August news

27.08.08 Test methods for biodiesel improved

The final report of the EU-funded BIOScopes project (Biodiesel: Improvement on Standards, Co-ordination of Producers & Ethanol Studies) is now available. The report proposes improvements and new methods to be included in the standardisation work of CEN (the European Committee for Standardisation) which will then become part of the ongoing revision of the European norm for the biodiesel standard EN 14214.

BIOScopes is concerned with the improvement of the EN 14214 biodiesel quality standard, and the increased use of bioethanol in the diesel market.


contact for more information:

(source: Biodiesel Quality Management Work Group (AGQM) press release)

26.08.08 Final workshop for European biofuels end-users, 16 October in Warsaw

The 4th and final Biofuel Cities Workshop for end-users, hosted by the City of Warsaw, will highlight developments and outcomes relevant to end-users as identified within the Biofuel Cities project.

The aim will also be to identify new aspects (barriers, challenges, needs and opportunities) that should be considered by the European Platform - in particular from the perspective of Central and Eastern European end-users. We will address sustainability, types of biofuels and vehicles, availability and affordability, among others.

The programme will include presentations by experts and discussions that can feed into the collection of information relevant to different types of end-users, to be shared with the European Commission through the Biofuel Cities project.

The Workshop is relevant for people from across Europe who represent end-users - from business, industry, agriculture, cities and towns.

The Workshop is linked to the Conference CEE Biofuels 2008 - Creating a more sustainable future, which takes place in Warsaw on 17 October 2008. Those attending the Biofuel Cities Workshop will benefit from a discount on the conference fee of 15%, and a 10% reduction for Biofuel Cities Platform participants. Click here for more information on the Conference.

Interested in attending the Workshop? Send your expression of interest via e-mail to by 19 September 2008

26.08.08 Only 19% of UK biofuel meets sustainability standard

The Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) recently reported that only 19% of the biofuel supplied under the UK-government's new initiative to use fuel from plants meets its standard. Suppliers could not identify the origin of the remaining 81% or prove its sustainability.

The suppliers began mixing the biofuel into all petrol and diesel supplies in April, under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). The figures show that biofuel accounted for 2.1% of UK road fuel for the first month of the scheme, against a target for the year of 2.5%. The majority of biofuel was biodiesel (86%), with 14% bioethanol.


(source: GAVE-news / Renewable Fuels Agency)

21.08.08 English Street cleaning vehicle powered by biomethane

A consortium of three English companies, Gasrec (which manufactures biomethane), Veolia Environmental Services (a waste processing company) and Iveco (a truck manufacturer) have collaborated on the establishment of a commercial trial of compressed biomethane (CBM) derived from landfill sources.

Gasrec will provide biomethane for a trial lasting six months and the performance of the fuel will be measured against existing vehicles running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

The project aims to demonstrate that biomethane is a commercially competitive and environmentally sound fuel that can be directly substituted for natural gas. Biomethane is considered to be the most sustainable biofuel in terms of impact on resource depletion in relation to alternatives such as biodiesel and ethanol.


(source: GAVE-news / IANGV)

19.08.08 Biofuel Cities online forum now open

Share your views about different biofuel related issues with the participants of the Biofuel Cities European Partnership. Biofuel Cities now offers an interactive forum on its website. A few discussions have already commenced in relation to the themes:
- vehicle availability and fuel quality;
- first versus second generation of biofuels;
- food versus fuel, and
- sustainability of biofuels.

You are invited to join the discussions. The forum is available for participants of the Biofuel Cities partnership.

Not a participant yet? It is easy to register online. Just click here to enter your details and join this unique partnership.  

Already a partner? Just login here to be directed to the forum and share your opinions and experiences with over 1,000 participants that are already part of the partnership.

19.08.08 Draft guidelines for biofuel sustainability guidelines announced

The steering committee of the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) announced on the 13 August the release of draft guidelines - called "Version Zero" - on the "Principles for Sustainable Biofuels". The RSB is a multi-stakeholder initiative of the Energy Centre, Swiss Federal Technical Institute (EPFL). The guidelines contain "international standards for guaranteeing that biofuels originate from environmentally sustainable sources", and could also be used to compare environmental/social impacts of biofuel alternatives.

The RSB will also look to build on standards that are already in place, such as those put forth by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), to provide a robust set of standards that stand up to scrutiny.


(source: ISAAA / CEN-Energy Centre)

14.08.08 Biofuel from compostable waste

The province of Overijssel (Netherlands) is collaborating in a research project known as 'rijden op gft' (driving on compostable waste), which aims to build a plant in the municipality of Zwolle to ferment compostable waste into biogas. This biogas would then be used to fuel cars. Following the fermentation process, the residue will be turned into high-grade compost. A preliminary study has shown that this is feasible. However, the project must also prove that biogas contributes to sustainable energy supplies and a better air quality in the town.

more (in Dutch)..

(source: GAVE-news /ROVA)

13.08.08 Ethanol REACH Association launches joint registration initiative for European ethanol industry

Taking effect on 1 June 2007, REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) is the European chemicals legislation which applies to all 27 EU Member States plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Ethanol must be registered by all its EU-based manufacturers and importers, as well as by all representatives of non-EU-based manufacturers and formulators. As a first step, 'pre-registration' is required for existing substances such as ethanol, and this is only possible between I June and 30 November 2008.

Easy Registration for Members of the Ethanol REACH Association is possible. Read more about this option and the REACH association on the Ethanol REACH website.


(source: REACH)

11.08.08 Study tour of biofuel production in Baden-Württemberg - Call for participants

Tübingen and its neighbouring communities (Germany), 23-24 October 2008

Do you wish to learn how to establish a regional economic cycle, with farmers, fuel producers and end-users all benefit by combining efforts? The City of Tübingen (Germany) runs its municipal waste fleet on biodiesel that is produced in the region. Join us and find out how the process works, what local economic benefits are generated and how different stakeholders work together for a win-win situation.

As part of the Biofuel Cities project, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in cooperation with the Informationsinitiative Biokraftstoffe Süd, are organising this final study for end-users - industrial / commercial fleet owners, local authorities, agricultural end-users, public transport companies. The study tour is free of charge and only for participants of the Biofuel Cities European Platform (registration free of charge at:

Interested in participating? Email your expression of interest together with your contact details to Christine Klas from ICLEI by 5 September 2008.

06.08.08  Biofuels in South-Eastern Europe

The fifth issue of the Biofuel Cities quarterly newsletter has a special focus on the developments in the South-Eastern part of Europe. 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.

With a different focus in each issue, the Biofuel Cities Quarterly keeps you informed about technology and policy developments related to the application of biofuels.

Download this issue [pdf file]

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05.08.08  Road transport remains Europe's single largest air polluter

Despite marked improvements since 1990, emissions from cars and trucks continue to be the main source of health-damaging air pollutants, according to a new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report, published on Monday (28 July), shows that road transport remains the single most important source of sulphur oxides (SOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) in the EU-27.


(source: EURActiv, 29 July / EEA)

01.08.08  Need for biodiversity-friendly production of biofuels in Europe

During the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Bonn, Germany, the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC) launched a discussion paper on the impacts of biofuel production on biodiversity in Europe.

The Paper is now available in the form of a report that focuses on second generation biofuels.

Some of the main conclusions of the report include: the urgent need for the development of an overall policy and implementation framework that could make agricultural bioenergy production environmentally compatible; a requirement to draw up a code of practice, memoranda of understanding, criteria for biodiversity-friendly production; and a pressing need for research and monitoring that is required to demonstrate the values and best practices for biodiversity in European agricultural habitats.


(source: ECNC Update, July 2008)