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Prospects for the Algae Biofuel Community presented at the 19th EU BC&E 2

  Prospects for the Algae Biofuel Community presented at the 19th EU BC&E Source: ETA - Florence Renewable Energies     0
Jun. 9, 2011 0.511.522.533.544.55 (0 votes)  

The 19th European Biomass Conference in Berlin acknowledged the rising interest in the potential of algae as energy crops by not only dedicating several sessions to the topic but also hosting as a parallel event the Workshop on Algae, dedicated to reviewing the technology status of algae and exploring deployment opportunities. The intense exchange of ideas during the day has highlighted the extensive research and development currently implemented in the EU on algae, and the high expectations they raise in the fuel sector. The workshop was co-chaired by the European Commission and Hart Energy.

Three large scale 10 hectare demonstration projects of algae as biofuel feedstocks were presented in the opening plenary session on 8 June. Funded under the 7th Framework programme, All Gas, InteSusAl and Biofat, have a total budget of €31 million with a European Commission grant of €21 million to carry out research and demonstration work during the next four years. A project from the Structural Funds Interreg IVB programme, EnAlgae was also presented with a budget of €14.5 million aiming to create a network of six pilot scale algae culture facilities across North West Europe.

During the Workshop on Algae, presentations addressed the most critical issues faced by the industry including reviewing the range of products which can be obtained from algae, the optimization of separation and extraction technologies and issues faced during deployment and scale up. The issues that were most highlighted during the day were the importance of the biorefinery concept applied to algae, which seeks to produce several types of components for different  market segments, such as fuel, animal feed and neutraceuticals. Participants emphasized the high value products that can be extracted from the algae to fuel process. Several speakers also offered suggestions on how to improve the economics of algae production pathways, ranging from scientific research to technology and process development steps.

Whether an algae derived fuel could be classified a biofuel or an alternative energy fuel due to the source of CO2 used for cultivation was discussed among the audience at the workshop. It was also emphasized algae fuel needs to benefit from policy incentives to grow the market, and one option is through double counting in the Renewable Energy Directive by including algae fuel as a second generation biofuel. In addition to these sessions the workshop also presented updates on seven European research initiatives linked to algae. The sustainability of algae was also a factor whose importance was stressed throughout the day and led to discussions about the best possible source of water and nutrients used for algae cultivation.

The three large scale EU funded projects on algae under the 7th Framework programme indicated that deployment could be achieved in the short to medium term. Considerations about production cost, Life Cycle Analysis, process optimization and ongoing fundamental research showed that further work is needed to achieve the full potential of algae as energy feedstocks and allow them to compete with fossil fuels.

Event Background of the EU BC&E
For over 30 years, the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (European BC&E) has combined a very renowned international Scientific Conference with an Industry Exhibition. Since 2007 the Conference and Exhibition takes place every year. The European BC&E is held at different venues throughout Europe and ranks on top of the world's leading events in the Biomass sector.

This event is supported by European and international organizations such as the European Commission, BMU the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Natural Sciences Sector, WCRE - the World Council for Renewable Energy, EUBIA - the European Biomass Industry Association, the German biomass energy use programme and other organizations. The Conference is co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety based on an act of the German Parliament in the framework of the National Climate Initiative.

The 19th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition is organised by WIP-Renewable Energies with the international support of ETA-Florence Renewable Energies and the scientific support of the European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre.



renewable energy, fossil fuels, biofuels, alternative energy, renewable energies, life cycle assessments, energy from biomass, energy crops, biorefinery, second generation biofuels, nature conservation, biofuels from algae, algae production, scientific conferences
Tue June 14 2011 05:08:00 PM by Tomcatino 1623 views
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