Report about facts and figures in bioenergy from the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition 2017


This deliverable is part of the activities of work package 3 – Bioenergy Sector Monitoring, of the project ETIP Bioenergy SABS. Under this work package the Consortium monitors the development of bioenergy technologies and aims to provide relevant information to the bioenergy community on the website of ETIP Bioenergy, in a structured way. The monitoring of the Consortium targets eight topics: biomass resources, supply systems, conversion technologies, biorefinery concepts, end products, policy and sustainability, market analysis from the demand side and regional information. A special focus is e put on the main focal bioenergy areas for ETIP Bioenergy, that is advanced bioenergy conversion pathways and their implementation. These topics are extensively addressed in the programme of the annual European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE). The EUBCE is an annual event organized by ETA-Florence, whose technical programme is shaped by a scientific committee of over 140 experts and is coordinated by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre.

In this framework, this report aims at providing an overview of the most relevant presentations and the main highlights collected in the proceedings of the 25th edition of the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, which was held in Stockholm from 12 to 15 June 2017. The event featured 850 presentations, 2 parallel events and 5 workshops. Among these, the report proposes a selection of the main findings about the topics relevant for the terms of reference of ETIP Bioenergy, with a short summary per each presentation and the link for direct download of the relative paper and slides, or poster.

Most of these findings derive from the official highlights of the conference which were presented by the Technical Programme Chairman during the closing session of the conference, while a minor part was added by the author from other relevant papers in the proceedings, to complement the available information. Only the highlights for which a paper and the related slides were available in the proceedings are mentioned in this document.

The items are organized according to the following five topics: 1) biomass resources; 2) conversion technologies for electricity, heating and cooling; 3) conversion technologies for fuels; 4) markets policy and sustainability, 5) bioenergy integration in the energy system. 

In addition to these highlights, a section of this report is dedicated to introducing the results of the workshop "Bioenergy – from research to market deployment in a European context” that was conjointly organised by ETIP Bioenergy with partners of the Biomass Sustaining the Future (BESTF) project and ERA-Net Bioenergy, as a parallel event of the EUBCE.

All the other papers, slides, poster included in the Proceedings of the 25th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition are open access and can be downloaded here.


1. Biomass resources


New tools and analysis models available to design biomass supply with GIS

LocaGIStics is a new support tool for the design of regional biomass delivery chains covering transport, pre-treatment and conversion options. The performance of every chain design can then be analyzed by comparing the different chains on environmental and economic indicators. This paper shows the main outcomes of a regional case study in Aragón (Spain) where the LocaGIStics tool is used. Link


Sustainable feedstock production for advanced biofuels on underutilised land in Europe

This paper and slides introduce the work of the FORBIO project, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, to support the implementation of sustainable feedstock production for biofuels on underutilised land in Europe. Link


Grass Biomass as Biofuel Feedstock-Sustainable or Not?

This paper illustrates the relevance of soil organic carbon (SOC) impact on the integrated production of food and grass, as energy crop for biofuel production. The diversification of crop rotations, currently dominated by cereals, proved as an efficient tool to reverse SOC losses in arable lands in the EU, simultaneously producing a grass-based biofuel with low climate impact. Link


A GIS-based mapping of potentials of organic waste from households

Although separate collection systems are well established in Germany, the total theoretical and technical potential of organic waste from households is yet unknown. A mapping of organic waste potentials from households through GIS-modelling was elaborated by researchers at the University of Stuttgart. Link


Modelling, simulation, and logistic optimization for large biomass terminals

The profitability of a biomass terminal can be analyzed as an individual cost pool in biomass logistic by statistic calculations, but they can be also complemented by simulation studies. This paper presents a simulation model and an experiment simulating the operations in a large feed-in terminal with different solutions of biomass deliveries. Link


Bioplastics and Biofuels from the integration of Urban Organic Waste management

This paper discusses the integration of organic waste management and wastewater treatment in a smart WWTP plant, that treats both wastewater and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW). The co-digestion of sludge with organic wastes can offer a simple way to recover energy, to balance nutrients, to reduce greenhouse gas emission and to increase the performance of wastewater treatment systems. Link


Integrated processing of sewage sludge & manure through torrefaction and anaerobic digestion for the production of biogas, solid fuel & nutrients

