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    BABET-REAL5 end of project meeting in Pau and Mourenx, France

    Pau Pic du midi dOssau Pyrenees from Pau

    From 29 to 31 January 2020, the BABET-REAL5 consortium met for the last time in the South-West of France to discuss the final results achieved during the project, and the conclusions and perspectives for the business cases evaluated in five different countries: Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, France and Germany. The results were discussed also with invited international experts from the project’s USAB, the advisory board. On 31 January, the project meeting culminated with the last workshop, in which the French business case was presented to and discussed with local and national stakeholders from the agriculture and biofuel sectors.
    The first day, 29 January, started with introductory words by BABET-REAL5 project coordinator Julio Valles, who informed about the programme for the coming days and gave then floor to the final presentations of the work packages.

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    Julio Valles, starting the last BABET-REAL5 project meeting

    The beginning was made with the final results from work package 1, about yeast strain developments (by Cesar Fonseca, AAU), about the extrusion results for eucalyptus forest residues (by Pablo Domenech, CIEMAT), and about the results achieved with the Mexican biomass, Blue Agave Bagasse (blue agave is the plant from which Tequila is made, presented by Carmina Montiel, UNAM). Then, the performances of the different biomasses in the pilot plant in Tarbes were presented (by Virginie Vandenbossche, INPT and by Arnaud Fougerouse, INSA), and it was stated that the project aim to reach TRL5 was fulfilled.
    After the results about pretreatment and processing of the biomasses, the results about the biomethane potentials (BMP) of the process’ by-products were presented by Sylvaine Berger-Ruiz from Solagro. It could be shown that the BMP of pretreated residues is considerably better than the one of non-treated residues, so that the successive use of the by-products in anaerobic digestion can be considered as very promising.
    The next presentation block focused then on the business case studies, which were carried out by investigating real value parameters and by simulating the technological concept to a plant size with an annual capacity of 30,000 t equivalent dry matter. The cases were carried out for Mexico (presented by Julio Valles, INPT), Germany (Ingo Ball, WIP), Argentina (Jorge Hilbert, INTA) and Uruguay (Cecilia Rachid) and included all Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), which were carried out by APYGEC for the European case studies and by Centro Mario Molina for the Latin American cases. After intensive discussion, the first day was finished after the presentation for Uruguay.

    The second day, 30 January 2020, started with administrative information, provided by project coordinator Julio Valles, regarding reporting and final work to be done to officially finish the project. After that, the business case presentations were resumed with the French case study (by Anne-Marie Busuttil, Ovalie). The project meeting was concluded with the presentation of an explanatory video about the pilot plant in Tarbes, France, where the technological concept of the BABET-REAL5 project was implemented.
    In the afternoon of the second day, the project consortium met with the advisory board. After presenting the technological concept in detail, the business cases were presented and discussed. The external perspective of the USAB was very useful during the whole project duration and provided also in the last meeting valuable input.

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    The USAB (advisory board) meeting in Pau

    On 31 January 2020, the third day of the project meeting, the 4th BABET-REAL5 workshop was held during the morning in the Council Chamber of the urban community of Lacq-Ortez in Mourenx.

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    Shortly before the workshop in Mourenx

    In this workshop, the technological approach and the adaptation of the technology to a French business case was shown to the participants. Then, the status quo of 2G bioethanol generation in Europe was presented and showed that a lot more needs to be done in Europe to meet the own-set objectives. After that, the perspectives of French ADEME on advanced biofuels were presented and also the perspectives and projects on biofuels of the company Total France. The workshop was concluded with a panel discussion on the future for advanced biofuels.

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    The panel discussion, Francisco Gírio (LNEG, Portugal, third from right) speaking

    BABET-REAL5 progress meeting in Buenos Aires

    The BABET-REAL5 partners met this time from 23-25 September 2019 for the sixth progress review meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After already two workshops (in Germany and Uruguay), in Buenos Aires also the 3rd BABET-REAL5 Workshop and a meeting with the Latin American USAB members were organized on 25 September. The meeting was excellently prepared by the Argentinean project partner INTA.
    Before the meeting started on 23 September, Daniel Grasso, Eleonora Campos and Jorge Hilbert, who all work for INTA and are involved in different work packages of BABET-REAL5, welcomed the consortium and gave some information about the stay in Buenos Aires.
    Then, BABET-REAL5 project coordinator Julio Valles resumed the meeting agenda and gave an overview about the work plan, an update about the project status quo and the last tasks to be completed before the project end.
    Following, updates about the pretreatment and bioconversion processes were given by the partners involved in wp1. A major step that could be achieved was the commissioning of the connection conveyor for pilot scale experiments at INPT in Tarbes. With this, the one reactor concept can be further studied. Next, the results of wp2, the biogas potentials of the ethanol process‘ by-products were presented for each investigated feedstock.

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    Concentrated atmosphere during the project meeting

    After that, Julio Valles introduced the business case model to the consortium, to be used for all case studies. Then, the present results for Germany, Argentina, France and Uruguay were presented by the project partners who are involved in the investigation of the business case studies in wp5. It seems that in all target countries realistic chances for the realisation of the BABET-REAL5 concept exist.
    At the end of the first day, an update about the communication and dissemination activities was given to the consortium by Ingo Ball. Highlights were the second workshop in Uruguay in June 2019 and the special EU-publication about the intercontinental cooperation between the Mexican university UNAM and the French university INPT. Finally, administrative matters were presented by Julio Valles.

