Transportation biofuels: For greenhouse gas mitigation, energy security or other reasons?

Salzburg, Austria, February 5 - 6, 2008

Jointly organised by

Task 38 - Greenhouse Gas Balances of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems

The Austrian Participation of Tasks in the IEA Bioenergy is financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) Energy and Environmental Technologies


Scope and objectives of the workshop

 Transportation, including emissions from the production of transport fuels, is responsible for roughly one quarter of global GHG emissions. The use of biofuels in Europe and other places in the world in this sector rapidly increasing due to policies, such as the EU liquid biofuels directive etc. One of the reasons for these policies is the attempt to meet the GHG targets in the Kyoto Protocol, another one is energy security. Biofuels may also offer social and economic benefits like employment and income generation, support for rural development and traditional industries, reduced regional trade balance, and many others.

 The debate about the sustainability of biofuels is complex and wide ranging. The impact of biomass on land use and land-use change is questioned. Examples include the spreading of oil-palm plantations in SE Asia, at the cost of natural forest ecosystems. Potential impacts on soil and water are also an issue. Other impacts of increased biofuel production include increased agricultural commodity prices (soybean price increases observed recently, maize prices in Mexico) and conflicts with the use of the same raw materials for other uses (e.g. paper industry, wood products)

 The workshop included information on

  • Trends and policies of transport biofuels
  • Different types of transportation biofuels (first and second generation)
  • The calculation of GHG on basis of a life cycle assessment with special regard to land use change issues and impact on soils
  • Other local environmental and social impacts, including energy security
  • Possible conflicts between different use of biomass resources
  • Concept of sustainable biofuels

 And provided a forum for government, policy and academic representatives to exchange information on current knowledge of these topics.


Workshop Program

Tuesday, 5 February 2008
Residenz zu Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

Each presentation approx. 20 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of discussion




Salzburg State Government: G. Löffler
IEA Bioenergy Task 38: Neil Bird
Presentation (PDF 584 kB)

Session 1 Biofuels technologies, policies and trends


Plans and policies for biofuels of the Land Salzburg.
G. Löffler, Salzburg State Government
Presentation (PDF 1902 kB)


Overview on first and second generation of transportation biofuels.
G. Jungmeier, J. Spitzer, Joanneum Research, Austria
Presentation (PDF 2417 kB)

Session 2 Reports from some IEA Bioenergy Tasks on examples, case studies, new concepts:


The biorefining story: Developments at the University of British Columbia and updates from IEA Bioenergy Task 39
 M. Wörgetter1, J. Saddler2, R. Chandra2 and W. Mabee2 (Task 39 Commercialisation of 1st and 2nd Generation Biofuels), Josephinum, Austria (1) and University of British Columbia, Canada (2)
Presentation (PDF 3046 kB)


Biomethane: upgrading, grid injection and vehicle fuel
A. Wellinger (Task37 Energy from Biogas and Landfill Gas) NOVA, Switzerland
Presentation (PDF 1532 kB)


Coffee Break

Continuation of Session 2


Synthetic biofuels: Güssing demo plant
R. Rauch, (Task33 Thermal Gasification of Biomass) Vienna Univ. of Technology, Austria
Presentation (PDF 1004 kB)


Overview of biorefinery concepts and basics for their greenhouse gas balance
G. Jungmeier (Task42 Biorefineries: Co-Production of Fuels, Chemicals, Power and Materials from Biomass), Joanneum Research, Austria
Presentation (PDF 714 kB)

Session 3 LCA and greenhouse gas emissions


Integration of land use change into LCA
N. Bird (Task 38 Greenhouse Gas Balances of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems), Joanneum Research, Austria
Presentation (PDF 635 kB)


Measuring carbon neutrality
A. Cowie, (Task38 Greenhouse Gas Balances of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems), NSW Department of Industries, Australia
Presentation (PDF 2261 kB)



Continuation of Session 3


Fertilizer use - N2O
W. Winiwarter, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Austrian Research Centers, Austria
Presentation (PDF 897 kB)


Biofuels for climate change mitigation and energy security
L. Gustavsson, Mid Sweden University, Sweden
Presentation (PDF 584 kB)

Session 4 Other impacts, benefits and goals


EU policies for transport biofuels and the Strategic Research Agenda of the European Biofuels Technology Platform
Birger Kerckow, European Biofuels Technology Platform/Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe, Germany
Presentation (PDF 405 kB)


Local impacts with special regard on water issues.
I. R. Calder, Newcastle University UK
Presentation (PDF 926 kB)


Coffee Break


The Global Bioenergy Partnership: working together to promote sustainable development
P. Garibaldi, Global Bioenergy Partnership, Italy
Presentation (PDF 177 kB)


Progress within the “Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels”
Charlotte Opal and Georgios Sarantakos, EPFL-Energy Center, Switzerland.
Presentation (PDF 211 kB)


General Discussion


Close of Workshop



Excursion – February 6th 2008

 In the morning a study tour took participants to

  • The Biomass CHP Power Plant and a Black Liquor Boiler of the M-real paper industry in Hallein
  • The Biogas Plant „Gaskraft Reitbach” in Eugendorf (near of Salzburg) and to a biogas feed in station as well as a biogas filling station.


List of Participants

List of Participants (PDF 16 kB)

Click on thumbnails to enlarge pictures!