This paper discusses the integration of TORWASH and IC(X) technologies developed by the Energy Centre Netherland, for the complete processing of both sewage sludge and manure by mild hydrothermal treatment, resulting in highly efficient dewatering, biogas production and nutrient recovery. Link


Micro-algae cultivation by enriched CO2, oil extraction and conversion to biofuels

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate mass production of microalgae in greenhouse photo-bioreactors by aeration with enriched CO2 from a diesel engine tri-generation system. The study also demonstrates the capability of algal oil extraction and fuel production processes using a super-heated methanol vapor method with wet microalgal biomass. Link


2. Conversion technologies for electricity, heating, and cooling


Advances in steam-oxygen gasification of biomass feedstock

Steam-oxygen gasification is the autothermal conversion of a solid fuel to a nitrogen free syngas that can be used for fuel and chemical synthesis. This paper presents the results of investigations on the steam-oxygen gasification of low cost biogenic fuels, dried sewage sludge and straw, conducted in a 20 kW fluidized bed facility. Link


Gasification into BioSNG using selected sorbents for simultaneous H2 enrichment and CO2 removal

This work has evaluated the performance of Sorption Enhanced Water Gas Shift (SEWGS) materials in conditioning the composition of the gas produced at a 1 MWth biomass gasification pilot plant in presence of residual amount of tar. Link


An innovative concept for thermo-chemical conversion of biomass to syngas by integrating methanation into gasification

The thermo-chemical conversion of lignin-rich biomass to SNG is commonly done by steam gasification and subsequent methanation. Innovative process concepts have been developed to integrate methanation directly into the gasification process. A continuously operated high-pressure gasification reactor is to be built to investigate experimentally three different measures which enhance the conversion of biomass into methane despite high temperatures. Link.


Optimization of existing dual fluidized bed gasification systems through recirculation of reactive fines

In industrial dual fluidized bed gasifiers, flue gas and producer gas ashes are generally re-injected into the system to recover bed material and unconverted carbon. However, the impact of such recirculation on the gas quality has not been investigated before.

To investigate these effects, recirculation of coarse fly ashes was carried out in the Chalmers 2-4 MWth gasifier. The fly ashes collected were recirculated and the gas quality assessed. It was found that recirculation of reactive fly ashes enhances the gas quality, in particular in term of tar concentration. Very high bed activity was reached. Link


Tar removal from biomass producer gas by using biochar

The biochar produced in the gasifier as residues, is a potential solution for removing tars from producer gas. This work investigates the interaction between tar compounds and biochar. Residual biochar from a two-stage gasifier was tested as bed material in a laboratory setup. Results showed a significant effect of biochar on the removal of phenols, at all temperatures. The characterization of the residual biochar from the gasifier showed a high carbon content and a specific surface area comparable with active carbon. Link


Technical and economic feasibility of combusting biocarbon in small-scale pellet boilers

This paper shows the results of a combustion test of biocarbon pellets in a 20 kWt boiler. The thermal efficiency reached with biocarbon pellets was around 87%, while emissions of particulate matter proved to be in the range of those of commercial wood pellets. Thermal performance and emissions data generated from the experimental campaign are used by SINTEF in Norway to assess the overall feasibility of the value chain and the performance of biocarbon pellets combustion in small scale boilers, by the point of view of cost-efficiency, thermal efficiency and environmental performance. The novelty of the work is represented by the use of a commercial boiler fed with biocarbon pellet and the calculation of mass and energy balances to optimize this new process. Link


Large scale and high efficient biomass CFB power plants - largest (300-MWe) greenfield biomass CFB plant in UK expected in 2020

This paper presents the key technical features of a large-scale biomass CFB-boiler technology. The world’s largest greenfield biomass power plant in the United Kingdom is taking the Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) combustion technology to the 300-MWe scale with 100% biomass fuels. Link


3. Conversion technologies for fuels


Principles and strategies to develop robust enzymes and microorganisms for bioconversion processes

These slides present strategies to build up robust enzyme-based biomass conversion processes. Link


Pyrolysis of sewage sludge into bio-oil via Thermo-Catalytic Reforming

This work presents the results of tests and characterization of the Thermo-Catalytic Reforming process, variable parameters and products for bioenergy applications. TCR® is an intermediate pyrolysis and reforming process suitable for the energetic utilization of underutilized biomass from organic waste. Link