    On the second day of the meeting, the wp presentations continued with the techno-economical evaluation (wp3 – wp5) for Argentina, Germany and Mexico. The evaluation is based on the input of the real parameter investigations in wp5 and will thus guarantee that realistic results are the output. After that, the LCA methodology was presented to the consortium and the first results for the German and the Argentinean case were shown and discussed.
    The rest of the day was used for a detailed presentation of the business case tool that will be used for all case studies.
    The second day ended with the elaboration of the roadmap for the time until the final meeting. This meeting will be organized by project partner INPT and will be held in January 2020 probably in the South West of France.

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    The BABET-REAL5 consortium in a meeting break, close to the headquarters of INTA in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    On day three, after the 3rd BABET-REAL5 workshop, the BABET-REAL5 consortium had a meeting with the Latin American USAB composed of international experts in the different research fields of the BABET-REAL5 project. Julio Valles presented the latest project achievements and also the business case approach. The discussions about different details were interesting for all project partners and showed amongst others that the framework conditions for the case studies in Europe and Latin America differ widely (in terms of economical parameters, distances for transportation of goods and market opportunities for the products).

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    Meeting with the USAB members in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    2nd BABET-REAL5 workshop

    New Technology and Strategy for a Large and Sustainable Deployment of 2G Biofuel in Rural Areas

    27 June 2019 in Las Brujas, Uruguay

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     Participants of the 2nd BABET-REAL5 workshop following the programme

    Workshop Background
    The project BABETREAL involves 16 members from 8 countries and is funded by the European Union (H2020). The aim is to develop an alternative solution for the production of second generation ethanol based on smaller industrial scale. One of the partners is the National Institute for Agricultural Research in Uruguay (INIA). And Uruguay participate also as a case study of the project, analyzing wood material from Eucalyptus as lignocellulosic biomass.

    The 2nd BABET-REAL5 workshop took place in Uruguay, and was organized by the National Institute for Agricultural Research in Uruguay (INIA) on 27th June in INIA Las Brujas (near Montevideo) and simultaneously in INIA Tacuarembó (by video conference) and was attended by 77 participants.

    The first part of the workshop included 8 presentations about general aspects of the project, technical advances, the case study for Uruguay on viability and supply of biomass, biomethane use in Brazil, CO2 use in Uruguay and other alternatives beyond bioethanol:

    Presentation of the Project BABET-REAL5 – Julio Valles.

    Project coordinator Julio Valles (INPT) attended the workshop from France via video conference

    Economical analysis of a pilot plant – Julio Valles.

    Results of BABET-REAL5 for Uruguay: Biomass availability and costs –Fernando Resquin.
    Fernando Resquin (INIA) at the 2nd BABET-REAL5 workshop

    Results of BABET-REAL5 for Uruguay: case study North region – Cecilia Rachid.
    Cecilia Rachid presenting at the 2nd BABET-REAL5 workshop

    Results of BABET-REAL5 for Argentina: a summary - Jorge Hilbert.

    Biomethane as vehicular fuel in Brazil - Marcela Rezende.

    Ethanol and other biorefinery products from Eucalyptus biomass in Uruguay – Daniel Ferrari.

    CO2 uses in Uruguay - Fiorella Montesdeoca.


    During the whole-day event, which had a broad participation of technicians and students, the BABET-REAL5 project was presented and discussed with many details about it, where the National Institute for Agricultural Research participates as the Uruguayan counterpart. The concept to develop technologies for a smaller industrial scale than the plants developed for first generation biofuels, has aroused much interest. Also, the intended use of the extruder for a continuous production flow took the attention of the audience.
    Within the advances presented by the project, the results achieved at a global level were known, focusing on Uruguay, the only case in the consortium, that use wood as biomass. On the other hand, Abiogas of Brazil shared its experience in relation to the production of biomethane for vehicular use. This country has an increasing development on this matter and include the deployment of pipelines. Considering the process used in BABET-REAL5 and the important amount of biomethane to be produced, Brazil could be an example and also a partner in the near future. The team of the Institute of Chemistry of the Faculty of Engineering gave in their presentation an overview on different technical aspects to take into consideration by the production of ethanol and biorefineries using woody biomasses, speaking about the pros and contras of such concepts.
    Because the process used in BABET-REAL5 generates CO2, one of the most important companies of the Region, Praxair/Linde, was contacted to present the alternatives for the use of CO2 in Uruguay. The researchers of INIA involved in the project, collected a lot of questions and additional information to be included in the last analysis to fulfill the project milestones.

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    Panel discussion after the presentations

    At the end of the seminar, there was a closing panel composed of the president of ANCAP (The National Agency for Fuel, Alcohol and Cement), the vice minister of MIEM (Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining) and the General Director of the National Forest Service of the MGAP (Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fishery). The authorities agreed that biofuels are a topic that represents great challenges and opportunities for Uruguay and that involves several actors at different levels; for example, of the forestry value chain. The role played by INIA in the research of this issue and the importance of generating more local knowledge in relation to the subject was assessed. In the same way it was appreciated a lot that BABET-REAL5 takes into account as good as possible a realistic implementation.
    After the open seminar, INIA asked the USAB Members and a few referents to discuss in an internal meeting the possible ways and prices to commercialize CO2, Biomethane and Bioetanol, that will be inputs for the final evaluation of a commercial-scale prototype plant. In general, the absence of an active and diversified markets for those products, restricts to use “theoretical values”. For CO2 it was possible to get a more realistic value. For Bioethanol, in Uruguay it depends on ANCAP. The case of biomethane was more complicated and the recommendations were to find an internal use in the industrial process.

