University of Graz, Austria
Title: Future Perspectives of Advanced Biofuels
Martin Mittelbach is a leading scientist in the field of biodiesel since over 30 years. Since 1993 he is head of the working group: „Chemistry and technology of renewable resources“ at the University of Graz, Austria. He is the author of over 110 scientific publications in reviewed journals, editor and author of several books on biodiesel and he is inventor of several patents on biodiesel production technologies. He has had cooperations and projects on biodiesel with numerous national and international research organisations, he was invited for key presentations or guest professorships at bioenergy conferences and research organisations around the world. In 2015 he received the European Lipid Technology Award from the European Federation for the Science and Technology of Lipids.
Biofuels are fuels produced from any kind of biomass source, which could be the whole biomass like plants or wood, fermented biomass for biogas and biomethane or extracted products like fats and oils. There is a big variety of different fuels existing (Figure 1), however, the most developed fuels are bioethanol and biodiesel, which have been commercialized worldwide since over 20 years. There are many national and global mandates and incentives existing in order to promote biofuels; the main goal of these actions is the overall reduction of green house gas emissions. Advanced biofuels are fuels which lead to a significant reduction of greenhouse gases, e.g. fuels from waste and non food feedstocks, or are so-called drop in-fuels which could be used in higher blends in special applications like aviation fuels.
The paper gives an overview on the latest developments of technology and utilization of advanced biofuels but also describes the future and perspectives of biofuels. Especially the different legislations, e.g. the latest development of the European Directive of Renewable Energy are highlighted. As environmental issues like sustainability and life cycle assessment (LCA) have been discussed quite controversially, especially the food vs. fuel discussion, direct and indirect land use change, this presentation tries to evaluate the pros and cons to give a proper basis to evaluate the future potential of biofuels.