Wood. A Biomass as a first lighting and heating system, used by man a million and a half years ago.
THE BIOMASSES AND BIOFUEL PRODUCTION CHAINS
The Earth’s natural energy sources are numerous. Among these are BIOMASSES, natural energy sources from its farming soil, grazing lands and forests.
The term Biomass is very wide-ranging and implies all those organic materials (vegetable or animal) that have not undergone fossilisation processes and can be used for energy production (Biocombustibles/Biofuels). There are 4 Biomass production chains which can be used for energy means: the biomass production chain used directly as fuel, the solid biofuel production chain, the fluid biofuel production chain and the gaseous biofuel production chain.
In the first case, this is mainly a biomass from forests or farming, used as is without treatment; in the other cases, the biomass is turned into solid biofuel (chips, pellets), fluid biofuel(biodiesel, bioethanol, combustible oil), gaseous bioguel (biogas, syngas), through different and varying mechanical, chemical and biological treatments. Urban waste, livestock waste, animal waste (slaughtering waste) can also be used as Biomass.
The liquid and gaseous biofuel production chains are particularly relevant due to their use as biofuel for automotives or for the production of electric energy to replace petrol derivatives.
The RED Directive 2009/28/EC plays an important role in Europe, because it makes the use of biofuels mandatory for automotives, with sustainability features, key factor to which Europe is particularly attentive, so much so to request its certification in certain cases.
In fact, if the use of this resource has a positive impact in the greenhouse gases cycle, on the other hand it could have negative social impact in terms of reduction of accessible food farming products, and use of staff in charge of cultivation and the food industry.
THE AGENTS OF THE PRODUCTION CHAINS
To make the product usable as an energy source, the solid, liquid and gaseous biofuel production chains need a series of treatments, different among them, and still in the process of being innovated and developed to increase industrial yield and the quality of the finished product.
The solid, liquid and gaseous biofuel production chains are structured on 3 levels:
- farming or livestock ring,
- industrial transformation ring,
- energy production with traditional systems of energy production or cogeneration (thermal, electrical), adapted to the special conditions of biofuel.
The biofuel production chains are made up of a value chain including different agents: from owners of farm lands, to companies that are directly involved in the biofuel production cycle; from industrial plant and energy production component manufacturers (pipes, valves, tanks, trays, structures, control systems, generators, etc.); to the designers and installers of the systems themselves; to the financial partners of those purchasing biofuel and systems, to those who use the systems for energy production.
ICIM’S PROPOSAL FOR AGENTS OF THE PRODUCTION CHAINS
ICIM, driven also by the agents interested in European Directive 2009/28/EC, has closely followed the evolution of the use of biomasses, developing a series of certification and qualified policy guidance services, at a national (ACCREDIA accreditations) and international level (qualification by the European Commission of the ICIM RED model).
ICIM is open to all agents of biofuel production chains with certification services which will guarantee both qualifying product and service coverage, as well as support and aid for their work.