11 August 2015

TOP Deriving recommendations for the implementation and valorization of life cycle assessments of material uses of biomass

The project OekoStoff, nova’s latest flagship LCA project, was launched in July

The project OekoStoff aims at:

(1) providing guidance to LCA experts, industry and policy on how to approach the methodological challenges related to the life cycle assessment of using biomass for material purposes and

(2) supporting the further growth of the bio-based economy.

While there exist publicly accepted rules on how to assess the environmental impact of bioenergy (electricity and heat) and biofuels, the situation is quite different for when using biomass for material purposes. In fact, there are hardly any commonly agreed upon approaches on how to conduct environmental assessments i.e. Life Cycle Assessments for this type of application. This is not least caused by the public lack of interest, in addition to the absence of policy incentives for using biomass for material purposes. However, during recent years, bio-based materials have experienced a tremendous revival, particularly as an alternative to fossil based materials and as a potential option to save greenhouse gases (GHG). Both spurred the political debate on increasing the material use of biomass.

Still in order to further foster the acceptance and use of bio-based materials on a policy, as well as public level, their potential environmental benefits need to be investigated in a transparent and repeatable manner using LCA. However, the current absence of consensus on how to approach the methodological challenges related to the LCAs of bio-based materials, hinders this development.

This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Grant agreement number: 22007014

Source: nova-Institut GmbH, 2015-08-11.


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