    A survey of the workshop quality revealed that approximately 50% of the audience found it “good” and the other 50% “very good”.

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    Participants from INIA Tacuarembo following via video conference

    BABET-REAL5 presented in Uruguay

    BABET-REAL5 presented in Uruguay

    On 15 May 2019, Cecilia Rachid and Leonidas Carrasco participated at the Biometrans workshop which was organized by the Biometrans Project, which is dedicated to the use of biomethane as fuel for cars. The event was organized at Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Pando in Canelones, Uruguay.

    INIA Biometrans 

    Leonidas Carrasco and Cecilia Rachid in front of their poster at the Biometrans workshop

    Cecilia Rachid and Leonidas Carrasco presented the results for Uruguay which include the production of bioethanol and biomethane, that shall be used in the national market.
    They also presented the whole project structure of BABET-REAL5, the different working groups and the challenges that were already identified in Uruguay, which include the costs for the operating materials (i.e. chemicals) and a distribution market for the products.

    Click to enlarge.

    Poster INIA

    Dynamic strategies of hemicellulases production presented in Toulouse by URCA (Reims University)

    During 19 and 22 May 2019, Corinne Ivaldi from project partner URCA (France) presented results about dynamic strategies of hemicellulases production for an efficient lignocellulosic biomass fractionation at CBM13 (Carbohydrate Bioengineering Meeting) in Toulouse, France.

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    Corinne Ivaldi in front of the poster presented at CBM13

    Lignocellulosic substrates are recalcitrant to enzymatic hydrolysis. Numerous factors such as the presence of hemicelluloses and lignins are known to be responsible of the biomass recalcitrance to fractionation. These later ones are known to impede the access of cellulases to the cellulose part (development of 2G ethanol) by forming physical barriers. A physicochemical pretreatment is thus necessary to improve enzymes efficiency. One challenge for biorefineries is to develop enzymatic processes for hydrolysis of hemicelluloses to improve 1) the access of cellulases to cellulose and 2) the obtention of the constitutive molecules (pentoses, phenolic compounds) from these polymers. A thermophilic and hemicellulolytic bacterium (Thermobacillus xylanilyticus) was able to produce thermostable and hemicellulasic cocktails performant for the deconstruction of different lignocellulosic biomasses. Analyses of the genome (4Mbp representing 3900 genes predicted) allowed identifying high lignocellulolytic potential with 162 CAZYmes encoding genes that could play a role in the lignocellulose biotransformation.

    The aim of this study is to understand enzymatic strategies employed by the bacterium for efficient hemicelluloses fractionation. Do the lignocellulosic substrates induce a specific or similar enzymatic strategies production according to their compositions?
    For this, we studied the behavior of the bacterium while growing on several substrates with contrasted chemicals and architectures (wheat bran, wheat straw, sweet corncob, barley straw pretreated or not) as well as purified hemicellulose (xylan). Multiple approaches combining growth on the various substrates, hemicellulasic activities productions and proteomic analyses of the intracellular and extracellular proteins, were performed to identify and quantify the expression level of hemicellulases produced by the bacterium. The effect of the enzymes produced during growth on the substrates were also assessed.


    Four times BABET-REAL5 at EUBCE 2019

    At EUBCE 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal, between 27 and 30 May 2019, altogether four presentations were given by colleagues who are working together to realize the new BABET-REAL5 2G bioethanol production concept that shall be sustainable, economic viable and create jobs in rural regions. Susana Marques (LNEG), Aleta Duque (CIEMAT), Carmina Montiel (UNAM) and Ingo Ball (WIP Renewable Energies) presented results from their work carried out until the time of the conference.

    On 28 May 2019, two oral presentations about BABET-REAL5 were given by Dr. Susana Marques from LNEG (Portugal) and by Dr. Aleta Duque from CIEMAT (Spain).

    On-Site Production of Xylanases by Moesziomyces Aphidis Using Barley Straw as Feedstock Towards Lignocellulosic Ethanol

    Dr. Susana Marques after presenting results from BABET-REAL5

    In her presentation, Dr. Susana Marques revealed results of the work carried out in frame of BABET-REAL5 targeting the on-site production of novel xylanases to be applied for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into ethanol.
    The importance of this study lies in the fact that enzymes cost still constitutes one of the major barriers for the commercial implementation of lignocellulosic ethanol. Therefore, search for more efficient and cost-effective enzymes is required. While efficient commercial cellulases are available, the different hemicelluloses found in nature require the development of feedstock-specific hemicellulases.
    Under this strategy, Susana Marques presented the study carried out using barley straw as feedstock and Moesziomyces aphidis, yeast previously reported as efficient producer of cellulase-free xylanases. Firstly, she showed the extracellular production of high levels of xylanase activities by M. aphidis using barley straw pre-treated through mild alkaline extrusion by partner CIEMAT. Thereafter, the performance of the enzymatic crude extract produced was assessed in the hydrolysis of the same pre-treated BS substrate under high solids loadings (up to 25% (w/v)). The presented results demonstrated the successful application of those novel xylanases to boost the conversion of BS, applied in supplementation of commercial cellulases or alone for promoting the selective pre-hydrolysis of xylan that might favor the co-fermentation of xylose and glucose in the subsequent SSF (Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation) step.
    In sum, this presentation demonstrated the on-site production of efficient and cost-effective xylanases providing an attractive integrated solution for the conversion of lignocellulosic feedstock, which might lead to lower operational costs in 2G bioethanol plants.


