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Picture caption:  Frédéric Perie, Risk Management and R&D officer of Sustainable Development & Environment at TOTAL, during his talk.

Algae-based advanced biofuels represent an emerging field with a great potential, but where innovation is still necessary to achieve full deployment and economies of scale. Integration between different renewables, and a large number of scientific and technological disciplines is required to compete on a local and global scale.

This is why on September 30 to October 1, 2019 our supporter the European Algae Biomass Association (EABA) organized the Algae Based Biofuels Workshop in Brussels to bring together the main stakeholders for knowledge exchange and collaboration.

Our partner Dr. Yagut Allahverdiyeva-Rinne from the University of Turku represented the SUNRISE initiative at the event, designed in a compact format, with a panel-based structure. 

Some of the main speakers were David Chiaramonti from the University of Florence, Kyriakos Maniatis from the Directorate General for Energy, and David Casini from RE-CORD, among others.

During the different panel sessions, there was the business perspective, where different companies like TOTAL, NESTE, RIL Reliance Industries, Photanol, and Synthetic Genomics showcased some of their algae-based biofuels and commodity chemicals projects. The Research & Development angle was also represented with the presentation of EU funded research projects, for instance, Allgas (Aqualia), BioFAT, Algafuel (A4F), and Photofuel.

Among the different sessions’ outcomes, it was highlighted the urgent need of the adoption of an EU carbon tax, in order to make advanced biofuels and renewable fuels more competitive against fossil fuels. Likewise, the sustainability of the advanced biofuels was tackled as a critical issue. E.g. HVO – a form of renewable biodiesel that is produced from vegetable fats and oils – is the cheapest resource to produce biokerosene at present.

However, the key problem is the availability of sustainable non-edible oil resources. Most of the participants agreed on the fact that electrification will certainly play a significant role, for which liquid and gaseous sustainable biofuels are still needed. Thus, technology and economic feasibility of advanced algal biofuels need further improvement.

Picture caption:  Pauliina Uronen, NESTE Oil’s algae researcher and project manager, during her talk.

Picture caption: Kyriakos Maniatis, Principal Administrator in the Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission, during his talk.