Despite recent criticisms, there is little doubt in the scientific and industrial community that biomass will play an important role in the transition towards a sustainable economy.

It will increasingly be a source of renewable energy, a raw material for the production of bio-chemicals and the basis for various construction materials. Inevitably, this leads to an increased demand for biomass that may eventually surpass the current “food and feed”-oriented biomass production by an order of magni-tude. Entirely new economic chains are developing, linking biomass production with final products on a truly global scale.

We are witnessing a built-up of competition between the established applications and the new, non-food applications of biomass with a steep increase in the prices of food as result. The fast de-velopment of new large scale applications like biofuels have created large imbalances in supply and demand.

Achieving a sustainable balance is major challenge. Many questions can be raised:

  • What is the supply position for biomass?
  • How can we prevent negative impacts on biodiversity?
  • How can biomass be certified as a sustainable raw material?
  • Which crops are suitable for the various food, feed and energy/material applications?
    Can there be synergy between the fields?
  • Can we genetically modify crops to better suit the applications?
  • Is this ethically acceptable?
  • Under which conditions can biomass be produced in an economically viable way?
  • Will a steep increase in the demand for biomass in the “rich” countries cause over-exploitation in developing countries?

The Biomass Upstream Steering committee (BUS) has made an attempt in the past 4 years to develop insights in a broad spectrum of questions around the theme of supply and trade of bio-mass. With short studies (“quick-scans”), sometimes extended with a “follow-up”, many aspects have been studied and discussed. This 2nd yearbook is the compilation of these explorative studies over 2006 and 2007.

Through this yearbook we hope tot inform a broader audience about the activities carried out by the BUS with the aim of contributing to the sustainable use of biomass.

auteur(s): Mark Vonk (eds)
2008 | 185 pag.
prijs: uitverkocht

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