Sustainability assessment of the management of second generation biomass

Paola Federica Albizzati*, Davide Tonini, Thomas Fruergaard Astrup

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

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    The Bioeconomy Strategy was launched by the European Union (EU) in 2012 to promote the transition from a fossil- to a bio-based economy. To meet ambitious energy and climate mitigation targets, extensive use of first generation biomass has occurred in the last years incurring environmental, economic, and social concerns in relation to the actual sustainability of the supply and transformation processes. To circumvent these issues, second generation biomass has been often proposed as an alternative and, among the others, biowaste (e.g. from household or industry). According to the biomass pyramid, biomass should first be used to produce high-value products (e.g. pharmaceuticals), and only when the biomass is no longer suitable for the mentioned applications it should be used for fuel and energy purposes. Following policy reccomendations, life cycle thinking should be applied to document the sustainability of bioeconomy pathways. In this study, we focus on biowaste and evaluate sustainability of a variety of utilisation pathways by applying life cycle assessment and life cycle costing. Scenarios are assessed investigating both high- (e.g. animal feed production) and low-value products (e.g. energy recovery from incineration). The results obtained are expected to fill the research gap with respect to economic and social assessment of second generation biomass usage, and to assist decision makers in deciding the best application of the mentioned biomass.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2019
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    Event17th International Waste Management and Landfill symposium - Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy
    Duration: 30 Sept 20194 Oct 2019
    Conference number: 17


    Conference17th International Waste Management and Landfill symposium
    CitySanta Margherita di Pula


    • Residual biomass
    • Biowaste
    • LCA
    • LCC
    • Circular economy
    • Bioeconomy
    • Life cycle thinking


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