Inside this issue

1. Latest Biofuels News

    - Join the Biofuel Cities Networking Corner

    - Renewable Fuels Agency issues first interim quarterly report on use of
      biofuels in the UK

    - Biofuels: the hottest clean technology companies in Europe

    - Commercialisation of bio-DME

    - Ireland's first biodiesel plant begins production

    - Thermochemical biomass-to-liquid process provides high purity diesel

    - Study shows B99 performs as well as regular petrodiesel

    - Biofuel Cities Quarterly available now in Polish

2. Policies update

3. Projects and Activities

4. New Publications and Resources

5. Event Highlights

6. Editorial and Legal Information

1. Latest Biofuel News

21.10.08  Join the Biofuel Cities Networking Corner

By joining the Biofuel Cities European Partnership you can promote your organisation, projects and resources to a wide audience of stakeholders in the area of biofuels for vehicles.

Whether you are media, biofuel producer, distributor, feedstock provider, end-user or any other stakeholder, the Biofuel Cities Team offers to increase your visibility online by displaying a link to your organisation in the Biofuel Cities website.

Taking part in this exchange could not be easier. By displaying the Biofuel Cities link and/or banner on your website, you will allow any person interested in the biofuel issue to have faster access to you and to your activities, and illustrate to any visitor your active involvement in advancing the discussion on the applications of biofuels for transport.>> more

09.10.08  Renewable Fuels Agency issues first interim quarterly report on use of biofuels in the UK

The UK's Renewable Fuels Agency released its first interim quarterly report on the 7 October which includes disclosure of company performance on the supply of biofuels under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO).

Several achievements can be noted since the start of the RTFO, which came into effect on 15 April 2008. For instance, the carbon reduction achieved by the use of biofuels (44%) during the first three months of the obligation is greater than the 40% target set by the UK government for the first year of the RTFO.>> more

07.10.08  Biofuels: the hottest clean technology companies in Europe

Clean technology is attracting billions of dollars of investment from around the world and carries the hope of a low polluting and sustainable future. The companies in the biofuels category of the 2008 Guardian/Library House CleanTech 100 include groups turning food waste into energy and world leaders in biomass conversion.

The list of companies chosen represents a mixed spectrum of companies, reflecting the diversity of technology within the cleantech sector through the "energy chain" from production, through to transmission and storage, to end-user application. Typically, companies in the list have leading-edge products and technologies that are just coming to market, or on the verge of commercialisation. >> more

01.10.08  Commercialisation of bio-DME

During the second week of September, the Swedish BioDME project got underway with a kick-off meeting in Piteĺ, Sweden. Researchers hope this project will prove that it is possible to produce environmentally friendly synthetic biofuels from ligno-cellulose biomass on an industrial scale. The project team plans to demonstrate the production of dimethylether (DME) from black liquor. Black liquor is primarily known as a by-product from the Kraft process that is created when manufacturing paper pulp. Black liquor is a watery solution of lignin residues, hemicellulose fragments and other inorganic chemicals necessary for the paper production process.

In order to determine whether the bio-DME has commercial possibilities and can achieve the required technical norms, the fuel will initially be tested in a fleet of 14 Volvo lorries. >>more

29.09.08  Ireland's first biodiesel plant begins production

Green Biofuels Ireland has started production at Ireland's first commercial-scale biodiesel production facility. Construction of the 34 million litre a year facility began in March 2007 and was completed in June 2008.

The sustainable multi-feedstock plant (for the production of second-generation biofuels) is currently operating mainly on yellow grease and tallow. >>more

19.09.08  Thermochemical biomass-to-liquid process provides high purity diesel

The German company Choren was awarded one of four European Business Awards for Environment for the development of a process that produces high-purity biodiesel from biomass.

This second-generation biofuel, which uses non-food plants, is low in pollutants and almost CO2 neutral and compatible with current and future diesel engine technology. >> more

17.09.08  Study shows B99 performs as well as regular petrodiesel

A 13 week long study of vehicles in the United States was made by a renewable fuel retailer (Propel, Inc.) for a baking company (Essential Baking Company), to assess the effect of fuel replacement from mineral (petro-) diesel to B99 (99% biodiesel blend) on its fleet of delivery vehicles.

