World region Asia
Asia, in particular South and East Asia, has experienced a very fast growth, both in economic performance and population, in the last half a century. Energy demand has grown manifold. However, modern bioenergy provision is only starting to play a significant role. In many countries in Asia people still rely on traditional biomass use.
Agricultural residues constitute a huge potential, although with regional differences. Rice husks, rice and wheat straw, manure, vinasse and filter cake, palm oil bunches and pulp, to name a few, are of crucial importance. But there is not always a sustainable way of their further utilization along the value chain. Often they are simply disposed into landfills or openly burnt on the fields. This releases unnecessarily greenhouse gases and squanders the energy content of those residues.
Bioenergy could provide an environmental-friendly solution for the energy provision (in particular in rural areas) as well as for the utilization of the agricultural residues. In some countries, a third aspect gains importance: closing the nutrient loop and produce bio-fertilizer.
DBFZ is going to transfer knowledge to different Asian countries. This implies, for instance, comprehensive biomass potential analysis with standardized methods, mass flow charts and their contextualization within the specific country context. The outcome gives political and other stakeholders the means to take decisions on bioenergy projects or even bioenergy policies in their countries. The same is true for commonly developed biogas concepts as in the case for manure and other residues and for urban bio-waste.
DBFZ’s relation to China, through its scientific staff, dates back before its founding in 2008. For several years DBFZ has been involved in university lectures, studies and projects on bioenergy, mainly biogas and bio-waste. A highlight was the approval of DBFZ’s first participation in a World Bank project in 2015. There was a Sino-German summer school on the energetic and material use of biogenic residues in the same year. In 2017 DBFZ was evaluated by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) and got, as one of the few international research centers, the certificate which formally allows DBFZ to provide training in China. Further projects on biogas use and manure management, rice husk combustion with bio-silica production and an integrated training program for the University of Hefei followed.
With Japan, the cooperation started in 2009. The topic was first a consultancy in the biogas sector. Then, a common field of action became the energetic use of solid biomass, i.e. their pelletization and torrefaction.
In India, the DBFZ has worked with partners on the topics of potential analysis, biogas, motor fuels based on algae, and gasification. Another important topic has been the energetic use of biogenic waste.
DBFZ’ activities in Vietnam have focused on biomass potential analyses on the national and regional level as well as giving support for a feasibility study regarding the construction of a biogas plant.