Save the date and put 16-17 May in your diaries. The Hotel Le Plaza in Brussels will once again host the annual event, which so successfully returned last year.
Hosted by Biofuels International magazine, the event now in its 14th year, is aiming to build on last year’s successful event that was attended by hundreds of guests, delegates and speakers.
In an ever-shifting regulatory environment, delegates will be able to learn from the leading voices in the sector about the latest developments and policy initiatives, while also getting the chance to network with decision-makers and specialists from across the industry.
David Carpintero, the new director general of ePURE, will chair proceedings on the first day followed by the first speaker of the two-day event, Olivier Mace.
On the agenda
Carpintero will survey the latest developments in EU biofuels policy, highlighting the importance of domestic European production of renewable ethanol for transport decarbonisation, food security and energy independence.
He said: “The way forward should be clear to policymakers. However, even after the European Parliament voted to confirm a role for sustainable crop-based biofuels in the transport energy mix last year, the biofuels sector still faces challenges as EU institutions continue to send mixed messages about biofuels’ future importance.
“Crop-based biofuels such as renewable ethanol are the most immediate, cost-effective, sustainable and socially inclusive emissions-reduction solution the EU has.
“Unleashing their potential should be a paramount goal for this year if Europe truly wants to deliver on its 2030 objectives and beyond.
“Whether it’s in the proposed revision of the Energy Taxation Directive to reward climate-friendly fuels, further changes to the Renewable Energy Directive II or in implementing a de facto ban on cars with internal combustion engines, it’s only by sending a clear and consistent message with coherent policies that the EU can achieve our common goal of getting fossil fuels out of transport.”
Carlos Gaya, head of priudct management and technical service, purification EMEA, Clariant, will focus on unlocking the potential of alternative feedstocks with efficient pre-treatment.
He said: “The demand for renewable fuels is growing at a staggering pace, driven by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
“At the same time regulators and markets are pursuing the shift from virgin oils to second-generation and advanced feedstocks derived from used cooking oils (UCOs), waste animal fats and palm oil mill effluents (POMEs).
“While these alternative feedstocks offer great potential for HVO, SAF and biodiesel producers, they come with their own set of challenges.
“The presentation will give an overview of the various types of impurities found in alternative feedstocks, the impact these harmful impurities could have on downstream processing and the most cost-effective methods for purifying them will be explored.
“By the end of the presentation, listeners will have an understanding about the key role adsorbents play in protecting the valuable catalysts to ensure smooth downstream conversion, high-quality results and enhanced efficiency of their production process.”
Mace, the owner of Broadmanor Consulting, will look at the progress on the Fit for 55 policies, while also delving into the race for additional feedstocks as well as the prospects for the industry moving forward.
He said: “In the post-Covid recovery, and driven by the need to reduce emissions in the transport sector, biofuels consumption continued to rise globally in 2022, with significant policy developments in Europe as well as in other regions – notably the Inflation Reduction Act in the US.
“In Europe, the ambitious Fit-for-55 package is progressing, and the key features of future regulations – not least the RED III – are slowly becoming clearer. However, controversy and politically-driven choices continue to affect the ability to maximise the potential of biofuels, as the debate rages on around food crops or the ban on ICE cars.
“As a result, the increase of complexity within the European regulatory framework seems relentless and without limit.”
He added: “A key component of this potential is the availability of feedstocks. Concerns have been raised in particular around waste lipids for bio-based diesel and jet, in the context of significant restrictions on eligibility within the EU compared to the rest of the world.
“However, the recent draft of the Annex IX revision gave a very important signal to industry, notably on the so-called cover crops, which can be grown without requiring additional land use.
“Looking beyond 2030, prospects for the biofuels sector in Europe will depend on resolving some of these crucial challenges.”
Other speakers include Neste’s Jonathan Wood, who is the vice-president EMEA, renewable aviation.
Wood will highlight the growth in the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) market as airlines ramp up their net-zero goals.
Last year was a landmark one for SAF with a greater number of offtake agreements announced (as well as a higher volume of fuel) than in the previous two years combined – and by far, the most of any year to date.
According to ICAO, upwards of 80 SAF offtake agreements were put in place across more than three dozen airlines, amounting to a commitment of nearly 3.5 trillion litres of SAF.
SAF is a crucial piece of the climate action puzzle because it is capable of delivering immediate emissions reductions.
He said: “While other solutions such as electrification and hydrogen power will also play a role in the long term, full-scale implementation remains years – if not decades – away.
“Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is an example of SAF that is commercially available today, and can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle compared to using fossil jet fuel, while requiring no modifications to aircraft engines or fuel distribution infrastructure.
“Meaningful action now, ambitious collaborations across value chains and urgent adoption of technologies like SAF – these are all fundamental necessities for decarbonising the aviation industry. Furthermore, we need international alignment on methods of incentivising and measuring emissions reductions.”
For more information: Visit: biofuels-news.com/conference/
biofuels/biofuels_index_2023.php. For further information about the event contact Claire Smith via a firstname.lastname@example.org
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