Mitigation actions since the EU 2020 Climate & Energy package was enacted in 2009 have led to greenhouse gases (GHG) r20eductions in most sectors. The exception is road transport, being one of the few sectors where emissions have risen rapidly in recent years. In 2009, the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) introduced a 10% renewable energy target in the transport sector, to be reached by 2020. At the same time, an amendment to the Fuel Quality Directive (2009/30/EC) introduced a target of 6% reduction by 2020 in the GHG intensity of fuels used in road transport and non-road mobile machinery.
However, this policy led to the production of substantial amounts of biofuels from food crops and to significant indirect land use change (ILUC), which triggered an increase in global food prices and in food insecurity for the poor. Therefore, the EU indicated that support for food-based biofuels should be phased out and that transport decarbonisation shouldinstead be based on low-emission alternative energy, such as advanced biofuels. These include agro-forestry residues, biowaste from households and the biomass fraction of industrial waste.
In Greece, biofuels where introduced in 2005. So far, however, the only biofuel produced is biodiesel, which is used at a concentration of 7% v/v in automotive diesel. Bioethanol could be a renewable component for gasoline, but to date is not used. Bioethanol will most likely be imported until 2nd generation production technology becomes attractive to local investors. Waste biomass is an abundant source of feedstock for conversion to ethanol and oil as an appropriate raw material for biodiesel production. In Europe approximately 100 million tonnes of biogenic cellulosic material (food and garden waste) is generated each year and about 370 million tonnes of crop residues are produced, of which just one-third is recovered (as animal feed or soil amendment). These figures are based on the White Paper, Availability of cellulosic residues and wastes in the EU (authors: Stephanie Searle and Chris Malins, International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), October 2013 and available at: https://theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/ICCT_EUcellulosic-waste-residues_20131022.pdf)
The overall aim of the CIRCforBIO project is to achieve high GHG emission savings from the substitution of fossil fuels with advanced biofuels, as well as to promote the implementation of a circular economy concept for biomass. The project will (i) demonstrate an innovative biorefinery concept for the production of bioethanol, using bioproducts from biomass produced from household, catering and industrial food waste, and from agricultural residues, and (ii) create an interactive platform for facilitating the circular economy concept for 2nd generation biomass in Greece.
Specific objectives are to: