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Hodgson E.,Aberystwyth University | Ruiz-Molina M.-E.,University of Valencia | Marazza D.,University of Bologna | Pogrebnyakova E.,University of Bologna | And 9 more authors.
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2016

There is international recognition that developing a climate-smart bioeconomy is essential to the continuation of economic development, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation to climatic change; Bio-based products have an important role in making this transition happen. Supporting policy interventions have been put forward at European and national levels to support innovation and development of bio-based products and services. This study asks whether suggested policy interventions reflect the needs of stakeholders and examines how these needs vary between European regions. This consultation was performed through an online survey of 447 experts actively involved in bio-based research, industry, and governance across Europe. The majority of responses received were from stakeholders in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK which are examined in greater depth. Climate change was clearly an important driver for bio-based innovation as 86% of the respondents considered climate change to be a significant threat. There were clear differences between regions but also areas of consensus between stakeholders across the European regions surveyed. In particular there was consensus regarding the need for improved access to financial support and the need to ensure continuity of policy. The need to build investor confidence through demonstration of bio-based technologies, the provision of greater clarity regarding best conversion routes for specific feedstocks, and the need to promote a culture of industrial symbiosis were also regarded as important interventions. © 2016 The Authors. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining published by Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. © 2016 The Authors. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining published by Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Burns C.,NNFCC | Higson A.,NNFCC | Hodgson E.,Aberystwyth University
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2016

Introduction: The UK's bioeconomy has the potential to be world leading. However, political, economic, and social barriers are holding back innovation in this sector. Key interventions are needed to allow bioeconomic innovation to flourish. Caitlin Burns and Adrian Higson of the NNFCC The Bioeconomy Consultants, and Edward Hodgson of Aberystwyth University, make five recommendations to help the UK catch up with global competitors and stimulate investment in innovative bioeconomy. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Aylott M.,NNFCC | Higson A.,NNFCC | Evans G.,NNFCC | Hamer A.,NNFCC | Mortimer N.,NNFCC
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2011

Life cycle assessment (LCA) has become a vital tool in determining the sustainability of bioenergy. Matthew Aylott, Adrian Higson, Geraint Evans, Alison Hamer - from the UK's National Non-Food Crops Centre - and Nigel Mortimer - North Energy Associates - explain how the assumptions we make and the method by which emissions are allocated in LCAs can have serious impacts on the conclusions we come to; conclusions which will shape the growth of the bioenergy sector. © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Robbins M.P.,Aberystwyth University | Evans G.,NNFCC | Valentine J.,Aberystwyth University | Donnison I.S.,Aberystwyth University | Allison G.G.,Aberystwyth University
Progress in Energy and Combustion Science | Year: 2012

Currently, significant academic and industrial activity is focused on sourcing feed stocks from non-food biomass crops for the sustainable production of energy, power and chemical products. Crops identified as suitable for Northern Europe include Miscanthus, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) and short rotation coppice willow and poplar (Salix and Populus spp.). All of these crops provide biomass that is amenable for conversion by thermochemical processes i.e. those based on heat and pressure. There are concerns that for some processes the conversion efficiency of biomass is poor compared with coal and oil due to comparatively low energy density, high moisture content, and poor storage and handling properties. Many of these parameters can be improved by pre-processing feed stock materials prior to their conversion. We examine the energy crop species that are suitable for Northern Europe; discuss the processes of combustion, gasification and pyrolysis, and explore how differences in chemical composition influence conversion efficiency. Finally, we review biomass upgrading (pelletisation, torrefaction and treatment with sub-critical (hydrothermal upgrading) and with supercritical water). © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

De Jong E.,Avantium Chemicals | Higson A.,NNFCC | Walsh P.,CiSET | Wellisch M.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2012

Around the world, significant able steps are being taken to move from today's fossil-based economy to a more sustainable economy based on biomass. A key factor in the realization of a successful bio-based economy will be the development of biorefinery systems allowing highly efficient and cost-effective processing of biological feedstocks to a range of bio-based products, and successful integration into existing infrastructure. The recent climb in oil prices and consumer demand for environmentally friendly products has now opened new windows of opportunity for bio-based chemicals and polymers. Industry is increasingly viewing chemical and polymer production from renewable resources as an attractive area for investment. Within the bio-based economy and the operation of a biorefinery, there are significant opportunities for the development of bio-based building blocks (chemicals and polymers) and materials (fiber products, starch derivatives, etc.). In many cases this happens in conjunction with the production of bioenergy or biofuels. The production of bio-based products could generate US$10-15 billion ofrevenue for the global chemical industry. The economic production of biofuels is often a challenge. The co--production of chemicals, materials food and feed can generate the necessary added value. This paper highlights all bio-based chemicals with immediate potential as biorefinery 'value added products'. The selected products are either demonstrating strong market growth or have significant industry investment in development and demonstration programs. The full IEA Bioenergy Task 42 report is available from http://www.iea-bioenergy.task42-biorefineries.com. © 2012 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

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