IEA Bioenergy Task 42: Biorefinery (working period 2007 - 2009)
Based on the European Directive on Biofuels and the Austrian fuel law new transportation fuels will be introduced on the market to substitute gasoline and diesel: e.g. 2008: 5.75% Biofuels, 2020: 10% biofuels, 2030: 25% biofuels. These new transportation fuels are biodiesel, bioethanol, synthetic biofuels and biohydrogen. On the medium to long term perspective these biofuels will be produced in biorefineries, which co-produce gaseous and liquid transportation biofuels with electricity, heat, chemicals or other high-value materials. Currently different biorefinery concepts are under development, where beside the technological development of the single processes (e.g. gasification of biomass) the optimal integration and combination of different bio- and thermo-chemical processes are analysed. The main objective is to analyse, with which raw materials, processes and technologies biofuels and chemicals will be coproduced in integrated biorefineries and which R&D activities are necessary for the realisation and implementation.
Austria participated in this IEA Bioenergy Task 42 “Biorefinery“ in the triennium 2007-2009, which was started in 2007 the first time. The main goals of the Austrian participation in the IEA Bioenergy Task 42 “Biorefinery“ were to exchange information and to initiate a national and international network on biorefineries. Currently nine countries and the EU are participating in the Task: NL, G, CA, DK, A, F, IR, I und AUS.
The Austria participation made contributions to the following topics and activities:
- Definition of biorefinery
A definition of a biorefinery was worked out in the Task, to which Austria brought in the aspect and motivation to establish biorefinery to produce high volumes of transportation biofuels: “Biorefinery is the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products”.
- Country Reports of the Task 42 members
Austria collected the specific data of the participating country, which were analysed and reported. The documentation is available on the web page of Task 42.
- Classification of biorefinery systems
A new classification method for biorefinery systems was developed in Austria, which was suggested to Task 42. After a discussion with the Task members this classification method was accepted by Task 42. With this classification method, which was also published together with Task 42 in autumn 2009 in “Biofpr - Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining“, it is possible to describe and classify all currently discussed biorefinery systems with platforms, products, feedstocks and processes.
- Brochure of Task 42
For the Task 42 brochure Austria developed the classification schemes for all the selected biorefinery systems. Additionally three Austrian biorefinery examples - existing or concepts - were described: „Green Biorefinery“ in Upper Austria, Lenzing AG und Hallein AG. The brochure is available on the Task web page.
- The Green Biorefinery
The Austrian experiences in the area of the “Green Biorefinery“ were introduced into the Task's activities and discussed, e.g. economic aspects, market relevance, Influences on rural development.
- Environmental aspects of biorefinery systems
The Austrian contribution to the environmental aspects of biorefinery systems was the development of a methodology for the environmental assessment, which was developed in Austria and presented and discussed in the Task. This methodology for the comparison of biorefinery systems to conventional systems was applied to case studies and an Austrian case study of producing bioethanol and phenols from wood was analysed in details to evaluate the greenhouse gas effects and the cumulated primary energy consumption on a life cycle bases. This method can be applied to different environmental effects (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions, fossil energy consumption) but also to other aspects of sustainability (e.g. production costs, job creation).
- Biorefinery trainings courses
The Task 42 organised a training course “Adding Value to the Sustainable Utilisation of Biomass” on June 12, 2009 in Ghent with about 50 participants. In this course were six lectures, of which the following three were from Austria: “Definition & Classification”, “Green Biorefinery” und “Sustainability Assessment - LCA”.
To link the Austrian biorefinery activities and to start building up a stakeholder platform the workshop „Biorefinery - Austrian Activities and IEA Bioenergy Task 42” was organised on October 4, 2007 in Vienna together with the Task 42. About 40 Austrian stakeholders participated. With these stakeholders the “Austrian Team” was formed, which is included in the information exchange of the Task. Task 42 was presented in two workshops of Task 38 and Task 39 to spread the information of Task 42 and to link the activities with the other IEA Tasks in Austria.