UN Report Highlights Advanced Biofuels Potential and Considerations
As Biofuels help usher in methods of more sustainable resource production, policy decisions and proper resource use continue to play important roles in the process.
In an effort to meet sustainable development and climate change mitigation goals, advanced biofuels can provide effective options. Flexible in its potential applications—from production of electricity and thermal energy production; compost and fertilizer; to bioethanol, jet fuel, and more—the availability and cultivation of biomass feedstock has many implications for local and global economies. If used effectively, such resources can make communities independent and sustainable in terms of energy supply.
A report by the United Nations, “Second Generation Biofuel Markets: State of Play, Trade and Developing Country Perspectives,” offers several insights into the industry:
The report reviews advanced biofuels progress by country and region. The discussion on the United States reviews the various fuels under development, the role of biofuels in the U.S. transportation sector, along with a discussion on policy drivers. As of 2015, there were no cellulosic ethanol projects on the African continent and in Latin America (excluding Brazil), although progress has been made in bagasse-fired electricity co-generation and biomass cook stoves in these regions.
In the section on first generation biofuels and sustainability issues, the authors discuss approaches to reducing the risk from indirect land use change through things like increased yields, intercropping and crop rotation. Global in nature, the report also discusses the concerns in developing economies over the proper approach to bringing unused or degraded land into feedstock production as well as concerns about supporting rural development and small landholders.
The report concludes with five suggestions for the responsible development of the second-generation biofuels industry:
+ Create regulatory frameworks for advanced bioenergy tailored to national circumstances, which do not necessarily focus on the type of supply but instead on the existing local demands, keeping sustainable development goals in mind.
+ Promote joint ventures between domestic organizations and foreign companies to facilitate technology transfer and to avoid a large technological gap between first-generation, land-intensive feedstocks and second-generation, capital-intensive biofuels in developed and developing countries.
+ Consider the broader aspects of bioeconomy sectors, including biomaterials, in ways that avoid locking industrial development paths into specific sectors or technologies. This would provide flexibility for market players that operate biorefineries as they could target multiple markets, including materials, feed, food, and energy—both domestic and internationally.
+ Incorporate lessons from sustainability criteria applied for first-generation biofuels into near and mid-term sustainability provisions or labels for advanced biofuels.
+ Continuously promote technical dialogue among different production regions of advanced fuels in order to ensure compatible standards for feedstock and promote trade in advanced biofuel.
Supporting and developing a closed-loop, 100%-sustainable infrastructure is among Team Gemini’s primary endeavors. Many technologies ultimately contribute to this goal, including protecting and treating valuable water resources, implementing sustainable agriculture, and maintaining proper methods of waste management.
In an effort to make more communities sustainable, Team Gemini works closely with commodity-intensive industries, municipalities, and other stakeholders to implement viable technology configurations that result in economic and other benefits. A closed-loop system allows businesses to minimize their operating costs and maximize their potential revenue streams, depending on which technologies they choose.
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