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Framework and Examples for the Life Cycle Based Assessment of Biorefineries in IEA Bioenergy Task 42 Biorefining


Jungmeier, G., van Ree, R., de Jong, E., Sichnothe, H., De Bari, I., Joergensen, H., Wellisch, M., Clancy, M., Bell, G., Spaeth, J., Torr, K., Kimura, S.


Paper Paper


The IEA Bioenergy Task 42 “Biorefining” with its 11 member countries (A, AUS, CA, DK, G, I, IR, J, NL, NZ, USA) has the following definition on biorefining: “Biorefining is the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of bio-based products (food, feed, chemicals, and materials) and bioenergy (biofuels, power and/or heat)”. Based on the activities in the 11 member countries of Task 42 the assessment framework is developed based on a life cycle basis to cover all relevant issues from the production, operation and end of life phase of the whole value chain of various biorefineries. The framework follows the following hierarchy procedure: 1) biorefinery classification and assessment of the technologies and processes using the 9 levels of the “Technology Readiness Level (TRL)”. 2) Calculation of most relevant economic data using the approach of Life Cycle Costing (LCC). 3) Application of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to assess the most relevant environmental aspects. 4) Screening of relevant social issues in a Social Life Cycle Assessment (sLCA). 5) Integration of these aspects in the approach of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) 6) Identification of most attractive industry sectors (“Hot Spots”) for the integration of biorefineries in the existing industrial infrastructure 7) Highlighting necessary R&D demand for commercialization until 2025, 8) Concluding on the possible future role in a BioEconomy in a regional, national and international context. A compact format is developed to present the results of the assessing framework. The framework is applied to different biorefinery concepts. The results assist various stakeholders in finding their position on biorefining in a future biobased economy while minimizing unexpected technical, economic and financial risks by significantly contributing to the development of a BioEconomy.


assessment, biorefinery, sustainability, environmental impacts, integration, economical aspects


Biomass Policies, Markets and Sustainability


Sustainability assessment and criteria


23rd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition




1353 - 1358



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