European biofuel policy is being revised. November last year, the new draft renewable energy directive (RED II) has been proposed, and decisions on it will be taken in the coming months. The main difference with RED I is a further reduction of the amount of first generation biofuels. Nova-Institute reviewed the underlying scientific evidence and
To me, the speech of Dr Laura Ruohonen of Finnish research centre VTT at the World Bio Markets Conference, last March in Amsterdam, opened new perspectives on the biobased economy. There are many, so far unexplored biobased chemicals and polymers – we are just beginning to see what the future might have in stock. At
Cellulosic ethanol costs vary greatly among the six units now in operation across the world, according to Lux Research. The single most important factor contributing to the cost differences is feedstock costs. Sugar cane straw costs are half those of corn stover. Price differences indicate that innovation is needed in several relevant areas, says Lux.
The BioBased Materials and Chemicals (BBMC) sector has clearly recovered from the 2008 setback, when many start-ups performed less than expected and many went bankrupt. Investment is on the rise from 2013 onwards, and will come close to $ 1 billion (€ 780 million) in 2014, a 28% increase from 2013. Says Lux Research in
Production of second generation bioethanol is taking off. In Italy (Beta Renewables), US (DSM-POET), and now also in Brazil. Here, second generation ethanol factories are an addition to first generation factories. Second generation installations process side streams like bagasse and stems to ethanol. Because of this, ethanol production may rise by 50% without any need
In the end of 2013, EuroBioRef came to a close, a major European R&D project in the field of biorefinery. The project included 29 partners in 15 countries and had a budget of € 38 million, of which € 23 million were donated by the European Commission under the FP7 research program. But EuroBioRef’s technological
The future is to biobased, says DSM’s Anton Robek. In 10-20 years’ time, virtually all of DSM’s feedstock will be biobased. The question now is not if, but how fast industry will get there. It needs to take a hurdle as it scales up. And for Europe to play a part in this game at
Europe’s biofuel policy has been reformulated earlier this year, in order to promote the development of second-generation biofuels. But this seems to have little effect: whereas second-generation biofuels from food wastes are indeed being produced in Europe, there is just one European plant using second-generation biomass feedstock: the Beta Renewables plant in Crescentino, Northern Italy,