Bioenergy and biorefineries: innovations and futures


Parallel Workshops II, 19th April, 16:45 – 18:45 / Track: "Industry"



  • Ulrich Schurr, Director Bioeconomy Science Center, Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Steve Csonka, Executive Director CAAFI, USA



  • Andreas Jupke, RWTH Aachen and Bioeconomy Science Center, Germany



Biorefineries are promising sustainably and efficient conversion of biomass to products. These high hopes need to be developed by optimizing and integrating feedstock provision, conversion technology, product portfolio as well as sustainability, competitiveness and market perspective. Feedstock options range from lignocellulosic biomass and algae or biomass waste streams. While conversion technologies can include innovative thermochemical and hybrid thermochemical/biochemical technologies, Today´s approaches to biorefineries show a much lower level of maturity in integrated processing and a limited portfolio products when compared to fossil-based refineries. To reach urgently needed products like bio-based jet fuels or platform chemicals in a sustainable (incl economical) manner an integrated approach is required. The aim of the Workshop is NOT to provide a concise overview on the many technological options, but to kickoff intensive interactions between key stakeholders from research, industry, investors and regulators to identify opportunities and current limitations as well as ways forward to realize biorefinery capacities globally at industrial-scale.

Key Topics:

  • Identify key challenges and opportunities in feedstocks and processing technologies for integrated biorefinery concepts. Exchange on the need for renewable feedstock and the technological challenges, and align on focus areas and priorities
  • Identify ways forward towards integrated biorefineries that provide sustainable (incl economic) production, processing and product portfolios in an industrial scale.
  • Identify key regulation and market obstacles that need to be addressed to realize industry-scale biorefineries in a competitive manner.


Expected Outcome:

  • Mapping of opportunities and challenges for feedstock, processing, sustainability and market
  • Exchange on lessons learnt regarding technological routes (incl. conversion and production), as well as incentive schemes for renewable resources and biorefineries with a focus on sustainable aviation fuel market and platform chemicals
  • Suggestions, how to overcome these obstacles en-route to commercialization at industrial scale



 Welcome and Introduction into Workshop concept and aims (5 min)

  • Steve Csonka (CAAFI – Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative),
  • Ulrich Schurr (Bioeconomy Science Center and Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany)


Impulse presentations (45 min)

  • Feedstock -options and challenges, 3 x 6 min
  • Processing – options and challenges, 3 x 6 min
  • Sustainability and integration – options and challenges, 1 x6 min
  • Markets – options and challenges, 1 x 6 min


Parallel working in small discussion groups (modified World Café format; 40 min)

Moderators and Rapporteurs from aireg and BioSC

Concept: Up to 10 groups with 4-7 participants each (depending on the number of participants); the same set of questions will be discussed in parallel in 2 or 3 groups, meaning that about 3 to 5 different sets of clearly defined questions can be discussed.

Presentation, reflection and integration of the results (20 min)

Moderators and Rapporteurs of the Working Groups

Wrap-up and Closing (10 min)

Andreas Jupke (RWTH Aachen/ BioSC)

Guiding questions for group discussions

  1. What are the challenges and gaps in upscaling integrated biorefinery concepts?
  2. What is the best strategy to develop a vibrant biorefinery industry, what is the route to commercialization?
  3. How can policy support the development of sustainable biorefinery and bioenergy concepts?
  4. What is most needed in research and development?
  5. Where is the market? Which will the most successful products be and why?


Speakers and table moderators


  • Andreas Schmid (UFZ; Germany) (Photo)autotrophic biocatalysts broaden the scope of biorefineries
  • Lauri Hetemäki (European Forest Institute, Finland) Forest-based feedstocks and biorefineries
  • Moritz Leschninsky (Fraunhofer IGB, Germany) Fractionation of biomass – an essential step in a biorefinery process
  • Paul Colonna (INRA, France) title pending
  • Andreas Jupke (RWTH Aachen/ BioSC) tbc
  • Steve Csonka (CAAFI) tbc


 Table moderators

  • Matthias Zscheile (FH Rosenheim)
  • Jörn Viell (RWTH Aachen/ BioSC)
  • Melanie Form (Airreg)
  • Uli Schurr (BioSC/ FZJ)
  • Alberto Bazema (UFZ)
  • Andreas Jupke (RWTH Aachen/ BioSC)
  • Siegfried Knecht (Airbus)
  • Steve Csonka (CAAFI)