Biomass

Congress ‘Eco Innovations from Biomass’

We would like to inform you about the congress “Eco Innovations from Biomass” in Papenburg, Germany, from 28 to 29 June 2017. As main topics of the congress, the prospects of bioeconomy and the relevance of biomass in the national and international context will be discussed. Furthermore, regional strategies for action, good practice bottom-up concepts and latest knowledge of research centers and industry concerning bio refining and Biobased products will be presented.

On the evening of 29 June, the 6th Lower Saxony Algae Round Table will take place. A separated registration is required.

The Programme can be found here.

We are looking forward to meeting you at the Eco Innovation Congress!

Exchange of knowledge

The aim of the congress is to provide an international platform for the exchange of knowledge about the bio-economy in the non-food sector and to discuss strategies for an efficient material utilization and energy recovery from biomass and residues according to the concept of a closed substance cycle. Presentations will be made on successful bottom-up concepts and current findings from research and practice concerning new green routes, biomaterials, biorefining, procedures for recovering nutrients and algae production as well as paludicultures. Companies will present »eco-innovative« product developments.

Companies, knowledge and research institutes are kindly invited to submit posters or to participate as exhibitors.

Essential role for biomass

In order to achieve the global and national climate protection targets by 2050 special efforts are required by all sectors of the economy. Sustainable and eco-friendly products and procedures on the basis of biomass and residues play an essential role in this context. The bio-economy in the non-food sector promotes these innovative developments since they provide remarkable opportunities for companies of different industries, such as new products and services but also new customers and markets. In addition to the presentations there will be poster exhibitions and opportunities for networking with different discussion forums.

Organised by…

The congress is organised by 3N Kompetenzzentrum Niedersachsen Netzwerk Nachwachsende Rohstoffe und Bioökonomie e.V. in cooperation with the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture.

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Biomass costs lower than fossil energy, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says

Biomass costs would be lower than those of most fossil energy sources in most countries of the world. A recent IRENA report reveals how technologies are reaching grid parity.

The cost-competitiveness of renewable power generation technologies has reached historic levels. Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all now provide electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation.

LCOEs (levelised cost of electricity) of the more mature renewable power generation technologies – biomass for power, geothermal and hydropower – have been broadly stable since 2010. However, where untapped, economic resources remain, these mature technologies can provide some of the cheapest electricity of any source.

Regional, weighted average costs of electricity from biomass for power, geothermal, hydropower and onshore wind are all now in the range, or even span a lower range, than estimated fossil fuel-fired electricity generation costs. Because of striking LCOE reductions, solar PV costs also increasingly fall within that range.

Source: bioenergycrops.com

 

Hempcrete: How industrial hemp is making construction greener

In the construction industry, everything is starting to look a little greener – the windows, the lights, the plumbing, and the heating and cooling systems. So it should come as no surprise that engineers have been dabbling in a more eco-friendly version of insulation too. It’s commonly known as hempcrete, and it’s changing the way our buildings retain temperature and conserve energy.

What is Hempcrete?

Hempcrete is an insulation alternative that mixes industrial hemp fibers and binders that resemble concrete to serve as the protective envelope inside a building. It is a mix of hemp hurds and lime, but possibly also contains natural sand, pozzolans, and cement. Hemp is a key crop in Manitoba, and it is most commonly used there to produce oil and seed. Hemp is also commonly used to make fabric and paper.

Building experts have developed a method for mixing the leftover wood core with water and binders to form hempcrete. In recent years, hempcrete has been catching on as a building material in Europe, where hempcrete buildings stand ten stories tall. Today, it is also marketed under the names Canobiote, Isochanvre, and Canosmose.

How Hempcrete Works

The industrial hemp core has a high silica content, allowing it to bind well with lime. This material is lightweight – about a seventh of the weight of actual concrete. Not only can hempcrete be used in the structure of buildings, but it also acts as insulating infill between frames. Loads are carried by internal wood stud framing, making it a popular option for low-rise construction.