The results of the study have shown that biodiesel in its almost pure form (i.e. 99% blend) performed equally if not better than regular petrodiesel. Furthermore, the vehicles running on B99 showed a reduction of approximately 20,000 kilograms in carbon dioxide emissions, a 78% reduction in particulate matter emissions, a 60-80% reduction in air toxins emissions, and 100% reduction in the emissions of sulphur compounds. >>more

16.09.08  Biofuel Cities Quarterly available now in Polish

The fifth issue of the Biofuel Cities quarterly newsletter, which includes a special focus on the developments in the south-eastern part of Europe, is now available in Polish. Readers can gain an insight into the status quo and the future outlook of feedstock and biofuels production (in Romania, Greece and Bulgaria, for instance) as well an understanding of the market developments and the main barriers concerning implementation.

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2. Policies Update

23.10.08  EU clinches deal on promoting clean road transport

The European Parliament has endorsed a Commission proposal to make public authorities use 'green' criteria, including energy consumption and CO2 and pollutant emissions, when procuring vehicles for public transport fleets.

The proposed directive, which aims to facilitate market-wide introduction of clean and efficient vehicles, received overwhelming support in the vote on 22 October. >>more

02.10.08  Feedback encouraged for biofuels sustainability standards

On 13 August 2008, the Steering Board of the international Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels announced a new draft of sustainability standards for biofuels. The standards have been in the development process over the past year by stakeholders from around the world and are now available in three additional languages: Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Another intensive round of stakeholder feedback is now underway and will run until March 2009, when the standards are expected to be revised. Comments are encouraged and can be posted directly through and to

26.09.08  New Zealand passes legislation to enable sustainable biofuels

The New Zealand Parliament recently passed a Biofuels Bill which is seen to 'stimulate the market for alternative transport fuels' in the country.

Under the legislation, oil companies are bound by a 'biofuel sales obligation' which requires them to have 0.5% of their sales to be from biofuels. The obligation will increase in 0.5% increments up to 2.5% by 2012.

The sustainability principles included in the Bill will make sure biofuels sold towards the obligation will: Emit significantly less greenhouse gas over their life cycle than fossil fuels; avoid negative impacts on food production; and do not reduce indigenous biodiversity or adversely affect land with high conservation values.>>more

23.09.08  Study analyses the future global biofuels industry

A recent study by Accenture (a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company) says that 'the creation of a global biofuels industry will be much more difficult to achieve than originally thought'. The study entitled, 'Biofuels' time of transition: Achieving high performance in a world of increasing fuel diversity', predicts that biofuels will eventually account for 10-15% of the future global energy mix, but getting there will be difficult, 'reflecting the challenges involved in creating full-scale markets in biofuels feedstock, production, transport and distribution'.>> more

3. Projects and Activities

Highlights of the new projects and activities added to the Biofuel Cities Project Database at


The Province of Gelderland (the Netherlands) seeks to comply with the European standards of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter by 2010. As a result, the Province has provided over one million Euros in subsidies to petrol stations for investments in natural gas and 'green' gas. The Province is also striving to stimulate end users of biofuels (fleet managers, vehicle purchasers and civil society).

In light of this, the Fuelswitch was launched to expedite the introduction of clean vehicles. To support the Fuelswitch campaign, the website (in Dutch) was developed. The website provides a lot of information about biofuels, such as providing information on the location of biofuel stations, fact sheets and a cost calculator. >>more

(Source: Biofuel Cities Project Database)

Railways and biofuels

The International Union of Railways (UIC) planned to hold a workshop on biofuels in July 2007. To provide background information for this workshop, UIC commissioned the UK Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) to produce a study on 'Railways and Biofuels' to identify experience with the use of biofuels for railways of selected European and other countries. The purpose of the report is to build on a previous paper published by UIC on biodiesel and explain the changes that have occurred. The report addresses the following questions in particular: Is there sufficient supply of Biodiesel for the EU railways? How are the issues associated with the higher costs of the fuel being addressed? Are Biofuels technically feasible? Are Biofuels really sustainable?

