The Resource Lab of the University of Augsburg, and leaders of Rehap’s waste management research, have been keeping busy applying for conferences, scientific papers, and reporting on recent results.

Lars Wietschel, from the University of Augsburg (UNIA), spoke of the recent developments taking place within Rehap with regards to their research, the first of which being the application they placed to exhibit at the 2018 European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE) in Copenhagen in May.

EUBCE is the largest platform and gathering of biomass experts for the collection, exchange and dissemination of scientific and industrial know-how in the field of biomass. The event combines one of the largest biomass science and technology conferences with a high-quality industry exhibition and attracts professionals from around the globe.

If UNIA’s application is accepted, this will be Lars’s first time at the event and he hopes to present methodology and results from the research they have been undertaking on forecasting the future of agricultural and forestry waste arisings in the European Union. Arisings are the surplus materials that form the waste products of agriculture and forests after they have been harvested for other purposes.

“We handed in this extended abstract - the forecasting of arisings - plus an oral presentation. If we are accepted for a full paper, we will publish a peer-reviewed conference paper in the journal ‘Biomass & Bioenergy’,” said Wietschel on applying for the EUBCE.

Part of what has been proposed as part of the EUBCE application includes the results from a completed project deliverable. A report was written and a database was created that provided information on the forecasting of the future of biomass feedstock in the European Union over the next 10 years. The database provides information on the forecasts of waste arisings until the year 2027.

“Some of the interesting results we found from our research on this topic revealed that for agricultural residues we forecast increasing arisings for wheat straw, maize stover and barley straw, and for rape straw we forecast decreasing arisings in the next 10 years, which is mainly due to a reduced demand in first generation biofuels,” said Wietschel. “We also assessed the influence of extreme weather events on the projection of biomass and our results showed that heatwaves and a lot of precipitation have a strong negative influence on their annual production quantities.”

Rehap hope to hear the outcome of their EUBCE application in the new year, so watch this space.