Environmental Benefits of Hempcrete

Many eco-friendly builders praise hemp as a material because it’s a fast-growing crop and it can grow well in both tropical and temperate climates. It’s also considered to be an eco-friendly crop because it absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows. Hempcrete is considered to be a more eco-friendly material than traditional insulation, which is made of hydrofluorocarbons and can actually produce potent greenhouse gases.

Construction Benefits of Hempcrete

Based on research findings, hempcrete has the ability to manage moisture inside walls and store heat energy.

“Hempcrete is used as an environmental barrier for providing resistance to heat transfer and managing moisture of the building envelope,” said Kris J. Dick, an associate professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and director of Alternative Village, its construction research facility. “Engineers and architectural designers practicing in the field of nonconventional material applications have clearly indicated a need for more design data regarding hempcrete.”

Hempcrete Testing

To test the durability and longevity of hempcrete in modern buildings, engineers have developed testing methods to evaluate its safety and efficiency. Alternative Village’s Kris J. Dick conducted research within a 23.8-square meter to compare hempcrete to traditional insulation in terms of energy, thermal and moisture performance. The results of his study indicated that the hempcrete provided a stable temperature inside the wall and that temperatures were consistent throughout the wall.

To broaden its mass appeal in the industry, however, more development and testing are needed to improve hempcrete’s structural strength. Experts are also beginning to consider other hemp-like natural materials that could be utilized for alternative insulation purposes as well.

Source: VIATechnik, LLC (via Linkedin)

More on biobased materials



EU lawmakers back 6% cap on food-based biofuels

The European Parliament’s environment committee on Tuesday 24 February 2015 backed a new limit on traditional biofuels made from food crops that critics say stoke inflation and do more harm than good to the environment.

Those seeking to promote a new generation of advanced biofuels made from seaweed and waste welcomed Tuesday’s vote.

But those who have invested in biofuels made from crops such as maize or rapeseed say it puts jobs at risk.

Current legislation requires EU member states to ensure that renewable sources account for at least 10% of energy in transport by 2020.

The European Parliament’s environment committee on Tuesday agreed that biofuel from food crops should not exceed 6% of final energy use in transport – a tougher limit than the 7% backed by member states last year.

It also agreed that negotiations between member states, the European Commission and the Parliament should start now on a legislative text, rather than waiting for a plenary parliamentary vote.

Thomas Nagy, executive vice-president at Novozymes , the world’s leading supplier of enzymes for the production of conventional and advanced ethanol, said Tuesday’s decision was long overdue and should help to spur necessary investment in the right kind of biofuels.

“A stable and effective framework is the only way forward to secure commercial deployment,” he said.

But ePURE, the European Renewable Ethanol Association, called on member states “to remain firm on a minimum 7% cap for conventional biofuels”.

Apart from the impact on food prices, using farmland to produce biofuels adds to pressure to free up land through deforestation, which can result in increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Green members of the European Parliament said Tuesday’s compromise deal meant changes in land use and the resulting emissions would be accounted for, although it said the proposals did not go far enough.

British liberal lawmaker Catherine Bearder also said the deal fell short, but would help to “combat deforestation, hunger and climate change”.

The European People’s Party, the main centre-right grouping in the European Parliament, regretted the outcome.

It said it could mean the failure of negotiations that still have to take place on a final legal text, protracting regulatory uncertainty that has already dragged on for years.

Source: euractiv.com

Shale gas boom creates impulse for bio based chemicals

Bio based chemicals are the unexpected beneficiaries of the North American shale gas boom, says a special report from IHS Inc., a leading global source of critical information and insight.

Sugars, glycerin and other plant-derived feedstocks are emerging as economically competitive starting materials for a range of commodity chemicals, in part, the report says, because of tight supplies of conventional feedstocks such as propylene, isobutylene, butadiene and isoprene.

The shortfall is due to the shale gas boom: North American ethylene producers have switched from petroleum-derived naphtha to lighter, natural gas-based feedstocks, reducing the output of valuable C3, C4, C5 and pygas co-products. These co-products, in turn, are the starting materials for a variety of chemical intermediates and polymers. Examples include synthetic rubber, an essential material for tire production, as well as nylon 6.6, used for fiber production and automotive parts, according to the IHS Chemical Special Report: Chemical Building Blocks from Renewables.

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