmap in the next six months. Research & Innovation also features on the agenda dealing with the big 80bn budgeted Horizon 2020 the successor of FP7 and work will continue during the Danish Presidency on this in close conjunction with the negotiations on the next budget of the EU - the multiannual financial framework. The Danish Presidency wants to come to a partial general approach to the Horizon 2020. Three Council meetings are scheduled to deal with Horizon 2020: an informal one on 1-2 February and formal ones from 20 to 21 February and from 30 to 31 May 2012. Horizon 2020 sets aside 6bn euro for non nuclear energy research funding from 2014-2020 and arguably this figure should be increased to fully reflect renewable en-

ergy as a political priority in the European agenda. As far as the future of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme is concerned, the proposal is not to attribute the IEE a clear identity within Horizon 2020 nor a clear budget, this programme has funded many biomass projects which contribute to the achievement of the 2020 renewable energy targets by addressing non-technological barriers. The Energy Efficiency Directive will be voted on by the end of February in the European Parliament’s Industry, Research & Energy Committee before it goes to plenary. The main dividing point in the European Parliament similar to Member States is the issue of a binding energy efficiency target by 2020. The Commission’s proposal was already published in June 2011 for an Energy Efficiency Directive. Advocating for recognition of renewable energy technologies in the directive is vital as there is need to move towards efficient and renewable systems especially in the heating and cooling sector where energy efficiency measures are needed. The Energy Efficiency Directive should also be aligned with the goals and objectives of the Renewable Energy Directive. The Council will deliberate on the proposal in February at the Energy Council. Finally, work in the Council and the European Parliament will start on the Energy Roadmap 2050 during the first half of 2012. The European Commission’s long awaited Energy Roadmap 2050 was published on December 15th presenting five ‘decarbonisation scenarios’ for achieving a reduction of 85% energy related CO2 emissions by 2050. A high level conference on Energy Roadmap 2050 took place on the 7th February in Brussels. The Roadmap however, failed to merge renewables and efficiency in a joint scenario nor called for a binding target for renewables by 2030, which is seen as a necessary milestone by the renewables industry to instill investor confidence. The Commission launched in December a public consultation for a Renewable Energy Strategy which aims to assess in how far the orientations of the current renewable policy framework remain valid, no doubt the topic of 2030 targets will feature highly in the responses to this consultation. The Commission will then be expected to publish a Communication on a Renewable Energy strategy post 2020 by the end of 2012.

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sustainable biomass supply IN EU 8 Be


According to the analysis of the Member States’ National Renewable Energy Action Plans, biomass will make up 19% of total renewable electricity in the year 2020, 78% of total renewable heating and cooling in 2020 and 89% of total renewable energy in transport. B. Elbersen | J. van Stralen | A. Uslu | H. Böttcher | C. Panoutsou | U. Fritsche


ll together, bioenergy is expected to make up over 50% of total renewable energy use1. The Biomass Futures project ( assesses the role of bioenergy in meeting Europe’s renewable energy targets as spelled out in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED)2. It does so by conducting sectoral market analyses, estimating the availability of biomass for energy and by modelling the demand and supply of bioenergy within the energy system. In this paper we present results from Biomass Futures modelling work on the supply of different biomass sources in the EU under different sustainability constraints and illustrate how much of these sources could eventually be exploited for reaching the 2020 NREAP targets. Biomass Futures project investigates Europe’s future biomass supply under various scenarios It is not without a reason that there is large emphasis on sustainability when realizing the EU renewable targets. Firstly, the reduction of GHG emissions for mitigating climate change is one of the main drivers for setting these targets. Second, it is evident that a strong increase in biomass supply is needed which may have significant effects on EU-wide and global agricultural land demand, and overall environmental quality. In the biomass supply estimates presented in this paper, two alternative packages of sustainability criteria are applied: 1) Present RED criteria for biofuel feedstocks only; 2) Stricter sustainability criteria applied to all bioenergy feedstock, including solid and gaseous bioenergy (see Table 1). Biomass potential will increase and change in composition towards 2020

The present EU biomass supply is estimated at 314 MTOE (see Figure 1)3. In this estimate the biofuel and perennial crop potentials refer to amounts that are actually converted to energy at present. For the other categories the amounts should be seen as real potentials which are largely not converted to bioenergy at present. Especially the forest biomass categories, particularly roundwood production, are mostly going to competing uses. The additionally harvestable forest potential is not harvested at all, not even for competing uses. Towards 2020 the potential categories largely remain in the same size ranges with the exception of the supply of bioenergy crops which will clearly increase as compared to present day use of these sources. In addition the use of waste and forestry residues will clearly increase towards the future as will landscape care wood. The round wood production and the additionally harvestable round wood potential will practically remain the same towards 2020, but their use for bioenergy purposes might increase given increased demand for biomass.

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Table 1: Sustainability criteria in reference and sustainability scenarios applied to estimate the EU wide 2020 biomass potential

When the 2020 situation is compared between the reference and the sustainability scenario (see Figure 1) it is clear that stricter sustainability criteria lead to a reduction in domestic supply by 13%. In total there is a potential of 429 MTOE in the reference and 375 MTOE in the sustainability scenario. This reduction is especially caused by smaller potentials for energy crops (reduced perennials and no rotational biofuel crops), no biofuel cropping being possible under the sustainability criteria of 70% mitigation requirement with ILUC compensation. The analysis shows that a 70% mitigation as compared to the fossil alternative is still feasible in most EU biofuel crops (e.g. cereals, rape, sunflower, sugarbeet, maize) if only direct emissions need to be compensated. However, since these crops need good agricultural lands they compete with food and feed crops. Exchange of the latter with biofuel crops will lead to a displacement effect, e.g. the food and feed crops will be grown elsewhere causing land use changes elsewhere. The emissions caused by the displacement effect also need to be compensated in the sustainability scenario. Because of this the amount of GHG emissions to be compensated often increase with an extra 50% to 100% of the direct emissions and this compensation is no longer possible. Figure 1: Supply of biomass categories (MTOE) in present situation and 2020 reference and sustainability scenarios Current situation (MTOE) 20





57 90 9

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 Wastes  Agricultural residues  Rotational crops  Perennial crops  Landscape care wood  Roundwood production  Additional harvestable roundwood  Primary forest residues  Secondary forest residues  Tertiary forest residues

GHG mitigation

Other constraints

Reference scenario

Mitigation target for biofuels of 50% as compared to fossil alternative, excluding compensation of ILUC4 related emissions. Mitigation target for other biofuels must be positive.

No use of biomass for biofuels cropped on biodiverse land or land with high carbon stock.

Sustainability scenario

Mitigation target for bioenergy (fuels, heat and electricity) of 70% as compared to fossil alternative, including compensation for ILUC5 related emissions.

No use of biomass cropped on biodiverse land or land with high carbon stock. For forests, strict biomass harvesting guidelines apply (application of fertilizer after logging residue and stump extraction not permitted, part of forests are set aside to protect biodiversity, limited intensification in forest exploitation).

Reference scenario 2020 (MTOE) 41





56 106 15 58

 Wastes  Agricultural residues  Rotational crops  Perennial crops  Landscape care wood  Roundwood production  Additional harvestable roundwood  Primary forest residues  Secondary forest residues  Tertiary forest residues


Sustainability scenario 2020 (MTOE) 19






11 52


 Wastes  Agricultural residues  Rotational crops  Perennial crops  Landscape care wood  Roundwood production  Additional harvestable roundwood  Primary forest residues  Secondary forest residues  Tertiary forest residues


Also for dedicated cropping with perennials it becomes more difficult in the sustainability scenario to reach the mitigation target. The same principle applies to these crops where displacement effects are caused, ILUC emissions also need to be compensated too. This however does not happen as often as with rotational biofuel crops as these need better soils and are therefore competing with food and feed crops more often. Perennial crops can be grown on lower quality soils which could be fallow lands or lands released from agriculture. ILUC effects on these lands are therefore not applicable, reaching the mitigation targets then becomes more feasible. In addition there will also be a significantly smaller supply from the additional harvestable round wood and primary forestry residues categories in the sustainability scenario, because of stricter exploitation criteria.


Stricter sustainability criteria also lead to a modest shift in the cost-supply relation as in the reference scenario there is 300 MTOE biomass available at a price of maximum 250 €/TOE while in the sustainability scenario this does not even reach 270 MTOE. At 500 €/TOE the reference reaches 395 MTOE and in the sustainability scenario only 353 MTOE. Biomass demand much smaller than EU potential but biomass imports remain The level of possible exploitation of the above mentioned Figure 2: Cost-supply relation of biomass categories (MTOE) in reference and sustainability scenario


Reference and sustainability scenario 2020

Initial results indicate that about 155 MTOE of domestic biomass will be utilized, which is only 37% of the domestic supply, see Table 2. Although this is significantly larger than the amount imported from outside the EU, which is estimated at 46 MTOE, it is clear that in theory there is room to utilize more biomass than indicated in the NREAPs. As illustrated in Table 2 agricultural and forestry residues fulfill more than half of the demand followed by wastes and perennial crops. The total supply of rotational crops will not be sufficient to fulfill the policy driven demand in the transport sector. Therefore 3 MTOE of biofuels and 23 MTOE of feedstocks for biofuel production will be imported. The preliminary modeling results clearly indicate that most of the cheap domestic feedstock will be utilized (i.e. wastes, landscape care wood, secondary and tertiary forestry residues) to meet the demand and the gap is likely to be filled by imported biomass feedstocks and biofuels. While forestry residues and certainly dedicated cropping with perennials will clearly remain underutilized domestic sources8 because at the domestic prices they can hardly compete with imported resources.