    Alkaline Extrusion as a Versatile Method for the Pretreatment of Different Lignocellulosic Biomasses

    Dr. Aleta Duque presenting at EUBCE 2019

    Dr. Aleta Duque, from CIEMAT, gave an oral presentation about “Alkaline Extrusion as a Versatile Method for the Pretreatment of Different Lignocellulosic Biomasses”, giving insights in the research on best pretreatment conditions for the BABET-REAL5 concept. For this presentation, four lignocellulosic biomasses (barley straw, wheat straw, eucalyptus wood and olive stones) were submitted to extrusion with NaOH followed by neutralization with H2SO4. The performance of the pretreatment in terms of process variables and effect on the enzymatic digestibility of the extrudates was studied. Adaptations of the extrusion configuration including modifications of the alkali load and temperature were made to improve the results on the most recalcitrant biomasses. Aleta Duque showed, that barley straw was the easiest biomass to extrude and low alkali ratios and moderate temperature are enough to achieve a good hydrolysis yield of both glucan and xylan. Wheat straw, although far from the optimum conditions, was also quite susceptible to the action of the pretreatment, confirming the better suitability of extrusion to herbaceous type biomasses. Thus, it was concluded that straw was a better substrate for alkaline extrusion, whereas eucalyptus wood and olive stones were harsher to pretreat.


    On 29 May 2019, one oral and one visual presentation were given by Ingo Ball from WIP Renewable Energies (Germany) and by Dr. Carmina Montiel from UNAM (Mexico).

    The BABET-REAL 5 Project – Preparing the implementation of a second generation (2G) bioethanol plant in Bavaria

    Ingo Ball from WIP Renewable Energies presented an update about the business case in Germany

    In his presentation “The BABET-REAL 5 Project – Preparing the implementation of a second generation (2G) bioethanol plant in Bavaria”, Ingo Ball gave an update about the business case study for Bavaria. He showed that in Lower Bavaria, around the city of Landshut, enough residual feedstock is available for the small-scale (minimum threshold: 30,000 tdm/year) production of second-generation bioethanol without having a negative impact on the agricultural lands (i.e. soil carbon). More than 120,000 t of wheat straw would be available for the BABET-REAL5 concept if the economic conditions are viable. Further aspects (e.g. availability of operating materials) need to be considered to find the most suited location and ensure sustainable feedstock production for the bioethanol production plant. Ingo Ball showed therefore the results for the framework conditions in the centre of the target area, including skilled workforce, logistics (traffic connection), exportation possibilities (bioethanol, biomethane) and importation possibilities (electricity, natural gas, operating materials, water). He revealed that the framework conditions for a potential plant were good enough also in a rural region like the investigated one and presented Neufahrn (Niederbayern) as potential site. He then showed that for the provided biomass at plant gate one needs to calculate with a price range of 75 to 106 € per ton dry matter. This is a realistic prize for Germany and may be a challenge to make the concept economic viable. Therefore, a focus must be laid on the valorization of occurring byproducts. It was also found out during the investigation, that in Bavaria, the farmers’ confidence in political decisions has been destroyed with first supporting national biofuels and thus stimulating investments, and then taking down the subventions and bringing an end to many local businesses. This confidence must be restored again to improve the probability for farmers’ involvement as feedstock supplier. Another finding was, that in the target region in Lower Bavaria, only one company is specialized on straw logistics. Thus, it needs to be found out whether this service can be provided also in the future, and if there are chances to get more agricultural companies involved in this business.


    Improvement in extrusion and enzymatic hydrolysis of blue bagasse agave for bioethanol production

    Dr. Carmina Montiel during her presentation at EUBCE 2019

    In her presentation, Dr. Carmina Montiel started with information about the feedstock used in Mexico. It comes from residues of the Tequila industry, after fermenting fructans of Agave tequilana var. weber, better known as Agave Azul. That process produces more than 300,000 ton of a semisolid residue known as blue agave bagasse (BAB). With a BAB composition, on a dry weight basis, is 47% cellulose, 17% hemicellulose, and 18.4% lignin, BABis a potential candidate for its bioconversion to ethanol. In her presentation, Carmina Montiel informed about enhancements in the chemo-mechanical extrusion of BAB to improve not only cellulose but also hemicellulose availabilities for enzyme hydrolysis.
    She mentioned in addition, that fine-tuning of enzyme reaction conditions were assayed in order to increase the concentration of fermentable sugars. A recombinant yeast, able to ferment both glucose and xylose, was employed.
    Concluding, she revealed that the highest yield of hydrolysis using Cellic Ctec2 was obtained at 150 °C and 3.75 % w/w NaOH, glucose and xylose produced by enzymatic reaction were fermented by Cellux 4 to reach more than 80% of ethanol yield after 96h. In order to increase the xylose production a pre-selective hydrolysis was done using NS-22002 hemicellulose at different doses with 1 FPU. Once xylose accumulation is reached in just 48 h, addition of 9 FPU of cellulase brings a rapid conversion to glucose after additional 48 h. Finally, this strategy was applied to a fed-batch reactor and the maximum consistency reached was 40% (w/v). However, rates of hydrolysis and ethanol production are reduced when consistency increases to 40%.


