WS28: Technology advances in liquid biofuels and renewable gas

17 Oct 2022

Vienna, 17 October 2022 – Workshop organized by IEA Bioenergy in collaboration with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and BEST – Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies GmbH


Summary report: ExCo90 Workshop – Summary Report


Workshop Programme

Short bios of the moderators and speakers


Both the accelerating climate change as well as the energy crisis related to the war in Ukraine, call for urgent action to move away from fossil fuels such as oil and gas. Energy savings and renewable energy are the key tools to achieve that. Renewable transport fuels and renewable gases will need to have an increasing role in the transport system and the gas distribution system. A strong growth in so-called ‘advanced technologies’ will be required, starting from a variety of feedstocks, particularly underutilised heterogeneous biomass resources. Meanwhile, increasing prices for oil and gas have totally changed the picture and prospects of renewable fuels compared to one or two years ago.

The workshop explored advances being made in new biofuels technologies, as well as technologies to produce renewable gas (biomass based), and discussed what is needed to accelerate their roll out to the market. It contained three parts: the first session considered advances in renewable gas / biomethane, the second advances in liquid biofuels, and the third session showed concrete developments in Austria.


Key conclusions

Both climate change and energy security are major reasons to urgently move away from fossil fuels such as oil and gas. This requires a combination of energy conservation, energy efficiency, electrification and shifting applications to renewable fuels – there is no silver bullet.

Renewable liquid transport fuels will need to have an increasing role in the transport system and the role of renewable gases will need to increase in the gas distribution system. In both cases bioenergy plays a vital role. The current push on biomethane at (European) policy level also helps further developments.

Renewable gas:

Biomethane can be used without changing (natural) gas transmission/distribution infrastructure or end user equipment, so it provides a renewable solution that is immediately applicable.

Biogas sectors are starting to focus more on upgrading to biomethane which can be fed into the gas grid or used decentral as natural gas substitute. The upgrading also facilitates capture and use of biogenic CO2 from the biogas.

Gasification pathways are also promising to deliver biomethane (SNG) which can be fed into the grid to replace fossil gas. Technologies have been proven and are ready to take the next step to commercial scale projects.

Accelerating the deployment of renewable gas requires solid planning and strategies, a stable and supportive policy framework, the removal of unnecessary barrierseasy market access, the possibility to trade products cross border, the unlocking of sustainable feedstocks and the recognition of the multifunctionality of biogas/biomethane systems.

Advanced liquid biofuels:

Thermochemical and biochemical routes to produce advanced liquid biofuels are entering the market, with new projects coming online and further deployment expected in the coming years. While most current projects and technologies still focus on road biofuels, developments increasingly focus on sustainable aviation fuels.

Policy development is essential for the deployment of biofuels. Financing is the most critical factor, and the largest risk for investors is the political risk of changing policies, considering that investments need to have a 15-to-20-year time perspective.


Different industries that process biomass are turning into biorefineries, creating a variety of products, together contributing to the overall business case, and avoiding wastes in the process. Biofuels/bioenergy are an inherent part of these systems. Circularity of carbon and nutrients is a common goal in all these projects.

Biorefining to multiple products is a central principle in all biobased developments.

Summary report: ExCo90 Workshop – Summary Report



Introduction & keynotes

Recording of Introduction & keynotes

  • Paul Bennett, IEA Bioenergy / Scion (New Zealand)
  • Hannes Bauer, Austrian Ministry BMK (Austia)
  • Maria Georgiadou, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation
    EU R&I policy for renewable fuels

Technical presentations renewable gas

Recording of Technical presentations Renewable Gas

Panel discussion: What is needed to accelerate the deployment of renewable gases

Recording of Panel discussion Renewable Gas

Technical presentations liquid biofuels

Recording of Technical presentations Liquid Biofuels

Panel discussion: What is needed to accelerate the deployment of advanced biofuels

Recording of Panel discussion Liquid Biofuels

Developments in Austria

Recording of Developments in Austria



More information
Luc Pelkmans
Technical Coordinator – IEA Bioenergy