Although the demand analysis with RESolve for the supply from the sustainability scenario had not been finalized at the submission date of this article, some significant diffebiomass supply has been assessed by the RESolve model6. rences in demand could already be mentioned. In absence With this model the demand for biomass for electricity, heof domestic cropped biofuel feedstock supply, used fats and ating and transport as indicated in the NREAPs was analyoils meet 6-7% of the biodiesel demand, the largest part of zed. These demand figures are specified for solid biomass, the biofuel feedstock and biofuels will need to come from liquid biomass and biogas for electricity and heat respectiboth domestic and imported resources that comply with the vely, furthermore a 9% share of biofuels is assumed7. The stricter sustainability criteria. One can expect that under analysis is based on a least costs optimization with respect stricter sustainability criteria the demand for domestic reto a fossil reference. Current and anticipated RES policies sidues, waste categories and dedicated perennial crops parhave been included and imports of biomass from outside ticularly for conversion into (2nd generation) biofuels may the EU are allowed. These imports mainly consist of wood increase. This however will only happen if in this scenario pellets, feedstocks for biofuel production and biofuels. the sustainability criteria are accompanied by stimulation measures that stimulate the Table 2: Demand of domestic biomass in the reference scenario in 2020 technological development and implemenCategory Demand [MTOE] Fraction of supply [%] tation of technologies to produce the lignoWastes 23.7 84% cellulosic based fuels. This will create a Agricultural residues 17.1 16% larger demand for ligno-cellulosic materials Rotational crops 8.6 71% which is likely to lead to larger utilisation Perennial crops 23.0 40% of domestic wastes and cropped biomass. Landscape care wood 8.6 100% As in the reference also in the sustainabiRoundwood production 0.0 0% Additional harvestable roundwood 0.0 0% lity scenario it is not likely that the use of Primary forestry residues 31.6 77% roundwood and additionally harvestable Secondary forestry residues 11.0 73% round wood for bioenergy production will Tertiary forestry residues 30.7 56% increase strongly. Prices for these domestic €/TOE




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resources ranging from 375-590 €/TOE (=9-14 Euro/GJ) are expected to remain too high as compared to imported feedstocks such as wood pellets. While cropped first generation fuels need to be imported because of sustainability and land constraints, forest and waste biomass remain under-utilized Stricter sustainability criteria will have strong implications for the demand supply dynamics. The sustainability scenario on biomass supply indicates that the domestic production of rotational crops will totally disappear in 2020 as ILUC9 compensation is not feasible. This is expected to lead to increased use of biofuels from waste from domestic and imported sources for 2nd generation based biofuels and of 1st generation biofuels from crops grown on degraded lands and on arable lands in very efficient systems (most probably sugarcane from Brasil). The biofuel targets can however only be realized in the sustainability scenario if this is accompanied by strong technology developments making ligno-cellulosic material from domestic sources more likely to be exploited for biofuel production. How this will influence the final level of imports cannot be presented yet. As to the heat and electricity sector there is sufficient biomass supply to meet the biomass demand (based on NREAPs). In the sustainability scenario there will be however slightly higher import needs for pellets as the primary forestry residues and perennial crops are smaller than in the reference scenario. Wood pellets are an important input for co-firing which is a conversion pathway that is expected to increase significantly towards 2020.

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Preliminary conclusions point out that both in the reference and sustainability scenario there is plenty of domestic biomass available for meeting the heat and electricity targets. However, these are only partly available at competitive price ranges (165€/TOE - 350€/TOE). This situation is therefore likely to further drive the increase of imports. Domestic feedstocks can therefore be utilized to the extent they can compete with the imported biomass unless some policy intervention prioritizes the domestic use of resources. Measures to mobilise the domestic potential may be considered which could include the creation of more efficient logistics and integration of residue use into energy supply for onsite (forest & agro-industry) process activities. The latter may be stimulated through policy interventions like increased support towards targeted research and technology innovation in improving logistics (scale, feedstock typology & regional infrastructure issues), support for change of boilers in the domestic, services & industry sectors to biomass ones, tax exemptions.

Notes: 1) These figures are taken from Another valuable Biomass Futures report based on the 23 NREAPs available at the time of drafting is Atanasiu (2010). The role of bioenergy in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans: a first identification of issues and uncertainties, (http:// D8.4%20bioenergy_in_NREAPs-final_08_12_2010.pdf), which focuses on analysing the bioenergy information contained in the NREAPs. 2) Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC. The RED requires the EU to generate 20 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020, and each Member State to achieve a 10 per cent share of renewable energy sources in the transport sector. 3) For detailed explanation of how potential categories were estimated and which data sources were used we refer to: Elbersen, B., Staritsky, I., Böttcher, H., Frank, S. & Naeff, H. (2011). Deliverable 3.3: Spatially detailed and quantified overview of EU biomass potential taking into account the main criteria determining biomass availability from different sources. Available at: 4) Emissions related to indirect land use changes (ILUC). 5) See note 4 6) The RESolve model is an optimization model developed by ECN. The model fulfils given demands for biofuels for transport, electricity and heating using biomass in a least cost manner with respect to fossil references. In this optimization stimulating measures can be included. The model has previously been applied to analyse the EU biofuel sector in several large projects funded by the European Commission (REFUEL). The RESolve model has been extended with electricity and heat as compared to the model described in Lensink, S. and Londo, M. (2010): Assessment of biofuels supporting policies using the BioTrans model, Biomass and Bioenergy 34 (2010), 218-226, 2010. 7) According to the NREAPs of the 10% transport target, roughly 9% is biofuel and 1% electrical vehicle. 8) It is important to note that the modeling work did not include the likely price increases even in this cheapest feedstocks due to increased demand from three different sectors (electricity, heat and biofuels). 9) The ILUC factors used here are based on an inventory of published studies in which indirect land use effects of biofuel demand have been modelled (see the report referred to in note 3). The median of the ILUC factors from this compilation of the studies was used in our analysis. The more optimistic ILUC estimates of the ATLASS study (see Commission staff working document, SEC (2011)) were not included in this inventory. So basically the ILUC factors used by us represent the worst case scenario - while if the lower ones from ATLASS would be used there would still be more 1st generation biofuels both from domestic, but particularly from imported sources. But also in this situation the domestic biofuel production would be so limited that it would by far not cover the NREAP 2020 demand for biofuels. Authors: Berien Elbersen | Alterra Wageningen University and Research Joost van Stralen, Aylu Uslu | Energy Centre Netherlands Hannes Böttcher | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria Calliope Panoutsou | Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London Uwe Fritsche | Energy & Climate Division, Oeko-Institut, Darmstadt (from April 1, 2012: International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy, Darmstadt)

MOISTURE MEASUREMENT Inline and Online Moisture-Measurement in

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Reeds will help us meet our energy needs 14 Be


The world's largest cellulosic ethanol biorefinery is under construction in Italy. It will use a guaranteed break-through proprietary technology for biomass pre-treatment and cost effective production of sugars and will rely on sustainable biomass from plantations of giant reed and straw. David Chiaramonti | CREAR, University of Florence Arianna Giovannini | Chemtex Italia


ince 2007 the M&G/Chemtex group focused its efforts into a comprehensive industrial development plan to achieve the development of a 2nd generation ethanol technology. The main strategic objective was the development of a sustainable low-cost sugar production platform which can constitute the basis for efficient sugar conversion into ethanol or other products. The technology aims at achieving economic sustainability without incentives, thus competing with the fossil fuel markets: in this respect, another pillar of the system is represented by the high feedstock flexibility of the plant.

The overall industrial and technological development named PRO.E.SA.TM started in 2007-2008: today it is exclusively licensed worldwide by Beta Renewables - a joint venture between M&G and TPG Biotech. The R&D activities carried out at Chemtex on lignocellulosic bioethanol mainly focus on the following issues: • agronomy: field trials, identification and characterization of best energy crops; • biomass pre-treatment and viscosity reduction: continuous process developed and piloted to produce cost-effective and clean fermentable sugars; • hydrolysis and fermentation: unique hybrid SSCF process scheme yielding high ethanol concentrations. The most relevant research components of this programme are PRIT, which focuses on the pretreatment phase and is supported by the Italian National Programme Industria 2015 and BIOLYFE, which investigates hydrolysis and fermentation and is supported by the European Commission DG Energy ( The goal of the FP7 BIOLYFE project is to develop technologies allowing an increased and economically viable utilization of lignocellulosic feedstock for the production of 2nd generation bioethanol. In order to achieve this objective, the focus of BYOLIFE is to develop and build an industrial demonstration unit for the steps of hydrolysis and fermentation. The project specifically investigates on technologies which have the highest undiscovered potential to enhance the technical and economic feasibility of the hydrolysis process and the complete conversion of all sugars (C5 and C6) into ethanol, through an optimized fermentation process.

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MOSSI & GHISOLFI GROUP Mossi & Ghisolfi Group is a leader in the production of PET, with 11 plants in the world (5 in Brazil, 4 in Italy, 1 in Mexico and 1 in USA) and a turnover of 2.1 billion US$ in 2009. The company currently employs 2.600 people and has 3 business units: • • •

Production of PET Polymers; Production of acetates; Engineering.

Chemtex is the engineering company of the M&G group that has developed the lignocellulosic ethanol technology, in its research center in Rivalta Scrivia with 3.000 m2 and 60 people active on: • • •

Biofuel and renewable resources; Operational pilot plant for bioethanol from lignocellulosic feedstocks; Products application support.

