Sustainable biomass potential for biofuels in competition to food, feed, bioenergy and industrial material use in Germany, Europe and worldwide

Term: 04.2013 - 09.2014

How much surface area and biomass is available for the production of sustainable biofuels in the future, if the feedstock competition for food, feed, industrial materials and bioenergy pathways are taken into account and, furthermore, new options for emerging technologies (e.g. biorefineries, solar fuels, wind power) and resource efficiency concepts (e.g. recycling, cascading use, electromobility) are considered?
A comprehensive assessment and description of the supply and demand for biomass, fossil resources, renewable and nuclear energy is necessary to answer this question considering a growing world population with increasing living standard and the feedstock competition for food, feed, materials and energy.
While the data for the food and feed sector as well as the bioenergy and biofuel sector are well documented, the analysis of the biomass demand for the industrial material use is still a great scientific challenge. Reliable findings and robust data are still missing. That is why a realistic estimation of the availability of biomass for biofuels is not possible without the development of fundamental research methodologies covering the industrial materials sector. Key indicators such as the biomass use for materials per capita or the biomass demand of different manufacturing sectors are urgently needed for the communication of this topic in the public debate.
The ultimate goal of the study is the assessment of different supply and demand scenarios for the above-mentioned sectors as well as the analysis of competition in the usage of biomass for different purposes to answer the question how much biomass is left for the production of sustainable biofuels in future. The predicted demand of fuels will be displayed in contrast to these values. Sensitivity analyses will be used to identify the influencing factors for the production volume of sustainable biofuels. The geographic scope of the project is limited to three different regions from the national scale of Germany to the multinational level of Europe and finally to the world in its entirety. The reference period for the assessment of material flows is the year 2010 with forecasts for the years 2020, 2030 and 2050.
The uniqueness of the project is the development of a methodology to analyse various supply and demand scenarios for biomass with a clear focus on the knowledge gap of the industrial materials sector.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Federal Ministry for the Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

The grant number is: 22501112.



Roland Essel

nova-Institut GmbH 

Chemiepark Knapsack

Industriestraße 300

50354 Hürth
, Germany

Tel. +49-(0)2233-48 14 42

Fax +49-(0)2233-48 14 50

Email: [email protected]