Organic wastes and residues as feedstocks for biofuels production

Any organic residues / biological waste materials can potentially be converted to advanced biofuels by thermochemical, biochemical or chemical processes. Increasingly, processing or manufacturing facilities that convert biomass to food, building materials, paper, and other bioproducts take a biorefinery approach - maximising the conversion of feedstocks and waste streams into valuable byproducts, energy and biofuels.

Pulp and paper industry

Examples of other organic residues include black liquor from pulp and paper production (KRAFT process), and waste streams from the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. DME (Dimethyl ether) is being generated from black liquor. UPM and SunPine AB are developing production of renewable diesel from crude tall oil, a residual product of the pulp and paper industry (see section on tall oil).

Food and Beverage waste streams

St1 has bioethanol plants in Finland; an oil refinery in Gothenburg, Sweden; and service stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The company produces bioethanol from a variety of food industry waste streams:

  • Biowaste from households
  • Leftover dough from bakeries
  • Expired bread and other organic waste from shops
  • Waste from beer and other beverage production
  • Waste and process residues from confectionery production
  • Starch- and sugar-containing waste from the food industry

The objective of the IEE project FaBbiogas is to elaborate a solid information base on FaB (Food and Beverage) waste utilisation for biogas production and to prove the efficiency and feasibility of FaB waste-based biogas implementation projects. The EU project FABbiogas (Intelligent Energy Europe) project aspires to change the mindsets of all stakeholders in the waste-to-energy chain by promoting residues from FAB industry as a new and renewable energy source for biogas production.

Sewage sludge, manure or slaughterhouse residues are other feedstocks, which can be converted to biogas.