BETA RENEWABLES In October 2011 BETA RENEWABLES, a joint venture with TPG Capital and TPG Biotech, was established to exclusively license Chemtex's PROESA® Technology into the global marketplace. TPG and M&G are investing a total capital of €250 million into BETA RENEWABLES, in which M&G will hold a majority stake. Under the terms of the agreement, M&G will transfer to BETA RENEWABLES the pilot plant in Tortona, Italy and the 40ktpa industrial scale cellulosic ethanol plant currently being constructed in Crescentino, Italy. The new company will focus initially on bio-fuels, however, new bio-chemical processes are being developed to replace petroleum-based chemicals used in a large number of applications. BETA RENEWABLES will continue to work with the Chemtex R&D Department, which is currently working on several PROESA® projects.

Fig.1 - Positioning of fermenters in Crescentino September 2011.

The overall effort, carried out by Chemtex in collaboration with various research institutions, aims at demonstrating the 2nd generation bioethanol technology. On 12th April 2011 Chemtex has broken ground on a 40.000 tons per year cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, in the Piedmont region of Italy, that should be completed in the first half of 2012. Approximately 180.000 tons of dry biomass per year, sourced from the surrounding agricultural areas will be transported to the bioethanol plant to produce 40.000 t/y of ethanol. The main feedstock will be cereal straw and giant reed (Arundo donax). Approximately 4.500 ha of marginal land are available in the area for the cultivation of Arundo donax. In the current configuration, lignin (the main co-product of the process) will be used for generating 13 MWe of power; however, since no chemicals are used in the pre-treatment phase, this material constitutes a very interesting and promising feedstock for further conversion into chemicals. The industrial complex will avoid the production of 50.000 ton of CO2 each year, which equals the GHG emissions of 7.000 vehicles. The plant will incorporate all the technology features developed during the R&D project phases, such as a commercial scale new pre-treatment technology (PRIT) and the innovative hydrolysis and fermentation step developed as part of the BIOLYFE project. Biomass Pre-treatment The new advanced pretreatment concept developed by the BIOLYFE project is thought to: • by-pass the inhibitor formation drawback of standard steam explosion processes; • increase the extraction of hemi-cellulose and cellulose. A pilot plant was built at Chemtex labs and is operating in continuous mode since June 2009. It can be fed with several materials of a size up to 5 cm: the system (20-50 kg/h biomass input) has demonstrated at pilot scale that different feedstocks show similar behavior during pretreatment.


Optimization of the taneous hydrolysis fermentation processes


Glucose process yield 100%

M&G Process

Xylose process yield

Std Steam Explosion

Overall sugar release (%)

The technology of the pilot plant 80% is able to produce high yields of both C5 and C6 sugars. The proc60% ess is based on a pre-hydrolysis pretreatment step able to work at high solid concentration followed 40% by simultaneous saccharification (hydrolysis) and co-fermentation 20% (SSCF) that are performed in a SSF reactor. Hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicelluloses is car0% Fiber Mischanthus Wheat straw Arundo donax Arundo donax Arundo donax ried out with an ad hoc designed sorghum (Steam Ex (Steam Ex High severity) Low severity) enzymes cocktail developed by Fig.2 - Sugar release by the Chemtex pretreatment process. Novozymes, yielding a variety of sugars, among which glucose and Research activities are carried out with the scientific and inxylose are the most important ones. Then special yeasts codustrial collaboration of Novozymes, Lund University and ferment glucose and xylose at the same time. ENEA. In addition to these activities, during the BIOLYFE This is the novelty of the proprietary process and will bring project a xylose fermenting yeast will also be evaluated in an optimization of ethanol yields and a reduction of overall novel industrially relevant pentose rich hydrolyzates and complexity of the process and capital costs. process tuning with respect to enzyme cocktail composiThe system implements a very efficient continuous high tion, fermentation procedures and yeast preparation will be solid viscosity reduction step which allows for: performed. • a dry matter content up to 40%; In order to demonstrate the full supply chain for second • a significant reduction of energy demand for mixing; generation ethanol and to demonstrate the advantage of the • a complete liquefaction in less than 8 hours even at technology, BIOLYFE includes the setup of a fuel distribulow enzyme load; tion infrastructure with E85 fuel pump plus E10 pump, this • an easy pH and temperature control. will be run in Tortona (AL) nearby Crescentino. The final goal is to promote Flexi Fuel Vehicles (FFV) among local end-consumers, private users as well as and public and company fleets. In addition, the produced fuel will be tested in a dedicated test fleet of at least 5 vehicles. BIOLYFE provides a multi-criteria evaluation of the 2nd generation bioethanol technological, environmental, economic and social aspects. This integrated assessment will generate descriptions and conclusive assessments of sustainability of both the basic and the optimised bioethanol systems. In addition, SWOT analyses will be performed in order to reveal the most sustainable pathways for bioethanol from lignocellulosic materials. Fig.3 - Rendering of the ligno-cellulosic ethanol plant under construction in Crescentino

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GIANT REED: A VIABLE AND SUSTAINABLE CROP FOR SECOND GENERATION BIOFUELS Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a perennial grass whose area of growth spreads across the Mediterranean region, the Middle East and India. In Italy it is commonly found in coastal as well as inner areas. In optimal conditions, stands of giant reeds can reach up to 10m height in 1 year with empty stems of 2-3 cm diameter. Propagation occurs via rhizomes. A peculiarity of these reeds is their extreme adaptability and tolerance to arid and saline soils, as well as their ability to explore large portions of soils with their deep roots (up to 3 meters depth), adding up organic matter and extracting nutrients and water even from low fertility soils. Between 2007 and 2009 a series of field trials was carried out by Chemtex to test 89 different genotypes of Arundo donax, in order to identify and select the best varieties for commercial cultivation. This work resulted in the identification of several highly productive ecotypes capable of reaching a productivity of 30 to 50 dry tons/hectare per year depending on soil quality. Field trials have also demonstrated a high water and nitrogen efficiency of Arundo donax compared to other ligno-cellulosic crops. Unlike other biomass crops, giant reeds can be har-

vested during the vegetative season. This represent a major advantage for this crop; indeed a long harvesting season highly simplifies all the steps related with logistics and the storage of biomass. On the contrary, a short harvesting window such as that of other short rotation plantations (poplar, willow etc.) requires a big effort and large working capacities to harvest, mobilize and store all the biomass in a concentrated time, usually in winter, when fields are difficult to access due to weather. Rhizomes are planted with special modified planting machines in late winter and start sprouting in late April. During the first vegetative season reeds cover the whole surface and roots reach a depth of 1,3 meters. At the end of the second year the plantation is completely established and ready for harvest. Irrigation isn’t usually required as well as pesticide treatments. With proper planning, up to 12 harvests in 10 years can be performed. The M&G ethanol plant will need 700 tons of biomass per day, this means that an area of 4.000 hectares of Arundo donax plantations will be necessary. In order to secure the supply, the plant will establish contract agreements with local farmers that will be managed by a third party offering full service (rhizome supply, mechanization and harvesting etc.).

Research for Renewables Renewable Energy Consortium for Research and Demonstration Consorzio per la Ricerca e la Dimostrazione sulle Energie Rinnovabili Registered office and experimental area: RE-CORD Consortium at Azienda Agricola Villa Montepaldi Srl University of Florence Via Mucciana 25 50026 San Casciano Val di Pesa (Florence) - Italy

Headquarters: CREAR, at Department of Energetics “Sergio Stecco� Via Santa Marta 3 50139 Florence - Italy Spike Renewables Srl, Viale Manfredo Fanti 217 50137 Florence - Italy

Laboratory: Viale Kennedy 182 50038 Scarperia (Florence) - Italy


THE DAWN OF TORREFACTION Torrefaction is a mild pyrolysis process (250-350°C) in many aspects resembling the roasting of coffee beans. Done right, the biomass is refined into a higher value “instant coffee-like” product, also with a “refreshing” aroma. This smokey biomass scent might well soon be as familiar to all of us as the well-known “smell of money” steaming from the Nordic pulp mills.

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Anders Nordin | Energy Technology and Thermal Process Chemistry, UmeĂĽ University


uring the last ten years a tremendous R&D effort from a multitude of committed torrefiers has paved the way for an army of different emerging torrefaction technologies. Scientists and engineers have gathered extensive experimental data on how varying biomass raw materials all benefit from torrefaction. The process generally increases bulk energy density, calorific value, water resistance and the product can easily and efficiently be densified into pellets or briquettes and/or ground into powder. Biological activity is terminated, reducing risk of degradation, spontaneous combustion as well as spreading of invasive and non-indigenous species. The final powder fuel may also resemble more coal powder in terms of feedability and process behavior. These ten significant and important changes in characteristics all contribute to improved economics of the whole supply chains, as shown in a number of industrial system and fuel supply studies. Today, four industrialscale torrefaction plants are up and running. Costs are still to be reduced, technology improved and availability increased, but all these efforts are paving the way for commercial torrefaction. Although “the future looks dark�, a brighter day seems to be arriving for the biomass industry. Competing against the lowcost fossil fuels need maximum efforts on all economic

savings in the whole processes, systems and supply chains, i.e. a multitude of meas-

ures of different scientific and engineering nature. In the best of all worlds, the systems should also be based on well-proven and robust technologies, with minimal operational and investment costs, suitable also for upscaling to hundreds of tons capacity. Thus, there are still some efforts in getting there. We all feed on hope and excitement, but we also need to be humble in our expectations and plans. Development normally takes time - generally 10-20 years for a new product or process to reach commercial success. However, seven years have now passed since torrefaction R&D was accelerated by the Dutch Energy Centre ECN and the torrefaction industry may be quite close to picking up speed. Present torrefaction plants are close to full productivity and several more potential commercial initiatives are on their way. The hype and development continues and huge global engineering and technology corporations Metso, Andritz and now also Conoco Philips are picking up speed with impressive technologies, know-how and recourses. The development of the global pellet industry is a very nice, analogous and inspiring example. It evolved remarkably fast, from being practically non-existing 1994 to a total of 670 plants only in Europe today, 15 years later, with an annual production of 13 Mton. Lots of industrial near term focus will probably also be on installing torrefaction processes in existing pellet plants, boosting the development and market penetration. The development is not generally slow. Most challenges have been solved. We are quite confident in the torrefaction and compaction technologies and results obtained. It is also interesting to see the multitude of different process and system technologies, resembling directly and indirectly heated systems, rotary kilns, moving and fluidized beds and different types of modified sophisticated drying technologies. We certainly will benefit from this flourishing and creative development atmosphere. Several smart solutions will surface. But we also need to be patient and show respect for the ambitious task pursued. Torrefaction has come to stay. There is a tremendous activity, impact and momentum in the progress but down the day, there are still major challenges to be solved. 21 Be


