Delivering Low Carbon Energy from Biomass Resources

2 May 2013
London, UK

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The technical programme will present the latest thinking behind potential solutions and challenges from government, industry and academia with keynote addresses from Shell Global Solutions and the Department for Energy and Climate Change. This conference will focus on the current and emerging biomass and waste conversion technologies, helping delegates better understand key legislation, government incentives and technology innovation.

With a growing global population and developing economies there is an ever increasing demand for energy. With finite fossil fuel resources, one of the contributors to the energy balance is the use of biomass. Biomass does not automatically mean renewable, sustainable or low carbon – to achieve this requires careful resource selection and management. With the right strategy, these can have a lower carbon impact and play an important role in decarbonising the energy economy and moving to a sustainable energy future.

Energy from biomass can come from waste biomass (eg domestic food waste or waste biomass from industry). Alternatively, biomass can be grown specifically for generation of energy eg short rotation coppices, crops or algae. With consideration of the food versus fuel debate and the wide range of biomass resources available, it poses a challenge to choose the right resource and conversion technology when it comes to investing in a commercial biomass energy scheme.

Currently bioenergy accounts for approximately 3% of the UK total primary energy production and this is set to increase. In 2012, the UK government published a bioenergy strategy linked to three main energy sectors: transport, heat and electricity generation. Bioenergy can be applied more flexibly than other renewable energies, and can play an important role in meeting the 2020 renewables targets (15% of total energy consumption) and the 2050 carbon reduction targets (80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050).

In its technical strategy Chemical Engineering Matters, IChemE sees chemical engineers playing a central role in the sustainable energy future. This includes increasing the efficiency and scope of biomass conversion technologies, developing advanced biofuels from bioderived feedstocks and better catalysts and process for the utilisation of CO2.

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IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).