State of the art and analysis of biofuels-related
research projects in the EU
Biofuels are transport fuels derived from agriculture, forestry and other organic feedstocks such as waste streams. The Renewable Energy Directive (Directive 2009/28/EC) mandates the incorporation of 10 % of energy from renewable sources in the transport sector by 2020 – to be achieved essentially with the use of biofuels. This Thematic Research Summary (TRS) provides a complete overview on projects that have been financed by the EU or by national funding programmes of the Member States, identifying and analyzing key factors for their development.
Key points :
- Projects: Synthetic overview of 73 recent biofuel research projects. Focus is on projects completed between 2010 and 2013, plus some current and new projects that contribute significantly to setting the path for current R&D.
- Budget: Data collected for European public R&D spending on biofuel projects, based mainly on 7th Framework Program (FP7), Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) and NER300 programmes.
- Policy: Presentation of a synthesis of relevant policies and initiatives for the development of biofuels in Europe.
- R&D challenges: Recommendations on research topics for the different project categories selected: Lipid derived fuels; Biorefineries; Lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuels and logistics; Biochemical conversion processes; Thermochemical conversion processes; Aquatic biomass and microorganisms; Powertrains, fuel quality and specifications; Market up-take support.
In order to foster the uptake of new biofuel technologies and lower the cost of industrialisation, this TRS suggests making maximum use of current infrastructure. Moreover, research on biorefineries appears to be a priority since in principal it favours cost efficiency through valorisation of a full spectrum of marketable products. Finally, it points out the major role of the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) in supporting risky technologies.