(WHY) HAS THE PROGRESS BEEN SLOW? Despite the positive results obtained, an ounce of frustration is emerging. Frustration by the time it takes, by the lack of industrially produced tonnages, by the lead times and the paper work needed to get up and running, by product safety and environmental permit formalities related to new materials and processes, by the present high costs estimates of processes and torrefied materials, and also in several cases by technical issues not foreseen. Of all the 60 claimed torrefaction initiatives and of all large-scale plants scheduled for start-up 2010 and 2011 (15+) quite few are erected and hardly any has yet reached full stable industrial production and commercial status. It is obvious that the promises and thus expectations of start-up were initially set too high. We can conclude that most suppliers tended to exaggerate their capacities

Seven years ago I was lucky to timely visit our Dutch colleagues and friends at ECN who generously and wisely shared their new findings on biomass torrefaction: -“Even if only half of their conclusions could be verified, we knew biomass industry would see a new day arrive”. Now all major scientific torrefaction reports and reviews all agree. Benefits are confirmed for a multi-tude of biomass materials and even more benefits are added to the list. Now let´s get the processes up and running! Let´s cite R. Walton; “In the end - the quest continues. So all you developers who have been singing your raises to anyone who would listen - Come out …come out…wherever you are!” A. Nordin

and underestimate time and efforts needed. Developers with limited experience of biomass materials also found themselves struggling with “simple” challenges such as feeding, transport, storage and raw material quality, as well as with high total costs.

Your new biomass refinement systems for value-added products.

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“Drying and drying some more” - it looked quite simple, attracting a hurdle of both serious developers and fortune hunters. However, it’s a bit more complex than anticipated. Torrefaction has to be done both smart and cost-efficiently for full commercialization progress. We can thus expect that most of the initiatives will still experience severe challenges and several will also ultimately fail. Although not at all rocket science, there are actually a number of technical process and system challenges that need careful R&D and smart solutions such as: raw material handling; process containment and control of atmosphere; generation of inertization gas; process control and product quality; heat transfer; control of temperature and residence time; moderation of the exothermal reactions; product cooling; torrefaction gas behavior, fouling and utilization; process and system integration; energy & exergy optimization; and whole supply chain optimization.


In November 2011, ETC, Meva, BioEndev and Ume책 University carried out the first gasification tests of torrefied spruce in the Meva 0.5 MW cyclone gasifier.

TIME FOR DEMONSTRATION OF ENTRAINED FLOW GASIFICATION OF TORREFIED BIOMASS MATERIALS Co-firing may also be the solution to the chicken or the egg dilemma for production of green liquid fuels and chemicals. The coal replacement market is huge and already existing. Dedicated biomass-to-liquids (BTL) systems can then be developed and demonstrated based on market and technologies already here for coal. A few gasification tests of torrefied biomass have already been performed, and many more are planned. There are reasons to believe that the major BTL challenges - feeding

TORREFACTION ON WEB Youtube: "Torrefaction - myth or reality"

and ash behavior - can be overcome and the initial results look promising. However still quite some time and R&D efforts remain for the development of optimized systems and for a sufficient amount of demonstrated operating hours. Much work will be focused on process and system analysis and integration. It is reasonable also to believe that decentralized pretreatment (torrefaction) plants will be accompanied by larger centralized gasification and synthesis plants.

BLACK PELLET END USE TESTS Vattenfall reported successful tests in their 2x300 MW Reuter West CHP and we are looking forward to corresponding Buggenum gasification results. 23 Be

THE WOOD PELLET MARKET AT GLANCE The working group of IEA Bioenergy Task 40 "Sustainable International Bioenergy Trade" has recently published the Global Wood Pellet Industry Market and Trade Report. The wood pellet market has experienced a large growth in the last five years. In 2006 the production of wood pellets was estimated between 6 and 7 million tons worldwide. In 2010 the global wood pellet production reached 14,3 million tons while the consumption was close to 13,5 million tons thus recording an increase of more than 110% compared to 2006. Worldwide, the production capacity of pellet plants is also increasing, as well as their average size. Between 2009 and 2010 the global installed production capacity of the pellet industry has recorded a 22% increase, reaching over 28 millions tons. Sawdust is still the main raw material for the production of wood pellets; many pellet plants source their feedstock from sawmills or are often directly co-located at sawmills; therefore, the availability and price of feedstock are subject to the trends and market dynamics of the wood industry. Since 2008-2009 the rapid growth of pellet demand has stimulated investments in large-scale plants, in the same period, the availability of

traditional sawmill residues has decreased sensibly in EU and in North America in particular, due to the crisis of the housing sector, but also due to the growth of the pellet industry itself. As a consequence, a need for a more stable and secure supply of feedstock has emerged and therefore, the interest of producers in the supply of alternative feedstock such as round-wood and forest residues is growing. The steady and rapid growth of the market is driven by various factors related to the different market segments (industrial pellet for co-firing, industrial pellet for CHP and district heating, pellet for residential heating); however the markets are still quite dependent to different extents on the availability of direct or indirect support measures. Several studies recently performed by renowned and acknowledged organizations have investigated the potential demand for wood pellet in the years to come. According to such estimates, the EU demand could range between 20 and 50 million tons by 2020. The full report is available at All figures are in million tons.

Main European Markets SWEDEN

NETHERLANDS Production 1,65 Consumption 2,28


Production 0,12 Consumption 1,50 UK

Production 1,70 Consumption 1,20 AUSTRIA

The Wood Pellet Market in 2010 (million tons)

Production 0,20 Consumption 0,68


ITALY Production 0,85 Consumption 0,62


Production 0,50 Consumption 1,40 FRANCE

Production 0,14 Consumption 1,72

Production 0,47 Consumption 0,41

Capacity Production Consumption


BELGIUM Production 0,29 Consumption 0,94

Main exporting Countries CANADA

USA Production 1,75 Consumption 0,10


Production 2,00 Consumption 1,60

13,09 10,94

LITHUANIA Production 1,00 Consumption 0,25

Production 0,44 Consumption 0,06



Emerging Markets JAPAN

AUSTRALIA Production 0,03 Consumption 0,09


NEW ZEALAND Production 0,01 Consumption 0,02

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Production 0,25 Consumption -

Production 0,06 Consumption 0,01

2009 2008

markets Wood Pellet Production by Region Russia 7%

S.E. Asia 0,34%

Australia & NZ 2%

USA 14%

EU27 65%

ENSURING A SUSTAINABLE PELLET MARKET In order to allow the large potentiality of biomass to be converted into actual supply in a sustainable way, the pellet industry faces a number of challenges .

Canada 12%

Enlarging the feedstock base for wood pellets

Wood Pellet Consumption by Region

Canada 1%

USA 12%

S.E. Asia Russia 1% Australia & NZ 2% 0,12%

Most pellet plants still rely on sawmill residues, but in many countries the demand for wood pellets already outstripped the supply of residues and producers have started to source alternative sorts of woody feedstock such as wood chips, industrial round wood, forest residues, bark, used wood and wood produced from short rotation forestry plantations. The growing need for stability on the feedstock side in price and volume conflicts with the volatile supply sawmill residues. Manufacturers and energy producers are moving upstream along their supply chains to secure their feedstock. Exploiting the basin of agricultural feedstock with agropellets

EU27 84%

Agricultural residues such as straw, hay and husks as well as energy crops are the most popular raw materials for the production of agropellets. Countries with significant developments and activities in this area so far are Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. A significant trading flow was established between Ukraine and Poland. Refining the quality of pellets: the promise of torrefaction Chemical and thermal preconditioning of biomass will be essential to allow for a broader feedstock base for the production of pellets. Among these torrefaction offers great advantages; virtually all biomass resources are suitable for torrefaction; physical and chemical properties of woody and herbaceous biomass are significantly improved. Torrefied biomass will substantially increase the potential share of co-firing in standard coal power plants (up to 100% in comparison to about 10% based on wood pellets) and will allow to co-feed woody biomass in industrial sized coal gasifiers. A number of demonstration plants will be commissioned by the end of 2012.

International Trade (million tons)

Adapting logistics and transportation infrastructures Extra EU Imports 2,6


Intra EU Trade 4,6

To accommodate the quickly growing pellet markets, large investments in infrastructures will be required to achieve logistic improvements and remove bottlenecks in the major supplying regions. Moreover many regions rich in biomass resources do not have the financial capability of developing the resource. In this regard, a new Bio-trade Equity Fund could be created to fill the investment gap, enabling development in new biomass supplies, reducing risk by investing in the whole supply chain and securing fibre supply contracts, efficient ground transports, large conversion plants, efficient ports and safe off-take agreements. Ensuring sustainability along the value chain


Ensuring sustainable production, trade and use of wood pellets has become an essential issue for the further development of the market. Although not mandatory, a multitude of initiatives and standards are being developed by national authorities, companies and other organizations to certify the sustainability of solid biomass. Utilities in the electricity and heating sector as well as the national governments from biomass importing countries are calling for a common sustainability scheme to create a level-playing field for the whole sector. Transforming wood pellets into a global commodity A steering committee comprising the seven largest European wood pellets consumers is working towards the standardization of the pellet market focusing on important aspects such as the legal framework, contractual and financial measures to increase market liquidity and price stability, technical specifications, sampling standards and common sustainability requirements. An important step forward towards the transformation of wood pellets into a global commodity is represented by the world’s first biomass exchange that was launched in November 2011 by APX-ENDEX in partnership with the Port of Rotterdam.