    All four presentation showed the progresses of the BABET-REAL5 Project and displayed the detailed approach in which the investigation on the new concept is carried out.



    BABET-REAL5 presented at RRB in Toulouse

    BABET-REAL5 presented at RRB in Toulouse

    On 4 June 2019, Gérard Vilarem presented the BABET-REAL5 project at the 15th International Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries (RRB-15) in Toulouse.

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    Gérard Vilarem speaking at RRB-15 in Toulouse

    He started his talk with an overview about the institutions in which the idea of the BABET-REAL5 project was developed, at INP ENIT in Tarbes and at INP-ENSCIACET in Toulouse. He then showed the scientific research groups who are involved. He also gave some information about the predecessor project of BABET-REAL5, Babethanol, which was formed due to the excellent partnership between the Laboratory of Agro-industrial Chemistry in Toulouse and UNAM, the University of Mexico in Mexico City.
    Then he informed about the general objectives of BABET-REAL5, which are to achieve favourable techno-economic and environmental performances for the production of 2G ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass in small-scale industrial plants, to identify lignocellulosic feedstock with sustainable and reliable supply conditions for the evaluation of business cases in Latin America and Europe. Furthermore, all necessary data for the evaluation of business cases will be provided in the project.
    After mentioning the zero waste objective for the process, Gérard Vilarem gave more information about the pretreatment, which is the biomass destructuration and enzymatic impregnation / pre-hy drolysis in one reactor. In the same reactor, the next step is carried out, the Simultaneous Saccharification Co-Fermentation (SSCF), in which the bioethanol is produced. The resulting vinasse is then used to produce biogas which can be further processed to biomethane.
    He continued his talk with an overview about the potential biomasses for different target regions, e.g. corn stover (France), barley straw (Spain), wheat straw (Germany), blue gave bagasse (Mexico), sugarcane crop residues (Argentina) and eucalyptus forest residues (Uruguay).
    The sustainable results for Germany, France, Argentina and Uruguay were presented in geo information system (GIS) maps and it could be shown that in all presented countries the minimum amount of 30,000 t dm (dry matter) biomass could be exceeded.

    After presenting some parameters of the techno-economic and environmental performances, Gérard Vilarem finished his presentation with an overview about the main challenges and obstacles that were identified in BABET-REAL5, which include price uncertainties (medium to long term) for products and feedstocks, and also the sustainability issues of the feedstock supply with regards to agronomical aspects (competitive uses, agronomic practices and willingness to supply feedstock) and also within the context of climate change (which has different effects in the investigated regions).


    Paolo Corvo: Clariant sunliquid: commercial readiness

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    Paolo Corvo (Clariant, Germany), after his presentation in Straubing

    The last presentation of the workshop was given by Paolo Corvo, who is Head of Sales & Marketing, BL Biofuels & Derivatives at Clariant. This presentation was about a technology that is already at the point where the BABET-REAL5 concept shall be one day. Mr. Corvo presented the sunliquid technology that is already on the market and commercially ready.
    Mr. Corvo started with the statement that agricultural by-products are an abundant and underutilized resource worldwide. He revealed then Clariant’s approach to develop the sunliquid technology which included that all processes were co-developed towards a fully integrated solution, including the enzyme production onsite the factory. The approach included also the use of commercially established and proven equipment to save costs and improve the economic performance of the concept. Mr. Corvo then presented in detail the process steps that occur in the concept and showed all the benefits that go along with the sunliquid technology like reduced CO2 emissions, energetic self-sufficient, green jobs, and more.
    Mr. Corvo went on showing the activities and taken steps that were needed form the start of the sunliquid concept, starting in 2012 with the pre-commercial plant in Straubing and going over performance runs until a first license deal in 2017 to the own investment in a cellulosic ethanol flagship plant in Romania in 2018, which will proceed 250,000 tons of straw per year to produce 50,000 t of bioethanol per year.
    He showed then an overview about the benefits of the Romanian plant which include international investment, an impact for the local economy and around 400 direct and indirect jobs for the operation of the plant.
    Mr. Corvo concluded his speech with the outlook for Europe that the implementation of RED II will drive the market demand for advanced biofuels like Clariant’s sunliquid. In the coming years, also China and India are expected to focus their legislation on 2 G biofuels and will then also be interesting markets to export Clariant’s sunliquid technology.

