Progress and Prospects in the Field of Biomass and Waste to Energy and Added-Value Materials

Abstract

This paper reports the conclusions of the three panel discussions held during the WasteEng2016 Conference in Albi, France (http://www.wasteeng2016.org/). It explores the research and development trends aiming at the production of energy and added value materials from waste and/or biomass. Three approaches are investigated: thermochemical conversion (Panel chairs: M. Castaldi, J.M. Lavoie, C. Vandecasteele), biochemical conversion (Panel chairs: J. Legrand, P.T. Vasudevan, W. Verstraete) and, sustainable construction and energy storage (Panel chairs: J. van Deventer, Y. Pontikes, X. Py). The thermochemical conversion session addressed feedstock, technologies for energy recovery and material recycling, gas cleaning and the marketplace. It is shown that combustion (WtE) is the leading technology and that also much research is devoted to gasification and pyrolysis. The biochemical conversion session noted the ability to yield products applied to different sectors such as food and feed, chemical, biofuels, biomaterials and many others. Innovation oriented towards better exploitation of the existing biocatalytic activity of known enzymes and microbes is also discussed. Recycling of solid and liquid waste received substantial focus in construction. Materials for thermal energy storage from waste are considered a promising use of recycled materials. The paper also shows how entrepreneurs introducing new technology have to work with both technical and commercial uncertainty, which renders investment into new technology a high risk. Finally, this paper identifies, in the three sections developed below, the trends for ongoing research and highlights the direction where the research is trending from this point forward.

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Acknowledgements

This article has been assembled through the contributions of the attendees of the WasteEng2016 Conference who participated in the three Panel Discussions during the conference. The attendees represented a global spectrum of location and socioeconomic position. The authors and the WasteEng conference series (http://www.wasteeng2018.org/) organizing committee are indebted to the attendees because without their enthusiastic, engaged, informed and honest discussion this article would not have been possible.

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Correspondence to A. Nzihou.

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Castaldi, M., van Deventer, J., Lavoie, J.M. et al. Progress and Prospects in the Field of Biomass and Waste to Energy and Added-Value Materials. Waste Biomass Valor 8, 1875–1884 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12649-017-0049-0

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Keywords

  • Biomass and waste
  • Energy
  • Added-value materials
  • Technologies
  • Market