31 Oktober 2006

nova conference report: European Conference on Biorefinery Research

Logo_EU-Flag.jpgNearly 600 participants from up to 50 nations took part in the first European Conference on Biorefinery Research (19-20 October 2006) in Helsinki/Finland. This major conference on biorefinery research – organised by the European Commission with the support of the Finnish Presidency – aims to present the industrial perspectives of current and future biorefineries and to identify opportunities for and synergies among the European stakeholders.

The conference became a forum for a technical review of the state of the art for biomass fractionation and conversion technologies. Furthermore, RTD success stories were described and analyzed, and the existing European technology platforms on biofuels, forest-based sector, plants for the future and white biotechnology were presented.

Objectives and Subjects

Logo_eu2006_fi.jpgBiorefineries use renewable raw materials to produce energy together with a wide range of everyday commodities in an economic manner. Decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels reserves and boosting rural development, biorefineries are seen as a very promising route to meeting our aims for sustained prosperity and preserving the environment.

The conference was designed to attract high-level representatives from the spheres of research, science and technology, industry and policy making from all over Europe. This event should be of special value for those interested in biorefinery research in the Seventh Framework Programme. Therefore most participants belong to the spheres of research, science and technology, industry and policy making from all over Europe.

The main subjects of the conference were:

  • European research success stories on biomass feedstock & production, advances in biochemical and thermo-chemical conversion and techno-economic and environmental analysis.
  • European and national policies stimulating the use of renewable raw materials.
  • The potential for the different biorefinery concepts. Creation of suitable market conditions.
  • European technology platforms on biofuels, forest-based sector, plants for the future and white biotechnology.
  • The future of research on biorefinery technologies in the EU. Actions foreseen in the Seventh Framework Programme.

Aside there also was an exhibition which informed on centers of excellence and activities currently under way.

Mr. Christian Patermann, European Commission, DG Research, chaired the opening session and also made the reception at the Helsinki City Hall, whereto Jussi Pajunen, Lord Mayor of Helsinki, has invited all participants.

European 7th Framework Programme for Research

Finally Alfredo Aguilar Romanillos and Wiktor Raldow, European Commission/ DG Research, gave an overview of the expected themes of the 7th European Framework Programme for Research in the two relevant fields “food, agriculture, biotechnology” (1.936 M€) and “energy” (2.265 M€).


Additional Information

The electronic proceedings of the conference are now available at the following website: here


“A biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, and value-added chemicals from biomass. The biorefinery concept is analogous to today’s petroleum refinery, which produce multiple fuels and products from petroleum.

By producing multiple products, a biorefinery takes advantage of the various components in biomass and their intermediates therefore maximizing the value derived from the biomass feedstock. A biorefinery could, for example, produce one or several low-volume, but high-value, chemical or nutraceutical products and a low-value, but high-volume liquid transportation fuel such as biodiesel or ethanol.

At the same time generating electricity and process heat, through combined heat and power (CHP) technology, for its own use and perhaps enough for sale of electricity to the local utility. The high-value products increase profitability, the high-volume fuel helps meet energy needs, and the power production helps to lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from traditional power plant facilities.” (Source: wikipedia.en)

Source: EU 2006-10.

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