    Stefan Walter: Bioethanol-Market Data and Policy Framework post 2020

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    Stefan Walter (BDBe, Germany) gave insights about the German bioethanol market

    The next presentation was then given by Stefan Walter, who is Managing Director of the German Bioethanol Industry Association (BDBe) and was about Market Data and Policy Framework post 2020 for bioethanol. Beginning, Mr. Walter expressed that bioethanol is used in many other ways than only as biofuel. It is also used in the chemical industry, for cosmetics, for food, pharmaceuticals and of course also for alcoholic beverages. He then presented overviews about the emission situation in the German transport sector (which have increased in the last years), about the worldwide biofuel production (which comes in more than 80% either from the USA or from Brazil), the European production (France is the biggest producer leading ahead of Germany). Altogether, the European fuel bioethanol production amounted to 5.4 miliion litres in 2018. To classify this number, Mr. Walter informed the participants that 81 % of the European bioethanol production is used for fuels (10 % for the industry and 9 % for food an beverages). He emphasized also the use of the byproducts from the bioethanol production, which make out almost the same amount in tonnes like the ethanol and can be used as animal food, bio-fertilizers or for perfume and plastic production, the pharma industry or for biogas production. Mr. Walter then revealed more details about the German bioethanol production, showing which crops are mainly used in Germany (sugar beet and cereals), how much land is used for bioethanol production (0.32 million hectares from 11.8 million hectares of arable land, i.e. 2.8 %). The share of bioethanol in petrol was relatively stable in the last years, ranging from 6.0 to 6.3 %.
    Stefan Walter then gave information about the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and what the new RED II means for the bioethanol sector. Until 2030 the renewable energy share in the transport sector shall be increased form 10.0 % (RED I until 2020) to 14.0 %. The use of crop-based fuels is capped at 7 5. %, however for second generation fuels like straw or algae, in the RED II a minimum of 3.5 % is required. After showing the European situation in terms of realization of the RED, Mr. Walter focused in the end of his presentation on the implementation of the RED in Germany which lead to a reduced share in GHG-Quota (greenhouse gas quota) for crop-based biofuels, while at the same time the GHG-Quota caused a significant improvement in GHG emission savings of biofuels. The competition between domestic and foreign bioethanol production caused a market distortion in Germany. The German goal in the transport sector until 2030 are emission reductions by 40 to 42 % (compared to 1990), a limit of crop-based biofuels at 5.3 %, support for electro and gas mobility and public transport. Furthermore, efficient and affordable mobility and security for investments shall be enabled. The final targets will be specified in the coal exit commission and in the National Platform Future of Mobility.
    The BDBe demands for a more ambitious goal in germany than only the implementation of RED II. Instead of the RED II goal of 14 %, in Germany up to 16 % should be targeted. Instead of E5, a higher blend should be used in the cars. Already now, Super E10 can be used by more than 93 % of the passenger car fleet in Germany. To foster more biofuels in the market, carbon-tax für fuels, penalties for non-fulfilment and sub-quota for advanced biofuels should be implemented. EU-wide, the BDBe demands for the introduction of a GHG-Quota as well as for a standard for Super E20.


    Klaus Thuneke: Biofuels in daily operation

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    Klaus Thuneke (TFZ, Germany) spoke about long term experiences with biofuels

    Klaus Thuneke, who is deputy manager of the department for Biofuels, Biolubricants and Process Materials at Technology and Support Centre (TFZ) in the Centre of Excellence for Renewable Resources in Straubing informed the participants then about the experiences with biofuels in daily operation.
    He first showed the biofuel vehicle fleet that is used at TFZ and in related agricultural research stations. At TFZ, vehicles are used that run either with rapeseed oil (RO100, i.e. 100% rapeseed oil), biodiesel (B100, i.e. 100% biodiesel), biomethane (CNG – compressed natural gas) or E85 (gasoline containing 85% ethanol). Mr. Thuneke showed also the filling station onsite TFZ which became necessary as in Germany the supply net for biofuels (i.e. filling stations) almost disappeared for some biofuels, specially B100 and E85. In contrary, he could show that basically no technical problems occurred and also the handling and comfort was satisfying the users. Shifting biofuel taxation policies led to disappearing supply infrastructure of pure biofuels (less producers and less filling stations), which is one of the key problems in terms of more biofuel use in Germany.
    Klaus Thuneke explained then the test stand for tractors at TFZ on which emissions, power output and fuel consumption can be measured. Ha also showed a forestry harvester that runs on rapeseed oil fuel. Such environmentally friendly biofuel can be refilled in the forests and would prevent extra tours of the vehicles which otherwise need to get refilled outside the sensitive forest soils to avoid contamination. At TFZ, also the real emissions during operation are measured. For the real driving emissions of a FFV, run on E10 and E85 compared with E5 (i.e. the actual gasoline blend in Germany) he revealed that E85 always showed reduced emissions, meanwhile E10 only performed better under warm start conditions. Although the use of E85 showed reduced emissions between 32 to 43 % for CO, 18 to 39 % for NOx and 6 to 7 % for CO2, more real driving data of other ethanol-blends and other vehicles would be useful. He presented then results of a study about possible allocations of biofuels in the transport sectors, in which apart from climate protection, extra benefits can be used and specific problems in certain sectors can be addressed (i.e. non-contaminant biofuels in sensitive areas).
    Mr. Thuneke concluded with an overview on state and prospects of biofuels and mentioned in his outlook several aspects that might foster the use of biofuels in the future. For 2G bioethanol, like the BABET-REAL5 bioethanol, he identifies promising perspectives if acceptance for this biofuel can be gained, if raw materials are being rewarded fairly and if production technologies are being efficient.