(Source: Biofuel Cities Project Database)

4. New Publications and Resources

Some of the new resources that arrived at the editor's desk this month are a number of websites (online information) and publications which include:

  • The Inter-America Development Bank (IDB) interactive tool called the 'Biofuel Sustainability Scorecard' (online tool);

  • 'Policy brief - Risk governance guidelines for bioenergy policies' (published by International Risk Governance Council, 2008); and

  • 'The ripple effect' (publication published by Rosamond L. Naylor, Adam J. Lisko, Marshall B; Burke, Walter P; Falcon, Joanne C.Gaskell, Scott D.Rozelle and Kennethe G. Cassman, 2007);

All resources can be accessed through the Biofuel Cities Resource Database. Access to the Resources Database is for Biofuel Cities European Partnership participants only.

5. Event Highlights

Biofuels 2008 - 3rd Annual Meeting
28-30 October 2008, Berlin, Germany

Organised by the World Refining Association, the event will begin with the Global Biofuels Technology Forum which will provide delegates with an in-depth look into three state of the art biofuels technologies and a case study of where they have been implemented in production facilities. During the afternoon a limited number of forum attendees will also receive the opportunity to attend a site visit to Europe's largest fully integrated biodiesel plant located in Wittenberg (Germany).

Providing excellent business and networking opportunities, Biofuels 2008 is a leading event for those involved in all areas of the biofuels industry.



Biomass and biofuels production from algae oil
30-31 October 2008, Alicante, Spain

This International Congress aims to demonstrate the potential of micro-macroalgae and cianobacteria as raw material for biofuels production. Recognised researchers, technologists and entrepreneurs from international markets, will meet in Alicante in order to present important data about biomass and oil production for biodiesel, ethanol and hydrogen production from this innovative raw material (most suitable species, selection and harvest details, return on investment, production and market costs).



World Ethanol 2008
3-6 November 2008, Paris, France

The Conference - now in its 11th year - is firmly established as the premier event for the ethanol industry. It will provide an incisive analysis of the market and provide a good forum for networking opportunities with senior executives from around the world. This year's event will include over 50 top level speakers, three days of analysis, the World Ethanol Leaders Summit, the Ethanol Risk Management Seminar, and the Ethanol Technical Workshop.



The Argus Biofuels Trading Congress 2008
4-5 November 2008, London, United Kingdom

The Congress will outline the current market situation and showcase innovative strategies to hedge risk and maximise profits in the biofuels market. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from senior executive speakers from producers, oil companies and traders how the markets influence each other and where the future business opportunities are.



6. Editorial and Legal Information

The Biofuel Cities Update is a monthly e-newsletter that aims to keep you informed of developments in the field of biofuels and in the Biofuel Cities European Partnership.

The Biofuel Cities European Partnership is a forum for the application of biofuels. Open to all stakeholders in the area of biofuels for vehicles, it offers access to the information and exchange portal; workshops and study tours; news, publications and tools. The Partnership is supported by the European-Commission funded Biofuel Cities project. Participation in the Biofuel Cities European Partnership is free. To join more than 850 peers or to find out more, visit or write to

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Published by the ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH

Editors: Stefanie Lay (responsible) / Amalia Ochoa

Copyright © 2008 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany

We welcome you to reproduce and / or translate any part of Biofuel Cities Update for further dissemination purposes, providing source is acknowledged.


This publication is part of the activities of the Co-ordination Action Biofuel Cities European Partnerships Consortium. The Coordination Action is funded by the Sixth Research Framework Programme of the European Union, under the Activity "Alternative Motor Fuels: Biofuels Cities".

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Neither the European Commission nor the Co-ordination Action Biofuel Cities European Partnerships Consortium nor any person acting on behalf of these is responsible for the use which might be made of this publication.

The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the source/author specified and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission nor the Co-ordination Action Biofuel Cities European Partnerships Consortium.
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