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Title: A techno-sustainability framework for biobased technologies
Authors: THOMASSEN, Gwenny 
Issue Date: 2016
Source: 1st International Conference on Bioresource Technology for Bioenergy, Bioproducts & Environmental Sustainability, Sitges - Spain, 24-26/10/2016
Abstract: Our current fossil-based society is not sustainable and a transition to a biobased economy is required. One major problem of the fossil-based society is the CO2 emitted to the atmosphere. Algae are a promising feedstock for the biobased economy and at the same time have potential to be used for carbon capture and usage (CCU). However, to avoid raising new problems, the true sustainable nature of using algae for CCU needs to be assessed. This study performs a techno-sustainability assessment (TSA) of the use of microalgae for food/feed applications. A generally accepted sustainability assessment, such as the TSA, should not only include technological, economic and environmental aspects, but also have a social dimension. However, this social dimension has too often been neglected. The TSA consists of four steps: (1) scoping phase with a market study and goal and scope definition; (2) technical phase with a process flow diagram and the mass and energy balance; (3) impact assessment phase with the parallel assessment of the economic, environmental and social feasibility; (4) interpretation phase with the identification of the crucial parameters. From the preliminary results of the TSA performed for the case study we can conclude that although microalgae have the ability to capture CO2, the cultivation and production process generates additional emissions and that the process is economically feasible. The main parameters influencing the economic and environmental feasibility are the price of the end product and the productivity. The proposed extended framework will be carried out in more detail and the social aspect will be added. This TSA can act as a guidance for technology development and shorten the time-to-market for new and innovative technologies within the biobased economy.
Keywords: techno-sustainability assessment; techno-economic analysis; biobased economy
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Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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