    Francisco Gírio: Legal framework in the EU for biofuels

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    Francisco Gírio (LNEG, Portugal) spoke about the European legal framework for biofuels

    Francisco Gírio, principal researcher and Head of Bioenergy Department of LNEG in Portugal, continued the presentations and informed the participants about the legal frameworks for biofuels in the EU. The information came from an insider as Francisco Gírio was involved in the consulting process for the RED II.
    He started his talk with an actual overview on renewable energy sources in the transport sector, showing that only 5 % of the were added by biofuels and 1 % by electricity while the rest is still comprised of fossil fuels. He then remembered the workshop participants of the targets in the first steps towards more renewable energy sources for the transport (RE-T) sector, the Directive 2003/30/EC, which has set a non-binding target of 5.75 % of renewable energy for the transport sector for 2010. This first approach led to the market introduction of only the cheapest biofuels and did not distinguish between sustainability aspects of the biofuels.
    The following DIRECTIVE 2009/28/EC, the so-called RED, was published in 2009, setting a binding target of 10 % RE-T target for 2020. It included also sustainability criteria for biofuels, e.g. meaning that biofuels cannot came from land with high carbon-stock (peatland) or high biodiversity (primary forest). However, indirect impacts were not taken into account. The RED set also greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction criteria for biofuel production plants. Starting from existing plants that needed to reduce at least 35 % of GHG emissions compared with fossil fuels, the RED set the target to further reduce the emissions to at least 50 % from the beginning of 2017, to at least 60 % GHG reductions for new plants from 2018. The RED also established the double-counting for biofuels from wastes, residues, non-food cellulosic material, and lignocellulosic material to promote advanced biofuels (meaning that achieved reduction count double in the statistics). The realization of the RED led mainly to an enhanced use of UCO (used cooking oil) to produce biodiesel.
    The RED was complemented by the DIRECTIVE (EU) 2015/1513 – ILUC (indirect land use change), that was introduced in 2015 (running until the end of 2020) to address the issue of emissions of biofuels. It has set a 7 % cap on biofuels from starch-rich crops, sugars and oil crops and has newly defined biofuels and bioliquids with low ILUC risk. Besides to better define the rules for double-counting, advanced biofuels were associated with a 0.5 % non-binding target for 2020.
    Then, Francisco Gírio led over to the DIRECTIVE (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. The new RED II which covers all biomass energy uses (biofuel, heat and energy), also regulates that deforestation and forest degradation, and negative impacts on biodiversity and carbon stocks need to be avoided. Compared to fossil fuels, optimal GHG savings shall be delivered. Furthermore, the efficient conversion into electricity shall be promoted and also proportionality and cost-effectiveness shall be ensured by applying a risk-based approach for forest biomass and de minimis thresholds for bioheat and power plants. Under RED II for minimum 70 % GHG emission savings need to be achieved for renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO, i.e. liquid or gas fuels other than biofuels whose energy content comes from renewable energy sources other than biomass, and which are used in transport, like hydrogen via electrolysis using renewable electricity). Mr. Gírio also presented the extension of scope to new fuels in the RED II, the so-called Recycle Carbon Fuels (or RCF, i.e. fuels originated from fossil origin residues and waste streams like non-recyclable plastics or non-biogenic CO2).
    He went on with the definitions for biomass fuels, pointing out that “biofuels” in RED II only mean liquid fuels (from food and feed crops or UCO and animal fats) for transport, and then he also presented the new rules for accounting the food and feed crop biofuels. Further, he spoke about the issue of biofuels with low risk for indirect land change use, the list of eligible feedstocks and the rules how to account and promote these in the EU.
    Francisco Gírio concluded the comprehensive RED II overview, showing the obligation for fuel suppliers to achieve the target of 14 % for renewables in the transport sector in 2030 (starting from 10 % in 2020), and informing that the MS may distinguish between the types of biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels produced from food and feed crops considering the ILUC impact. To guarantee as much sustainability as possible, the amount of energy carriers from food and feed crops is almost frozen at the levels of 2020 (+1 %), and the amount of biofuels from high carbon stock land is completely frozen, starting to phase out from 2024 and reaching 0 % in 2030.


    Cord-Christian Gaus: Biogenic resources – willingness to sell

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    Cord-Christian Gaus during his presentation in Straubing

    The presentation about the framework conditions in Lower Bavaria was followed by the German Agricultural Economist Cord-Christian Gaus, who has investigated in detail the farmers’ willingness to sell straw under different conditions.
    Mr. Gaus first gave an overview about the representativeness of his studies and showed that the size division of investigated farms corresponded to the official size division in Bavaria. He then showed how the studied farms use the straw at the moment (63 % is left on the fields, 27 % used for livestock, 9 % goes on the market and 1 % is used in another way – e.g. to produce biogas). In Bavaria, more than 50 % of the marketable straw is wheat straw (52 %), followed by barley straw with 22 %. Almost half of the interviewed farmers (47 %) have no interest to participate in the supply chain, meaning that an agricultural service company needs to carry out the steps of baling, loading and transporting, storing and delivering. Only 29 % of the farmers could imagine transporting the straw at all. Up to a 30 km distance, 24 % of the 29% would be interested to transport the straw. Cord-Christian Gaus then gave an overview about the straw potentials in Bavaria and about the straw prices of the last years. Between 2004 and 2018, the price for a ton of bailed straw ranged between 36.00 € (2004) up to 92.20 € (2011). From 2013 to 2018, the price ranged between 62.50 €l 24 % (2016) to 64.70 € (2015). Mr. Gaus showed also that all over Bavaria, a willingness exists to sell 24 % of the total grain straw (i.e. 1.36 mio t) at a price of 107 €/t. The regions with the highest willingness to sell straw are Würzburg, Donau-Ries, Neuburg-Schrobenhausen, Eichstätt, Landshut, Regensburg and Straubing-Bogen. It was interesting to see that with the identified high-potential straw provider districts Landshut, Regensburg and Straubing-Bogen, the same districts were selected for the further investigation of the BABET-REAL5 case study.
    Mr. Gaus revealed then the many factors that have an influence on the final willingness, starting from family over price over innovativeness over soil conservation aspects to risks like trust and risk of straw harvest, which all play a role before the decision to sell straw is finally taken. In the investigation of Mr. Gaus, 60 % of the surveyed farmers were interested in selling straw. The main straw sellers were bigger sized commercial farms and organic farms were generally non-sellers.
    Mr. Gaus concluded, stating that most of the farmers are willing to sell wheat straw free swath and field, that the farmers’ interest for contracts and transport is low, and also that strict contract terms lower available quantities of straw on the market. Besides the straw price, also personal, social and environmental factors have an effect on the willingness to sell straw.

