LCA of Future Biofuels (in English)

Discussion forum on Life Cycle Assessment
Monday, November 17, 2008, 09.00 – 17.10h, EMPA Dübendorf, Empa-Akademie, Dübendorf-Zurich, Switzerland

Nowadays the discussion about biofuels is dominated by food security issues and ecological concerns. Indeed, various studies on currently used biofuels have shown that environmental impacts over the whole production chain are often higher than for the fossil reference. New hope is set on coming technology developments and improved feedstocks. They promise higher efficiencies and lower environmental impacts.

The conference will provide an overview on recent LCA approaches and results of several case studies about future bioenergy, including BtL-fuels and synthetic natural gas (SNG), as well as emerging feedstocks like jatropha and algae. Crucial questions from an LCA viewpoint are:

- Is the overall environmental performance of future biofuels better than that of current biofuels?
- Which feedstocks should be preferred?

What are the most promising technologies? However, LCA deals with only one aspect of sustainability. To obtain a complete picture of the future potential of biofuels, environmental impacts should be weighted against impacts on the socio-economic level. At this conference a holistic approach for the technology assessment of future biofuels will be presented. Furthermore opportunities and threats of biofuels from the perspective of the rural poor will be discussed.

Final Program

Download:    DF36_program_V1.pdf 

Time Title Speaker Affiliation
9:00  Registration    
9:30  Welcome Rainer Zah, EMPA und Niels Jungbluth, ESU-services Ltd.   
9:35  Swiss Regulation of Agrofuels and Prospects for Future Fuels
DF36-1 Lionel Cretegny.pdf
Lionel Cretegny , BAFU   
  New Technology Developments
10:00  Life Cycle Assessment of Different Pathways of BtL-Fuels from Wood, Straw and Miscanthus
DF36-2 Niels Jungbluth.pdf
Niels Jungbluth, ESU-services Ltd.   
10:30  LCA of the Production of Synthetic Natural Gas from Wood and Considerations to the Optimal Plant Scale
DF36-3 Bernhard Steubing.pdf
Bernhard Steubing, Empa   
11:00  Coffee Break
11:30  SunCHem a 3rd Generation Biofuel Technology to Produce Methane from Algae
DF36-4 Martin Brandenberger.pdf
Martin Brandenberger, PSI   
12:00  Short Presentations
  LCA case study in Argentina: Including impacts from freshwater use for rapeseed production in arid zones
DF36-5 Stefan Pfister.pdf
Stefan Pfister  ETH 
  Future Biofuels in Sweden
DF36-5 Tomas Rydberg.pdf
Tomas Rydberg  IVL 
13:00  Lunch    
  Improved Feedstock Production
14:00  Life Cycle Assessment of
Jatropha Based Biodiesel

DF36-6 Simon Gmünder.pdf
Simon Gmünder, Empa   
  Perspectives of Future Biofuels    
14:30  Risk & Opportunities of Biofuels for Developing Countries
DF36-7 Somnath Bhattacharjee.pdf
Somnath Bhattacharjee, Winrock India   
15:00  TA-SWISS: Future Perspectives of 2nd Generation Biofuels
DF36-8 Claudia Binder.pdf
Claudia Binder, Uni Zürich   
15:30  Coffee Break    
  Panel-Discussion Michael Hagmann (Chair)   
17:10  Outlook and Farewell    
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