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From Research to Industry and Markets - Europe´s largest Biomass Event will begin in Valencia in June

(PresseBox) (Köln, ) Scientists, industry, suppliers, funding bodies and decision makers will meet in Valencia in June to discuss new developments and progress in all biomass related topics during the 16th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition. The five-day conference is Europe's largest international biomass event and the only one that covers the whole biomass sector, including biomass resources, conversion and biomass fuels as well as market and policy issues. Parallel to the conference is the international biomass exhibition that will attract more than 1.500 visitors from 80 nations. They can expect more than 270 plenaries and oral contributions from international experts, about 550 poster presentations and an exhibition area of more than 1000 square meters.

"There is still much to be done to increase overall economics, efficiency and reliability and to optimally integrate biomass into current and future supply structures", says the Chairman of the 16th Biomass Conference, Professor Dr. Jürgen Schmid. "Competition in land-use for food production will also have to be handled with great care, especially its consequences for developing countries. The international biomass conference is aimed at stimulating public discussion on all these items and promoting the awareness of the biomass community", Schmid adds.

A special feature in this year's conference programme is a new topic entirely dedicated to biofuels, in order to respond to the recently growing demands and to facilitate discussions and find solutions in the application of biofuel production in Europe. Liquid biofuels are particularly interesting for the transportation sector. While in Brazil sugar-cane is the selected feedstock in USA, Europe and China cereals are the preferred crops for the production of bioethanol which is basic liquid biofuel for blending or reformulation of gasoline. However sweet-sorghum biorefineries are now promoted for competitive and more sustainable production of bioethanol. Furthermore vegetal crops are grown in many countries (soybeans, sunflowers, rape, palm-oil) for blending or substitution of conventional diesel-fuel.

Biomass-to-liquid (BtL) fuels are, in contrast, synthetic fuels, in particular Fischer-Tropsch diesel. As they can be derived also from forest residues, straw and waste wood, the BtL manufacturing process does not compete with food production - the 16th Biomass Conference will give the opportunity to talk about recent progresses in this area.

Further presentations will cover the availability of biomass resources, the interaction with food production and the thermochemical and biological conversion of biomass for power and chemicals.

As biomass can provide a substantial part of the energy share in the near future, many presentations will also deal with market and policy issues. The 16th Biomass Conference will, for example, give the floor to presentations focused on the future developments that producers and distributors have in the car industry for the upcoming market. While the Biomass Industry Day will provide the platform for a strategical debate about bioenergy production and application in Europe. In the afternoon session, cooperation between the participants of the Industry Day can be enhanced: Visitors have the possibility to present business projects and discuss collaborations.

Spain has recognised the importance of renewable energy and is promoting it on a large scale. The "Conference on Biomass in Spain", organised by the Spanish energy agency IDAE, will therefore gather all the aspects related with the development of the biomass sector in Spain. It will take place on Thursday, June 5th, in Spanish language. Working criteria and Spanish projects will be presented here by the most relevant experts, research centres, technologists and promoters.

The sessions dedicated to policies will, in contrast, treat the different European Biomass Action Plans, international cooperation possibilities as well as production standards for the international market.

For those interested in actually seeing how biomass is treated, produced, extracted and gasified, technical tours will be organised in collaboration with the Spanish Energy Agency IDAE to production sites in Alicante, Valencia and Tarragona in the first week of June.

The 16th Biomass Conference and Exhibition will take place from June 2nd to June 6th in the Feria Valencia Convention and Exhibition Center. It is organised by the renewable energy enterprises ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, based in Florence, in collaboration with the Munich-based institute WIP-Renewable Energies. Both the conference and the exhibition are supported by the European Commission, the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the Valencia Agency for Energy, the Regional Government of Valencia, the World Council for Renewable Energy, the European Biomass Industry Association, the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign 2005-2008 and CORDIS. Official speakers of the supporting agencies, ministries and associations will speak during the Opening session of the Biomass Conference on June 2nd.