International Workshop on Sustainable Bioenergy from Algae

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Bioenergy > Algae/Events > International Workshop "Aquatic Biomass: Sustainable Bioenergy from Algae?"


This page provides information about the International Workshop "Aquatic Biomass: Sustainable Bioenergy from Algae?" held in Berlin, Germany, 2 November 2009.

Background

Bioenergy will play a major role within a global sustainable energy system. The main feedstocks for bioenergy are – in addition to biogenic residues and wastes – cultivated energy crops (if sustainably grown). Although about three quarters of the earth´s surface is covered by oceans, only a relatively small amount of marine biomass is used today (e.g. fisheries, algae used for food and cosmetics).

The current level of exploitation already causes serious problems in some regions of the world and, in accordance with international agreements (e.g. the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the OSPAR Convention), any further intensification of aquatic biomass production must comply with sustainability requirements.

However, the potential of sustainably provided aquatic biomass (micro- and macro-algae, seaweeds) for energy has been barely investigated so far, compared to terrestrial production. In addition, land-based production of bioenergy from algae could be a future resource.

Objectives

The workshop brought together key representatives from countries active in research and development of algae-based bioenergy. They presented and discussed the current status and future options of algae use, introduced technology prospects and environmental and development issues. From that, open questions were identified, and perspectives for further work considered.

The workshop was co-funded by two German research projects of Oeko-Institut: Bio-global (sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Environment through the Federal Environment Agency) and conCISEnet (sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Research).

A Workshop Input Paper (PDF, 1.1 MB) was prepared, and workshop proceedings documenting all contributions, discussions, and outcomes are made available here on the BioenergyWiki.

Agenda and Presentations

Session 1: Welcome and Introduction

Session 2: Status of Algae Research, Activities and Practical Experiences

Chair: Olaf Kruse (University of Bielefeld, Germany); Rapporteur: Suzanne Hunt (HuntGreen LLC, USA)

Session 2.1: Microalgae

Session 2.2: Macroalgae

Session 3: Potentials, Economics and Perspectives – parallel Working Groups

WG I: Microalgae

WG Chair: Christian Wilhelm (Leipzig University,Germany); WG Rapporteur: Boosya Bunnag (King Mongkut's University of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand)

WG II: Macroalgae

WG Chair: Klaus Lüning (Sylter Algenfarm GmbH & Co.KG, Germany); WG Rapporteur: Renato Morchio (Sur Solutions, Chile)

Session 4: Environment and Sustainable Use – parallel Working Groups

WG I: Microalgae

WG Chair: Christian Wilhelm (Leipzig University, Germany); WG Rapporteur: Suzanne Hunt (HuntGreen LLC, USA)

WG II: Macroalgae

WG Chair: Klaus Lüning (Sylter Algenfarm GmbH & Co.KG, Germany); WG Rapporteur: Renato Morchio (Sur Solutions, Chile)

  • Input statement: Off-shore cultivation of macroalgae – risk for eco-systems and biodiversity; Ariane Breucker ([ http://www.bfn.de BfN], Germany)
  • Results from working groups in Session 3 and 4; Presentations by WG Rapporteurs; questions and discussion, moderated by Klaus Hennenberg (Öko-Institut)

For the entire session, see Workshop Outcome Report

Session 5: Next Steps / Future Challenges

Some of the next steps and future challenges discussed included possible impacts of algae bioenergy operations on natural ecosystems, the need to dramatically improve algae fuel yields, and the problem of overly optimistic expectations for the role of algae that may be difficult to meet.[1]

Workshop Outcome

The Workshop Outcome Report (0.1 MB) summarizes all discussions in the plenary and the working groups.



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