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Setting the course for a biobased economy


he European Biomass Conference and Exhibition celebrates this year its 20th edition in Milan. With a full agenda of horizontal topics the EU BC&E is a key event for the biomass and bioenergy community. A unique platform promoting the transfer of knowledge and expertise among research, industry and policy makers, to identify and enable smart solutions for the challenges of tomorrow.

It is widely acknowledged that biomass has a fundamental role to play in order to reach the ambitious energy targets set by the European Union and help the transition to a low carbon economy. Besides its leading role in the renewable energy mix, biomass is also becoming an indispensable resource for the development of the biobased economy and the industry of bio-chemicals and bio-materials. Today more than ever, a concerted effort from research, industries and policy makers is necessary to develop smart solutions to tap the vast, renewable, but not unlimited potential of biomass in a sustainable way, while avoiding indirect effects and preserving the priority of securing food for the growing world population. The biomass community must soon find solutions to overcome the competition between the different methods of utilization, identify conversion paths with the highest degree of sustainability and bringing together bioenergy concepts with other renewable energies. These tasks in their full spectrum will be reflected in the 20th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition and its motto: “Setting the course for a biobased economy”. "The variety of topics linked to these tasks is manifold, leading to the horizontal approach of the Conference, which is typical for the biomass sector and essential for finding concepts with a holistic background", states the Conference Chairman B. Krautkremer (Fraunhofer Institute). "Nevertheless the problems to be solved need highly sophisticated approaches. This evokes the need for dedicated events with a high degree of thematical profundity". This is the reason why the proven horizontal concept of the Conference will be complemented this year with new vertically-oriented elements dedicated to the following topics: “Biogas Upgrad26 Be

ing and Grid Injection”, “Biogas goes Europe”, “Biowaste to Energy” and “Bioenergy in Smart Grids”. The 20th EU BC&E - Exhibition will take place in parallel to the Conference at the Milano Convention Centre - MiCo - Italy, from 18 to 21 June 2012. The exhibition area for the 20th EU BC&E will be expanded and adapted to the new industry topics. 6 GOOD REASONS TO ATTEND THE CONFERENCE A holistic approach A unique characteristic of the biomass sector is the large diversity of feedstock, conversion technologies and final usages. The programme of the EU BC&E spans across solid biomass, liquid and gaseous biofuels for power heat, transports and bio-based chemicals, covering all the aspects of each value chain, from supply and logistics, to conversion technologies, industrial projects, policies, market and trade aspects. International acknowledgement Although Europe plays a leading role in the bioenergy arena, the event attracts visitors from all over the world. The 19th edition has seen more than 1500 participants from 67 countries during the whole week. Moreover the conference has the support of international institutions such as the European Commission, UNESCO, the World Council for Renewable Energy, the European Biomass Industry Association and this year of the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea and of the Region of Lombardy. Scientific relevance The last edition offered 262 oral and 540 visual presentations, thoroughly selected by an independent international Scientific Committee, composed of more than 140 experts


in their respective fields, under the coordination of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. This year a selected number of the highest scored abstracts will be invited to be peer reviewed and published in a scientific journal in addition to the publication in the conference proceedings. All submitted final papers will be sent to Scopus and Thomson Reuters Conference Proceedings Citation Index for review and index. A glance into the most innovative and advanced industrial projects Tomorrow’s solutions need research and development activities today. At the EU BC&E the leading industries present their most innovative and advanced demonstration and early commercialization projects for the development of the biomass and bioenergy industry of tomorrow. Furthermore, most of the international demonstration and R&D projects co-funded by the European Commission, as well as by the U.S. DOE, are also discussed.

 Ensure the presence of your company at an interna-

tional event with a significant annual contribution to the enhanced growth of this sector  About 2,000 participants from 70 countries are expect-

ed to discuss new markets, production methods and applications, as well as policies, standards and incentives in the field of biomass.  The visit of the Exhibition is open to the public.

More at:

Be sustainable

The magazine of bioenergy and bioeconomy

An up to date programme providing prompt answers to the evolving international debate The large number of abstracts submitted each year makes it possible to fine tune the programme with the constantly evolving international debate. As the topics of secure biomass supply and 2nd generation biofuels gain attention from the public, so does the number of abstracts submitted in these topics (+100% of abstracts submitted in each topic this year). A dark room for policy and decision makers The issues of international cooperation, biomass and bioenergy in the developing countries, as well as the policy scenarios, support measures, legislative framework, strategies and action plans in EU member states and worldwide, are presented and discussed by leading experts, providing useful insights and up to date information to decision makers and contributing to the evolution of sectoral policies. 4 GOOD REASONS TO JOIN THE EXHIBITION  Present your company, products and services to a broad

audience of biomass specialists  Create and enhance successful business opportunities

by meeting colleagues, researchers, experts, industry players and decision makers  Get updated with the latest research and industry de-

velopments in the worldwide biomass sector in order to adapt your marketing strategies

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Today thousands of biogas plants are already installed in Europe, mainly generating only electricity and partially using waste heat; however a combination of factors is driving a shift from electricity and heat production to up-grading biogas to biomethane, that can be used directly as a transport fuel for public as well as private transports. The EU renewables directive defines emissions savings thresholds for biofuels and recognizes a large advantage to biofuels like biogas, produced from waste biomass in terms of default CO2 equivalent savings. David Baxter | European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy and Transport and International Energy Agency Bioenergy, Task 37


iofuels are a good alternative to fossil fuels for transport in terms of reduced carbon dioxide emission. The European Union has recognised the positive impact biofuels can have in the transport sector and has set a mandatory target for renewable fuels of 10% for each member state by 2020. Biofuels will make a major contribution to this target. The European Union renewable energy directive of 2009 [1] defines emissions savings thresholds and a methodology for calculation of the savings. The renewables directive gives so-called default CO2 (equivalent) savings which indicate a large advantage for biofuels, like biogas, produced from waste biomass. Biogas can be up-graded to biomethane that is of equal quality to natural gas (NG) and can be used directly as a transport fuel in engines that are widely available. BIOGAS MARKET STATUS Europe has more than 8000 biogas plants, many of them in the size range 100 to 500 kW (electrical output). Worldwide there are millions of biogas plants, many of them in China. Since the 1990’s the number of biogas plants in Europe has increased rapidly, particularly in Germany. In the early years of this period the focus was on electricity generation, with maximum use of heat. A combination of factors has resulted in a shift from electricity and heat production to up-grading biogas (typically 50-60% methane) to almost pure (typically 97%) methane that is completely interchangeable with natural gas. The inability to fully use waste heat from heat and power installations is one reason to up-grade biogas to biomethane. Very low exhaust emissions from vehicles using methane has proved attractive for switching from diesel in city transport applications. Given this basis, the 2010 EU National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) [2] from the 27 member countries contain a range of ambitious plans for implementation

Fig.1 Biogas upgrading plant in Germany of biomethane as a transport biofuel to contribute to the 10% renewable fuels target in 2020. BIOMETHANE AS VEHICLE FUEL The 2011 report on Future Transport Fuels [3] highlighted the following benefits of natural gas, which also means biomethane, as a vehicle fuel: • NG engine technology is already well established (millions of vehicles in use worldwide so the engine makers are well tuned to the technology needs); • Emissions with NG/biomethane achieve EURO 6 emissions standard; • Emissions achieved are low-NOx, around 24% lower CO2 than petrol, particulates close to zero; • Dual-fuel at 75-85% NG/biomethane with diesel is possible – engine can run on 100% diesel (so this is a good transition technology); • Biomethane is readily available in compressed form (equivalent to CNG) or liquid form (equivalent to LNG); • The yield of biomethane per hectare of crop is typically double that of bioethanol.

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is the best practice example of biomethane use as a transport fuel in Europe with approximately 30,000 vehicles using compressed methane and the amount of gas increasing rapidly. Moreover, the degree of replacement of NG with biomethane is also increasing (Fig.2). It is quite possible this level of achievement could be repeated across Europe and there are data within the NREAPs that suggest substantial growth in the use of biomethane for transport will indeed occur (~ 1 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) of a projected total of ~27 Mtoe from advanced biofuels by 2020). It is interesting to note that the Swedish achievement has not been possible without coordinated political support that has led to a raft of measures, including, investment grants, incorporation into the national climate investment programme, support for filling stations expanding to serve NG/biomethane, green car premiums, discount on vehicle road tax and free parking. Approximately 40 biogas up-grading facilities provide compressed biomethane in Sweden and these up-grading installations are using commercially available technology that has been steadily improved over the last 15 years. For large engines and for very long distance travel liquefied methane is more suitable. Liquid biomethane from landfill gas recovery is now being used to fuel commercial delivery vehicles in the UK. This is the first commercial exploitation of liquefied biomethane in Europe. Germany started an intense campaign of biogas up-grading plant building in 2008 and is expected to inject biomethane into the NG grid from around 80 installation in 2011. It is not yet clear how the grid-injected biomethane will be used in Germany. Italy has more than half a million natural gas vehicles and