Valorization of solid residues from anaerobic digestion through thermal and hydrothermal carbonization processes

Efficient digestate management from anaerobic digestion (AD) is one of the most important priorities for medium term bioenergy and bioproducts field development. Carbonized solid digestate is a sterilized and easily transportable value-added product: the biochar. In this study, two digestate carbonization processes have been tested in lab and pilot-scale at different process conditions: slow pyrolysis carbonization and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC). Yields and characteristics of the products were analyzed and discussed. Some char properties were also compared to European and International biochar standards. Link


Improvements in understanding the formation of reaction products from hemicellulose and lignin

This study creates a chemical/physical kinetic model that can be readily adapted to numerous types of lignocellulosic biomass, and offer detailed information of product distribution and composition within a satisfactory level of accuracy, via the introduction of new model pseudo-components for hemicellulose and lignin Link.


Improvement in understanding the mechanisms and behaviour of HTL lignin valorisation as a chemical resource

Bio based platform chemicals can be provided through lignin, especially aromatic compounds. However, no method for aromatics production from lignin has been established by now. The focus of this work is to get a better knowledge of lignin as a starting material to produce chemicals. Therefore, the different influences of temperature and reaction times, the reaction pathways and the therefore necessary analytics need to be understood Link.


Hydrogen production from pilot scale biomass gasification with high purity offers possibilities to reduce production costs

This paper presents an overview of the UNIfHY project results regarding pure hydrogen production from biomass gasification. Tests with different gasification agents and at different temperatures showed different yields of syngas A portable purification system was designed and realized. The system was proven to operate stably and continuously in experimental runs lasting more than 12 h. Based on the data collected, UNIfHY can reach an economic production cost of 3-10 €/kg H2. Link


Improving sustainability of maize to ethanol processing by plant breeding and process optimization

Efficient management of plant resources is essential for a sustainable biobased economy. The aim of this research was to enhance the biomass use of maize stover for bioethanol production, by combining plant breeding of the maize feedstock with various pretreatment severities and applying an exploratory assessment of the environmental and economic impacts. Results found that systematic genetic gains of cell wall digestibility can lead to significant advances in the total glucose productivity and also in the sustainability performance. The best maize characteristics tested led to a total glucose productivity of 3.7 ton per hectare using mild processing conditions. This matches the highest realizable yields under severe processing conditions. In the best scenarios, the environmental and economic impacts of operating conditions were reduced by 15% compared to the benchmark. Link


Evaluation of GHG emissions and energy balances of innovative aviation biofuel pathways

This study assesses the GHG emissions reduction potential of alternative fuels for aviation; and provides insights on the GHG emissions profiles and the energy efficiency of options for alternative aviation fuels. The analysis is focused on alternative drop-in jet fuels, e.g. non-fossil hydrocarbon fuels characterized by the same chemical structure as conventional jet fuel. Fuels made from wastes and residues exhibit lower GHG emissions per MJ of final fuel compared to aviation fuels produced from the vegetable oils analyzed. However, the effect which the methodological rules for allocating inputs have on emissions and energy balance, can be more pronounced than the consideration of whether the feedstock is a waste or not. Link


Cost-effective biomass based CHP system by using fast pyrolysis bio oil (FPBO) in a diesel engine

This paper demonstrates the use of FPBO in modified diesel engines available at Dutch BTG, a one-cylinder (1C) and a four-cylinder (4C). Both engines have been modified and operated on FPBO. Additional safety measures have been implemented for the 1C-unit to enable unattended operation. The 4C 50 kW diesel, is a prototype for a commercial CHP unit (100 – 1,000 kWe). The unit was successfully commissioned and initial tests are in line with the 1C experiments. Although the fuel consumption is significantly higher in case of FPBO, the overall electrical efficiency is very similar to diesel. Link


High Quality black pellets by Steam Explosion

Summary not available


4. Biomass policies, markets, and sustainability


Policy lessons to mobilize sustainable biomass resources for the biobased economy: conclusions from the projects Biomass Policies, S2Biom and BioTrade2020+