    The presentation is based on the dissertation of Mr. Gaus, with which he also gained his Doktor title. It can be accessed via https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/?id=1422031.


    Ingo Ball: BABET-REAL5 – findings for the region

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    Ingo Ball (WIP, Germany) revealed results for Germany

    The next presentation was given by Ingo Ball, who is a project manager in the unit Bioenergy & Bioeconomy at WIP Renewable Energies. It was about the biomass conditions in Bavaria for the BABET-REAL5 project.
    Ingo Ball started the talk, reminding the audience that the production of 2G bioethanol needs to be economic viable and sustainable so that it is widely accepted and able to contribute to a more climate friendly fuel portfolio. In his work, it was investigated whether regions can be found in Bavaria, in which more than 30,000 t dm/y are available in a 50-km radius and the preconditions for a sustainable feedstock (among others soil carbon, climate change) are fulfilled. Investigated were the feedstocks wheat straw, rye straw, barley straw, oat straw, rapeseed straw, triticale straw and corn stover. It could be shown, that in the region Lower Bavaria, in a 50-km radius area around the city Landshut enough wheat straw (~ 121,000 t/y, i.e. 105,000 t dm) is available for the production of 2G bioethanol. Furthermore, it was found, that in Bavaria these amounts (i.e. the yields) can be also be provided when the local consequences of climate change are considered, as the negative impacts (i. e. heavy precipitation or heat waves) are presumably compensated by positive impacts (i. e. longer vegetation period, more CO2 for plants growth).
    Of the seven investigated feedstocks, wheat straw has the best pre-conditions as sustainable feedstock in the investigated region.
    Ingo Ball provided then also economic data for the provision of wheat straw (considering different profit margins for farmers) from the field until the plant. Per ton dry matter of supplied wheat straw, the price assumption ranges between 75 and 106 €/t dm

    A first calculation of the environmental impact of the feedstock supply revealed that per supply ton of wheat straw 11.0 kg CO2eq needs to be considered. Ingo Ball concluded the presentation by stating that it is possible to find sustainable feedstock potentials of at least 30,000 t dm/y of wheat straw in a 50-km radius zone near the city of Landshut. With amounts of sustainable 121,000 t/y (105,000 t dm), the threshold of 30,000 t dm/y is exceeded by far. The potential risks of soil erosion, biodiversity and climate change seem to be manageable in Bavaria, and the wheat straw feedstock can be provided sustainably also in the future (taking into account climate change). Knowing the price range of 75 and 106 €/t dm for the biomass, it needs to be further investigated, whether the local farmers are willing to supply the feedstock (as many farmers are reluctant after unfavourable political decisions in the recent past). Then, it needs also to be investigated whether the agricultural economy (i.e. logistics companies) is prepared for an implementation of new concepts, and if then the concept can still be economical viable.


    Julio Valles: BABET-REAL5

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    BABET-REAL5 project coordinator Julio Valles (INPT, France) opens the workshop

    Starting, Julio Valles informed about the general objectives of BABET-REAL5, which are to achieve favourable techno-economic and environmental performances for the production of 2G ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass in small-scale industrial plants, to identify lignocellulosic feedstock with sustainable and reliable supply conditions for the evaluation of business cases in Latin America and Europe. Furthermore, all necessary data for the evaluation of business cases will be provided in the project.
    He continued his talk with showing the comparison between large scale bioethanol plants of today with the small-scale concept that is elaborated within the BABET-REAL5 project. After mentioning the zero waste objective for the process, Julio Valles showed the pretreatment, which is the biomass destructuration and enzymatic impregnation / pre-hy drolysis in one reactor. In the same reactor, the next step is carried out, the Simultaneous Saccharification Co-Fermentation (SSCF), in which the bioethanol is produced. The resulting vinasse is then used to produce biogas. He continued then with an overview about the potential biomasses for different target regions, e.g. corn stover (France), barley straw (Spain), wheat straw (Germany), blue gave bagasse (Mexico), sugarcane crop residues (Argentina) and eucalyptus forest residues (Uruguay).
    The sustainable results for Germany, France, Argentina and Uruguay were presented in geo information system (GIS) maps and it could be shown that in all presented countries the minimum amount of 30,000 t dm (dry matter) biomass could be exceeded.
    Julio Valles finished his presentation with an outlook about the next steps in the project, the evaluation whether the business cases in the four countries can be viable.


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