Biomethane is currently supplied extensively as compressed gas from dedicated filling stations close to biogas plants, for example in city transport applications. Injection into the NG grid is not yet widespread. The new EU renewables directive (Article 16) aims to ease grid injection and the European standards organisation (CEN) has set up a new Technical Committee (TC408) to formulate harmonised standards for gas grid injection. The latter should eventually facilitate transport of biomethane to distant customers and filling stations, not only to customers on the local and Fig.2 Growth in use of methane in the form of biomethane and natural gas low-pressure distribution grids. Sweden in the transport sector in Sweden [4]


a rapidly growing biogas sector that could in the future provide biomethane to displace some of the natural gas in the established delivery infrastructure. One of the big challenges for biomethane utilisation, whether for transport or other energy application, is to ensure high levels of performance with respect to sustainability. The EU renewables directive prescribes emissions savings compared to fossil equivalent fuels of 35% already, climbing to 60% for new installations after 2017. Given the 23 times higher impact of methane on global warming than carbon dioxide, emissions along the biomethane production chain must be strictly controlled. There is good awareness of the emissions management challenge and some systems are in place for monitoring and certification, for example the Naturemade scheme in Switzerland [5]. FUTURE PROSPECTS Economics will be the key determining factor affecting the amount of biomethane utilisation in transport applications. Many studies have been carried out to assess various systems and scenarios. For example, in Germany the market would appear to favour use of biomethane over diesel in city bus applications [6] where combined capital, fuel and maintenance costs for compressed biomethane buses are approximately 4% less than diesel buses. In general terms, the price of biogas vehicles is typically 10-20% more than petrol or diesel equivalents, although this extra cost is often offset by subsidies. Costs are likely to fall with increased production volume. Liquified biomethane is another option for delivery of methane to the vehicle tank and this technology is becoming more widely available as the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector grows in response Europe’s growing natural gas imports. To-date, while biomethane has been obtained exclusively using the biological, anaerobic digestion process, there are numerous long-running projects developing technology to produce biomethane by gasifica-

tion of ligno-cellulosic (woody) biomass. If the gasification processes prove successful on a commercial level, which is expected in the period to 2020, the volume of biomethane production will dramatically increase and this increase will facilitate rapid growth of its use in the transport sector. A number of European projects are designed to support expansion of the market for biomethane in the transport sector, including for example BioGas Max [7], GasHighWay [8] and MADEGASCAR [9]. The International Energy Agency Bioenergy Implementing Agreement also carries out studies on biogas and biomethane [10]. The European Green Cars initiative [11] was one of three Public-PrivatePartnerships (PPPs) included in the European Commission's recovery package of 2009. The budget for the initiative was set at €5 billion to support the development of new, sustainable forms of road transport and provide general support to the automotive industry during the recession. Approximately €1 billion was targeted to support research. On the policy side, the EU White Paper, “Roadmap to a Single Transport Area: Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system” [12] the focus is on what is termed “growing out of oil” by taking advantage of a range of technology options, not least new engines, new (use of) materials and design; new fuels and propulsion systems and health benefits from clean vehicles and low emissions. A strategy for transport in close cooperation with the Strategic Energy Technologies (SET) Plan is expected to lead to standardisation in order to avoid fragmentation in the sector and elimination of tax distortions. Transition fuels, or sometimes termed “drop-in” fuels are favourably considered as a way of achieving immediate contributions to 2020 renewables targets. As a consequence, biomethane is highly favoured. Notes: [1] The EU Renewables Directive: 2009/28/EC [2] National Renewable Energy Action Plans (2010) from member states of the EU

Fig.3 Gas storage tanks

[3] Future Transport Fuels: Report of the European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels, January 2011 [4] A. Petersson, Swedish Gas Centre, 2011, publications/country-reports/april2011/Sweden_Country_Report.pdf [5] Naturemade certification scheme, [6] D. Riesel, Biogas as Fuel in Germany, Baltic Biogas Conference, St. Petersburg, November 2010 [7] BioGas Max European project, [8] GasHigh Way project, [9] Market development for gas driven cars (MADEGASCAR) European project, [10] International Energy Agency, Bioenergy Task 37, Energy from Biogas, http:// [11] European Green Cars initiative, [12] EU White Paper, "Roadmap to a Single Transport Area" Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system, Brussels, 28.3.2011, COM(2011) 144 final

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Malaysia'S biomass potential

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As one of the countries with active agricultural activities and one of the largest producers of palm oil, Malaysia is blessed with abundant biomass resources which can be converted into alternative energy or useful eco-products. However, even though government policies and market incentives have been put in place to support the use of green technology in the industry, the uptake of biomass commercialisation needs further intervention. Dato’ Leong Kin Mun, Nurhidayati Abd Aziz | Biomass-SP Maurizio Cocchi | ETA-Florence Renewable Energies


nnually, a minimum of 168 million tonnes of biomass waste is generated in Malaysia. In general, palm oil waste accounts for 94% of biomass feedstock while the remaining contributors are agricultural and forestry by-products, such as wood residues (4%), rice (1%), and sugarcane industry wastes (1%). By 2010, up to 4.5 million hectares of land is cultivated with oil palm, which translates to 13.6% of the country’s total land area. The palm oil industry generates an abundant amount of by-products, especially through its processing. With more than 423 mills in Malaysia, this industry generated around 80 million dry tonnes of biomass in 2010. Out of palm oil processing yield, 20% is crude palm oil, 3% palm kernel oil and 3% palm kernel cake, the remaining 74% are by-products (wet biomass). The majority of the oil palm biomass is left on the fields ( i.e. palm fronds) or returned to the fields as soil amendment or organic fertilizer (i.e. empty fruit bunches). This biomass plays an important role to ensure the sustainability of plantations and preserve soil fertility. However there is also the potential to utilise a share of this biomass for a variety of additional end uses, including, pellets, bioenergy, biofuels and biobased chemicals, without depleting the soil. Several initiatives are being implemented to promote the sustainable utilization of the Malaysian biomass potential. In November 2011 the Malaysian Innovation Agency published a National Biomass Strategy which focuses on oil palm biomass as a starting point and may later be extended to include biomass from other sources. According to the National strategy, from a supply-side perspective, by 2020 Malaysia’s palm oil industry is expected to generate about 100 million dry tonnes of solid biomass. This includes not only the empty fruit bunches (EFB), mesocarp fibres (MF) and palm kernel shells (PKS), but also the oil palm fronds and trunks. Excluded from this figure is palm oil mill effluent (POME). 33 Be

Cumulative Renewable Energy Capacity Target for Solid Biomass (MW) The target for biogas alone is 410 MW installed capacity by 2030, which can only be achieved by the conversion of almost all mills to use biogas, the target for biomass is to reach 1,340 MW by 2030. This can be achieved by a combination of installing small power plants in the vicinity of grid connected mills, or larger, more efficient power plants closer to industrial clusters. The interim target of 800 MW in 2020 will require 6-9 million tonnes of biomass for this purpose. (source: "National Biomass Strategy 2020: New Wealth Creation for Malaysia's Palm Oil Industry"). 1340


BIOMASS DEVELOPMENT IN MALAYSIA Pellets is a natural entry point, however the biggest long-term opportunity for Malaysia is in biobased chemicals, with a forecasted global market size of RM 110-175 billion (27,5-43 billion Euro) by 2020. Mobilization of biomass with regards to logistics and competitive costs will be a critical success factor to ensure globally competitive costs. This is why the strategy relies on the creation of cooperative structures to enable smaller plantations and small holders to enter into the global biomass market. To achieve this, so called Entry Point Projects (EPP) are foreseen.

Two new EPPs have already been defined for pelletisation capacity and the launch of an industry consortium to catalyse development of conversion 110 technologies. In addition, two existing palm oil EPPs have been expanded in 2011 2020 2030 scope. Finally, a set of Government policies are in the process of being finalised to reduce the risk to the private sector associated with accelerating this opportunity. Converting the POME into biogas for either powering the mills or selling power into the national grid would potenIn response to the growing market for biomass as energy to tially allow for an increase of power capacity of 410 MW generate heat or power, an increasing number of companies by 2030. This initiative alone would reduce the nation’s in Malaysia are venturing into production of biomass pellets carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 12 percent and free up and briquettes for the export market such as Europe, Japan, significant biomass for higher value-added uses. Korea, and China. The most commonly used feedstock for producing pellets come from sawdust (it is estimated that Assessing the logistic costs related to the mobilization of 1.975 million m3 of wood residues are generated every year oil palm biomass, the strategy document concluded that an amount as high as 25 million tonnes of biomass could be in Malaysia). Currently in Malaysia, many pellet producers mobilised at globally competitive costs, i.e., at a cost of less (SMEs) produce 1,000 to 3,000 tonnes of wood pellets on a than RM 250 (62,5 ₏) per dry-weight ton. Approximately monthly basis using sawdust as feedstock, with an estimat12 million tons of solid biomass will likely be utilised for ed number of ten active pellet producers available, whilst non-fertiliser uses by 2020, primarily for wood products many SMEs are planning to venture into the business. At and bioenergy, while an additional 20 million tons could the moment, export demand for pellets comes from Korea, be mobilised for pellets, biofuels and biobased chemical Japan, Europe and China. industries. Certainly, sawdust is plentiful but they have a lot of comIn total, this is approximately 30 percent of the solid biopetitive usage. In agriculture and gardening, they serve mass the palm oil industry is expected to generate annually as mulch, a protective cover placed over the soil to retain by 2020. moisture and reduce erosion. In the commercial arena, they 34 Be


Apart from producing biomass as solid biofuel, many companies are also recognising the cost and energy-saving benefits of using biomass to generate heat and power for their own production. To encourage the uptake of biomass as renewable energy resources, Malaysia is providing many incentives to support the industry such as Investment Tax Allowance or Pioneer Status Oil palm residues after oil extraction at mill where companies are exempted from income tax for a certain period of time. Similarly, Apart from that, EFB is a complex form of biomass whereunder its Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), by if they are used entirely alone as feedstock for pellet biogas trapping and utilisation as energy is identified as production, the ash content produced are high, thus reducone of the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) to ening its effectiveness. This has prompted a lot of efforts incourage palm oil mill owners to take up methane capturing cluding ongoing research to try blending EFB with other from their POME as CDM projects. forms of biomass to lower its ash content and to increase its Recently the Energy Commission of Malaysia has ancalorific value which will then increase its burning efficiennounced plans to boost the share of renewable electricity cy. It should be noted that the potential of pellet production to 5.5 percent by 2015, compared with less than one perin Malaysia remains untapped. Looking at the mushroomcent currently. In December 2011, Malaysia launched its ing of pellet producers and manufacturers, the market trend Feed-in Tariff (FiT) system to further encourage the upcould be said to be rising steadily. are used for making furniture and particle-boards. Looking for an alternative, palm oil biomass offers great potential as a cost-effective feedstock for producing pellets, for example the empty fruit bunches (EFB). However, the commercialisation of EFB pelletization is at the infancy stage in Malaysia and many SMEs and major palm oil millers are still in search for the right yet affordable technologies.