Policy framework conditions are extremely important for the deployment of biofuels and bioenergy. Within the European sister projects Biomass Policies, S2Biom and BioTrade2020+, different steps were taken to provide guidelines for policy frameworks. The projects were complimentary, with Biomass Policies focusing on the role of domestic biomass and the aspect of resource efficiency, BioTrade2020+ on how to include sustainable international biomass in the picture, and S2Biom on mobilizing lignocellulosic biomass in Europe and broadening its use to biobased economy. This paper summarizes the main policy conclusions of the three projects. Link


Time-dependent LCA methodology of bioenergy from a landscape perspective approach

Assessing the climate impact of bioenergy systems involves methodological choices that may influence the result. In this paper, different types of spatial scales (stand, theoretical landscape and real landscape) were used for assessing the time-dependent climate impact of bioenergy from short-rotation coppice willow and stumps harvested from conventional forests in Sweden. The result showed that the spatial scale has importance for the climate impact, especially for long-rotation forestry. However, the climate impact over time of both types of bioenergy systems was lower than the impact of coal, independently of the spatial scale used. Link


LCSA of an algae-based biorefinery: economic, environmental, and social aspects

The project FUEL4ME applied a life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) which provided scientific indicators for environmental and social aspects of an algae-based biorefinery. Climate change impacts usually focus only on the chemical contribution (i.e. greenhouse gases) but within FUEL4ME biophysical climate impacts due to albedo change were included in the assessment of the global warming potential. Link


5. Bioenergy integration into energy systems


Innovative pathways for high-value products from biogenic CO2 (synthetic fuels, upgraded biogas, chemicals etc)

The integrated utilisation of biogenic CO2 is a promising way to produce sustainable raw materials and fuels. CO2 capture and utilisation (CCU) enables sustainable routes for carbon-based products. This paper describes feasible utilisation pathways for biogenic CO2 in Finnish biomass driven industry sectors. Operational costs and incomes as well as profitability indicators are presented for each biogenic CO2 utilisation pathways. Link

An optimized GIS model to design a Bio-SNG production system (gasification and methanation) for Ireland

This work presents a geographical information system (GIS) based optimization model for the design of bio-SNG production system. The GIS-model performs a network analysis, analyses the economic performance and provides the near-optimal configuration which minimizes the levelized cost of the energy produced. Link


6. Workshop – Bioenergy from Research to Market Deployment

bridging the gap between research, demo and industry and strengthening market uptake of bioenergy technologies, 14th June 2017, Stockholm

On 14th June 2017, 50 stakeholders from research, industry and governmental organizations participated in a workshop entitled “Bioenergy – from research to market deployment in a European context” that was jointly organized by partners from the Biomass Sustaining the Future (BESTF) Consortium, ERA-Net Bioenergy and ETIP Bioenergy. This workshop was organized as a side event at the European Biomass Conference (EUBCE) in Stockholm and focused on how to bridge the gap between research, demonstration projects and industry. The morning session focused on the results and main highlights of the BESTF projects (, followed by a selection of the ERA-Net Bioenergy projects ( covering a broad spectrum of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). The project coordinators gave presentations which were followed by a lively discussion with all the speakers.

During the afternoon session BESTF and ERA-Net Bioenergy joined with members of ETIP Bioenergy, the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Bioenergy Joint Program, and the European Technology and Innovation Platform Renewable Heating and Cooling (ETIP RHC) to host an interactive session about how to strengthen the market uptake of advanced biofuels and bioenergy under the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) Key Action 8 (Renewable fuels and bioenergy). After four introductory presentations, all speakers were invited to participate in a panel discussion focusing on how to bridge the gap from research to demo and industry and analyzing potential R&D&I priorities. It was further discussed how the relation between national and EU funding evolves. Two members of the ETIP Bioenergy Advisory Board, Patricia Thornley from the UK SUPERGEN Program and Jonas Lindmark from Energimyndigheten (SE), joined the panelists and presented their positions. The panel discussion was moderated by Kees Kwant (RVO, the Netherlands).

The presentations and the panel discussion were a good occasion, not only to gather experts from different networks and institutions, but also to learn from one another and to explore ways how to cooperate more effectively. The workshop and the active discussions were a great opportunity to discuss with a wide audience of experts from research, business and governmental institutions on how to shape the future of bioenergy.

All the slides of the workshop can be freely downloaded from the Proceedings of the 25th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, in the section: Additional Content/Parallel Events.


Videos of the workshop are available here: