28 Apr 2017

The indispensable role of biomass – EUBCE 2017

Insight, the dissemination work package leader of Rehap is delighted to be presenting the project at the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition – EUBCE 2017 next week. The event, which takes place in Stockholm on June 12-15, is celebrating its 25th year with a full agenda of horizontal topics making it the premier forum for the biomass and bioenergy community, cutting across research, industry and policy.

The EUBCE programme includes 1,004 presentations, with a main focus on the evolving international policy debate about tackling climate change. The event will also provide a platform for the most innovative scientific and technical advances and industry projects.

One of the key aims of the conference will be to examine how to close the gap between research achievements and industrial implementation, given that research in many areas has advanced considerably over the last decade.

Insight is coordinating a new H2020 project called BIOWAYS, a communications-focused project that will promote the huge potential of bio-based research results and raise public awareness of bio-based products, by developing a variety of communication techniques and through public engagement activities and the development of educational tools and materials.

“EUBCE 2017 will be a fantastic opportunity for projects attending to become involved in BIOWAYS and take advantage of the techniques and platforms being developed that will help them achieve this vital transition from research to industrial implementation,” says Insight MD and BIOWAYS coordinator William Davis.

EUBCE will also tackle the "The Indispensable Role of Biomass" as part of the long-term goal agreed at the Paris climate summit of limiting the increase of global average temperature and bioenergy in the wider bio-economy. Biomass potential, bioenergy policy targets for 2030 and beyond will also be part of this debate.

Sessions will also address some of the major challenges that the biomass community is facing today such as bioenergy, the production and utilisation of biofuels and different potential biomass feedstocks, including the organic fraction of municipal waste, the recent findings in the field of thermochemical biomass conversion technologies as well as the challenges and opportunities of establishing bioconversion processes for the bio-based economy.

Key approaches for the integration of bioenergy technologies implemented in a flexible manner to provide energy output on demand as well as the latest developments of large-scale industrial plants processing biomass residues and wastes to biofuels and bioenergy will also be presented and discussed.

The conference will conclude by debating how to "achieve the transition from research to industrial implementation". Important issues will be tackled during the conference, such as biomass production for energy integrated into food and feed farming, integration of bioenergy into a bio-based economy and that of bioenergy with other energy sources.

Insight will be working with EUBCE to promote the event and will be covering the issues debated throughout. As a leading dissemination consultancy specialising in this sector, Insight is currently working with several EU-funded projects working in this field including BIOWAYS and now Rehap, an new H2020 effort which aims to provide a systemic approach to reduce energy demand and CO2 emissions of processes that transform agroforestry waste into high added-value products.

12 Apr 2017

Raw material potential for biopolymers in Europe

LCM conference 2017

Category: Raw materials supply chains in the light of the circular economy

Title: Raw material potential for biopolymers in Europe

Authors: Andrea Thorenz, Lars Wietschel, Axel Tumaa

Resource Lab, University of Augsburg, Universitaetsstr. 16, 86159, Augsburg, Germany


In the last years the biobased chemical industry is characterized by a strong growth. Many innovative products and materials like biopolymers have been developed. Europe’s demand for biopolymers is among the largest of the world and exceeds the domestic supply. Main sources for biopolymers are agroforestry residues. Therefore, biogenic renewable raw materials are the basic materials for a future oriented bioeconomy. Due to their arisings, wheat straw, maize stover and bark from coniferous and broadleaf are of special interest for establishing a bioeconomy in Europe. To get an understanding of available biomass amounts, competitive utilizations like straw as soil conditioner, as resource for livestock farming or the use for energetic purposes have to be evaluated. Besides this, any competition to the food production has to be avoided.

For the design of industrial processes, a detailed knowledge concerning the supply potential of different sources of agroforestry residues is needed. This covers the quantification of arisings of various sources of agroforestry waste as well as their regional distribution.

Methodologically, the analysis of the raw material potential is based on a detailed evaluation of EUROSTAT and FAO databases combined with a state-of-the-art literature review. In a second step, a material flow analysis is applied to assess and structure contemporary concepts of residue management with a presentation of competitive applications and their contribution to existing life cycles. For the design of a sustainable bioeconomy, potential variations of future arisings have to be evaluated. Therefore, a quantitative approach based on statistical methods like regression analysis is applied.

As a result of the research, we present sustainably available potentials of selected agricultural and forestry residues on regional level in the EU. Information about regional supply and demand of biomass will be crucial for upscaling successfully launched bioeconomic processes.

Keywords: biopolymers, agroforestry waste, state-of-the-art, material flow analysis, EU, statistical methods

[1] EU-Project REHAP: Systemic approach to Reduce Energy demand and CO2 emissions of processes that transform agroforestry waste into high added value products. Horizon 2020. No. 723670.