By 2020, solid biomass will increase to 85-110 million tonnes, POME to 70-110 million tonnes 120  Shell  EFB  Fibre  Trunk  Frond  Upper bund growth


million tonnes









Forecast assumptions: Yield growth: lower bound: historical growth rate of CAGR of 0.1%; upper bound: ETP projections of 26 tonne FFB/ha in 2020 Increase in planted area: lower bound: MPOB - increase of 1.1 million ha over 2005 figures; upper bound: ETP upper limit of 28% area increase over 2010. Figure excludes seasonality Source: "National Biomass Strategy 2020: New Wealth Creation for Malaysia's Palm Oil Industry" and ETP; MPOB; "Exploring land use changes and the role of palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia" 2010. B. Wicket

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take of renewable energy projects in the country. By 2020, the government has set a target of 2080 MW or 11% of all electricity generated from renewable resources. Of all the renewable resources, biogas and biomass feature as the major sources. BIOMASS-SP PAVING THE WAY FORWARD FOR BIOMASS INDUSTRY IN MALAYSIA Built on these realisations, Biomass-SP project (BiomassSP) was initiated to develop the biomass small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia based on the principles of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) via the enhancement of supply chain and uptake of biomass commercialization projects by Malaysian SMEs. The project intervenes with greater market access and green supply chain opportunities from the EU. The EU-Malaysia Biomass Sustainable Development Initiative (Biomass-SP) is a development cooperation project funded the European Union (EU) under the SWITCH-Asia Programme and jointly promoted by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), and by the Association of Environmental Consultants and Companies of Malaysia (AECCOM), the European Biomass Industry Association (EUBIA), and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI). In 2012, Biomass-SP is hosting the EU-Asia Biomass Best Practices & Business Partnering Conference 2012, on 7 to 10 May 2012 at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as one of its flagship initiatives. The event aims at developing the competitiveness of biomass companies in both the EU and Asia regions via trade and investment, joint venture, environmental technology transfer and cooperation, sharing of best practices and know-how within the key priority sectors of biomass industry especially those involved in bioen36 Be

ergy, biofertilisers, high value bio-chemicals, eco-products and green building materials. Any regional and international bioenergy players (including EU, China, Korea or other ASEAN countries) are welcomed to contact Biomass-SP as the focal point for collaboration in bioenergy projects. Biomass-SP is the gateway to major plantations, SMEs, government agencies, and research institutions and universities (RIUs). For more information about Biomass-SP, visit

Efokus in the Green Area ĨŽƌƵŵŝŶDŝĚ^ǁĞĚĞŶĨŽƌŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶ͕ knowlegde and research on energy ĞĸĐŝĞŶĐLJĂŶĚƌĞŶĞǁĂďůĞĞŶĞƌŐLJ͘ ŶŝŵƉŽƌƚĂŶƚƉůĂLJĞƌŝŶƚŚĞ'ƌĞĞŶƌĞĂ͘ ƐŝŐŶŝĮĐĂŶƚƉůĂƞŽƌŵĨŽƌ ƌĞŶĞǁĂďůĞĞŶĞƌŐLJŝƐƐƵĞƐ͘ An long extensive experience in the ďŝŽŵĂƐƐƐĞĐƚŽƌ͘ ŶĂĐĐƵƐƚŽŵĞĚƉƌŽũĞĐƚůĞĂĚĞƌ͘ ǁŝĚĞŶĂƟŽŶĂůĂŶĚ ŝŶƚĞƌŶĂƟŽŶĂůŶĞƚǁŽƌŬ͘

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biofuels greenhouse gas calculations


The EU funded project BioGrace aims at unambiguously defining key parameters of biofuel greenhouse gas emissions and thus enhancing the level playing field on the European biofuels market. The BioGrace calculation tools enable economic operators to perform biofuel greenhouse gas calculations according to the methodology determined in the Renewable Energy Directive as well as auditors to easily verify calculations. Nikolaus Ludwiczek, Dina Bacovsky BIOENERGY 2020+ John Neeft NL Agency


n 2009 the European Union set sustainability criteria for biofuels with the legislation of the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC, RED) and the Fuel Quality Directive (2009/30/EC, FQD). The greenhouse gas (GHG) emission saving achieved by biofuels must be at least 35% compared to fossil fuels; this requirement rises to at least 50% by 2017, and 60% by 2018 for biofuels produced in new installations.

RED Annex V defines default values for greenhouse gas emission savings of 22 biofuel production pathways (table I, equal to Annex IV of the FQD). If the default value is below the minimum requirement, economic operators have to make their own calculations. They will find the calculation methodology in the same Annex: total greenhouse gas emissions are the sum of emissions from cultivation, processing, transportation, distribution, and direct land use change (figure 1). However, the RED and the FQD do not fix standard values for conversion factors which are necessary to convert e.g. the amount of fertiliser used into CO2 emission equivalents - leaving insecurity to users, auditors and national regulation agencies. As various values are found in the literature, differences in the result can add up to 10%, 20% or even more percent for the same shipment of biofuel. The project BioGrace (co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme) aims to harmonise calculations of biofuel greenhouse gas emissions and thus supports the implementation of these two directives. The BioGrace consortium has recalculated the 22 default values. In the Excel GHG calculation tool it makes every calculation step transparent. Its list of standard values contains the conversion factors that were used for calculating the default values in the RED Annex V. THE EXCEL GREENHOUSE GAS CALCULATION TOOL In the BioGrace Excel GHG calculation tool each of the 22 biofuel production pathways is demonstrated in a separate worksheet. Input numbers shown in the cells are the ones that were used for the calculation of the default values. Economic operators may insert their individual input numbers for obtaining the actual emission saving value. The Excel tool also features extra worksheets for those calculation steps that are not covered by the default values which are: • annualised emissions from carbon stock changes caused by land-use change (obligatory); • N2O field emissions (obligatory); • emission saving from improved agricultural management (optional). 39 Be


Last but not least users may change a process step of an existing biofuel production chain or they may add one. The track-changes-bottom allows following these modifications to facilitate verifiers checking the calculations - making the tool as flexible and transparent as possible. CONVINCING EACH EU MEMBER STATE The BioGrace consortium has been contacting policy makers in all 27 EU member countries with the request to make reference to the BioGrace list of standard values in their national legislations or in the supplementary technical guidelines. By the end of 2011 five member states have done so: Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, and the UK. Moreover, another five member states are preparing to include a reference on the short term. The European Commission on its part has used the BioGrace standard values in the Annotated example for the calculation of an actual greenhouse gas value available on the website of the DG Energy. THE EXCEL TOOL BECOMING A VOLUNTARY SCHEME The RED itself offers a strong vehicle for harmonising biofuel sustainability certification. Member states, companies or NGOs may develop voluntary schemes and request recognition by the European Commission. Once approved, these voluntary schemes apply through the entire European Union, and economic operators are free to either follow one of the voluntary schemes or the national regulation in order to prove compliance with the RED sustainability criteria.

Biofuel production pathway

Default greenhouse gas emission saving

Ethanol from wheat (lignite CHP)


Ethanol from wheat (process fuel not specified)


Ethanol from wheat (natural gas steam boiler)


Ethanol from wheat (natural gas CHP)


Ethanol from wheat (straw CHP)


Ethanol from corn


Ethanol from sugar beet


Ethanol from sugarcane


FAME from rape seed


FAME from palm oil


FAME from palm oil (methane capture)


FAME from soy


FAME from sunflower


FAME from used cooking oil


PVO from rape seed


HVO from rape seed


HVO from palm oil


HVO from palm oil (methane capture)


HVO from sunflower


Biogas from dry manure


Biogas from wet manure


Biogas from MSW


Table I: Renewable Energy Directive Annex V.a (extract): The 22 biofuel production pathways and their default values. Note that some default values are below the minimum requirement of 35%, 50% (as of 2017) or 60% (as of 2018) respectively.

to the BioGrace standard values for conversion factors. Another two, RTRS (soy based biofuels) and the French 2BSvs, allow for using the BioGrace tool as a GHG calculator. Bonsucro and Greenergy, on the other hand, do not require actual GHG calculations apart from those for emissions caused by direct land use change, as both schemes only deal with sugarcane ethanol which, by RED default

BioGrace has submitted the Excel tool to the European Commission in May 2011. What makes BioGrace unique, along with the Excel tool, are the detailed calculation rules. The BioGrace tool can thus be used as “add-on� to other schemes which are exE = eec + el + ep + etd + eu - esca - eccs - eccr - eee pected to focus on the remaining RED where sustainability requirements, i.e. the oriE = total emissions from the use of the fuel; gin of feedstock, the mass balance sys= emissions from the extraction or cultivation of raw materials; eec tem that allows mixing consignments = annualised emissions from carbon stock changes caused by land-use change; el of raw material or biofuel with differing = emissions from processing; ep sustainability characteristics, and an ad= emissions from transport and distribution; etd equate standard of independent auditing. = emissions from the fuel in use; eu In July 2011, the European Commission has approved seven voluntary schemes, but many more are still in the queue together with BioGrace. One of these seven, the German ISCC, already refers 40 Be


= emission saving from soil carbon accumulation via improved agricultural management;


= emission saving from carbon capture and geological storage;


= emission saving from carbon capture and replacement;


= emission saving from excess electricity from cogeneration.

Emissions from the manufacture of machinery and equipment shall not be taken into account. Figure 1: Renewable Energy Directive Annex V.c (extract): Methodology, the overview formula

value, does meet the GHG saving minimum requirement even after 2018 when it will rise up to 60%. The companyrun scheme RSBA (Abengoa) has not yet worked out its way of GHG calculations; it could, though, easily integrate the BioGrace tool. Only one scheme, RSB (Roundtable of Sustainable Biofuels), explicitly prescribes to use conversion factors drawn from another, related database. The European Commission is expected to decide on the approval in spring 2012. The BioGrace Excel GHG calculation tool and the BioGrace list of standard values are freely available at


Agentschap NL (Agency NL; formerly SenterNovem; coordinator), The Netherlands

Agence de l'Environment et de la Maitrise de l'Energie (ADEME), France

BIOENERGY 2020+ GmbH, Austria

BIO Intelligence Service (BIO IS), France

Energy, Management and Information Technology Consultants S.A. (EXERGIA), Greece

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU), Germany

Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT), Spain

Swedish Energy Agency (STEM), Sweden

The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Figure 2: Screenshot of Biograce excel tool

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Sustainable Biomass for Electricity Conference Alessandro Flammini | UNIDO


reening the economy is a challenge that needs to be achieved together with sustainable development and increased energy access for the poorest. While many developing countries are struggling to expand access to energy, the world as a whole is faced with the challenge of transforming its energy system towards cleaner and greener ways of producing and consuming energy. Moreover, unless the objective of achieving universal access to energy is addressed as an utmost priority by the international community, the number of people lacking access to electricity are expected to only fall from 1.3 billion today to 1 billion in 2030, and the number of people relying on the traditional use of biomass for cooking and heating will rise from 2.7 billion today to 2.8 billion in 2030. Tackling these issues requires expanded and accelerated international cooperation efforts building upon new and innovative technologies and delivery models. SUSTAINABLE BIOMASS FOR ELECTRICITY Electricity provision is a fundamental engine for sustainable development. Global demand for electricity continues to grow by around 2% per year and coal remains the dominant source of electricity generation but it is at the same time a major contributor of GHG emissions. Therefore an effective strategy for achieving significant and cost effective reductions in CO2 emissions in near term will require the deployment of best-available or new technologies to retrofit existing coal plants. Technologies that can provide a significant contribution in reducing carbon emissions of energy production are often not receiving the attention they deserve. The use of sustainable biomass in power generation co-fired with coal in existing power plants is just one of the so called “lowhanging fruits” in terms of low capital investment and rapidity of the fuel switch. Other readily available technologies for electricity generation include biomass gasification, hydrothermal and pyrolytic biomass conversion and biogas production. The development of sustainable supply chains is paramount when embarking in large power generation development plans, and an appropriate certification scheme and chain of custody is necessary. Developing countries, where 42 Be

appropriate conditions for sustainable biomass growth and harvest exist, are placed in an ideal position to benefit from increased bioelectricity installations and related investments. A globally accepted monitoring and verification system needs to be established and agreed upon, but assessing the sustainability of bioelectricity production needs to be done with a holistic approach addressing land use management, implication for rural development and potential indirect effects. THE CONFERENCE Acknowledging the important role of biomass in de-carbonizing the global energy system, UN-Energy in cooperation with other partners is organizing a Conference on Sustainable Biomass for Electricity (SB4E) to be held in Güssing, Austria on 2-4 May 2012. The SB4E Conference will provide an opportunity for governments, international organizations and the private sector to share their respective experiences and to join efforts towards a common understanding of SB4E and practical ways to achieve this. Additionally, delegates and participants will be offered an Executive Seminar on bioenergy sustainability assessment and a field trip presenting one of the most interesting Austrian experiences in terms of rapid development of a green economy: the Güssing experience. This region, within 10 years, managed to become energy–independent, deriving today 100% of its electricity needs from renewable energy (mainly biomass). and creating more than 50 new companies (1,000 new jobs) and generating an annual turnover of over $20 Million through the sale of excess energy. The organizers are UN-Energy (UNIDO, FAO and UNEP), the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) and IEA Bioenergy with the support of Dong Energy, Eskom, E.on and BioElectric Solutions LGJ AB among others. The Sustainable Biomass for Electricity Conference aims to: • Discuss key issues in using biomass for electricity generation, with a particular focus on sustainability of production and utilization for power generation;

Address SB4E potential for large scale application in emerging countries;

Discuss international systems for certification and verification for sustainable biomass production and promote discussion towards the development of an international sustainability monitoring and verification system for SB4E production;

Present and promote supply investment projects and discuss potential bilateral and multilateral investment projects;

Discuss key issues in financing and capacity building, including financial requirements for reaching a cofiring biomass target and issues pertaining to technology transfer and deployment in developing countries;

Discuss the status of international cooperation on bioenergy and the role of international organizations, UN-Energy, the private sector and other stakeholders.

Launch the process towards the establishment of a Sustainable Biomass for Electricity Alliance of countries and companies that will commit to a Biomass for Electricity Charter, including co-firing targets by 2030. The Conference will bring together relevant international organizations and programs that provide technical assistance and policy advice in the area of sustainable biomass, energy access and sustainable development to discuss cooperation in support of such an Alliance.

More information available at: stories/1577-upcoming-sustainable-biomass-for-electricity-conference



Upcoming bioenergy events MARCH 13-14/03/2012

Biopower Generation Congress and Exhibition 2012

Rotterdam, The Netherlands


World Biofuels Markets

Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Salon Bois Energie

Saint-Etienne, France


Bionature 2012

St. Maarten, Antilles


Asia 2012 - 4th International Conference on Water Resources and Renewable Energy Development in Asia

Chiang Mai, Thailand


BioEnergy World Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa


WSED - World Sustainable Energy Days

Wels, Austria


BioWise 2012

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


International Biomass Conference & Expo

Denver, Colorado, USA


ARGUS European Biomass Trading

London, United Kingdom



Hannover, Germany


3rd Annual Conference of the Renewable Heating and Cooling Platform Annual Euroheat & Power Conference

Copenhagen, Denmark


Sustainable Biomass for Electricity Conference

Güssing, Austria


EU-Asia Biomass Best Practices & Business Partnering Conference 2012

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Verona, Italy


All-Energy 2012 Exhibition & Conference

Aberdeen, Scotland


World Bioenergy

Jönköping, Sweden


EURELECTRIC Annual Convention & Conference 2012

Malta, Malta


Power Gen Europe 2012

Cologne, Germany


Green Energy Asia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition

Prince George, British Columbia, Canada


EU Sustainable Energy Week 2012

Brussels, Belgium


EU BC&E 2012 - 20th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition

Milan, Italy


3rd AEBIOM European Bioenergy Conference 2012

Brussels, Belgium

World Future Energy Summit

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Interpellets 2012

Stuttgart, Germany


4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference

Helsinki, Finland



Rimini, Italy


International Biorefining Conference & Trade Show

Houston, Texas, USA




SEPTEMBER 16-19/09/2012



44 Be

BioEnerGIS GIS-based Decision Support System for sustainable energetic exploitation of biomass at regional level KNOWLEDGE - Assessment of Biomass Resources and Heat Demand BioEnerGIS mapped in Lombardy (IT), Northern Ireland (UK), Slovenia, Wallonia (BE): • the biomass potentially exploitable for energy purpose. In line with the EU legislation, BioEnerGIS has contributed to harmonize the methodologies and glossaries in biomass assessment; • the heat demand potentially fulfilled by biomass plants through district heating systems. PLANNING - BioPOLE (Biomass Plant Optimal Localisation Estimator) The GIS-based Decision Support System BIOPOLE helps to identify the optimal location for new biomass plants through: • the characterization of each 500m x 500m cell in terms of heat demand and available biomass; • the selection of the best technological options; • the verification of the sustainability criteria identified during the interaction with the stakeholders. BIOPOLE is accessible through the web INVOLVEMENT – Private and Public Partnership BioEnerGIS explored the public and private interest in realizing biomass plants , analysing through facilitation methods the different stakeholders’ needs. Starting with the creation of regional networks, specific actions were set up to support the involvement of private and public stakeholders. Signing a Local Agreement the stakeholders confirmed their availability to collaborate in order to conduct more detailed pre-feasibility studies around new biomass plants placed in their territory. They also committed themselves to create and develop local chains in order to better utilize the biomass locally available.

with the contribution of:

Biomass potential Forest Sector (ton) 0 - 19 20 - 62 63 - 144 145 - 272 273 - 539

10 km

Lombardy D3 Set of biomass potential maps

The Recycling Specialist.


e Visit us at th

an Biomass e p o r u E h t 0 2 Exhibition d n a e c n e r Confe 15 Booth A14/A For more information, please visit our website

DOPPSTADT GmbH Barbyer Chaussee 3 39240 Calbe, Germany Tel: +49 (0)39291 55-0, Fax: -350



The Magazine of Bioenergy and the Bioeconomy

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