Sustainable Metrics Symposium at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence

On 11th September 2019, the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York held a one-day symposium titled “Sustainability Metrics: Tracking, Measuring and Reporting Responsible Innovation”. This was the second “Sustainability Metrics” symposium held at the GCCE as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020-funded STAR-ProBio research project.

The aim of the symposium was to give researchers the opportunity to discuss their use of green chemistry metrics and other toolkits, to assess the sustainability of their research, and to encourage discussions and future collaborations between academic and industrial researchers. A total of 25 delegates, from academia and industry across the UK and Europe, attended the event with speakers from the University of Sheffield, University of York, Drax, Croda, CO2Chem, OWS Limited, Pré Sustainability and Novamont in attendance.

 

The symposium included oral presentations from academic and industrial researchers, including Dr Francesco Razza and Dr Kadambari Lokesh from the STAR-ProBio project.

STAR-ProBio Summer School

On the 5th of September, our colleagues Sergio Ugarte, Deniz Koca, Matthias Grill, Mathilde Crepy, Beike Sumfleth and Enrico Balugani have successfully conducted in Göteborg the STAR-ProBio Summer School “Sustainability certification and market uptake of bio-based products. Focus on the construction sector” as part of the EIT Climate-KIC Summer School on wood construction in climate change mitigation https://learning.climate-kic.org/en/courses/phd-catapult/wood-construction-in-climate-change-mitigation#introduction.

They have trained 20 PhD students from different EU Universities in the importance and developments of standards and certification schemes for assessing the sustainability of bio-based products used in the construction industry.

#BLOG_A new bioeconomy strategy for a sustainable Italy

The updated version of the Italian bioeconomy strategy has just been published!

Among other things, the document highlights the importance of promoting the use of sustainability standards, certification schemes and labels to support the bio-based market and the creation of a ‘level playing field’ between bio-based products and conventional products.

In this regard, the strategy explicitly refers to STAR-ProBio and the work it is conducting. A great result for our project!

Click here to download the updated version of the document.

WP7 meeting in Leipzig

A 3-day meeting took place in Leipzig to achieve the results expected within the WP7. The participants from Unibo, DBFZ, TUB, ECOS, USC and UWM worked together on how to assess the ILUC risk of bio-based products, define mitigation options to reduce it and identify a proper methodology for policy recommendations.

Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of industrial pine Roundwood production in Brazilian forests

Fabiane Salles FerroDiogo Aparecido Lopes SilvaFelipe Hideyoshi IcimotoFrancisco Antonio Rocco LahrSara González-García

Pine (Pinus oocarpa) wood has great economic importance in Brazil. Pine stands represent the second largest reforested area in the country due to their industrial interest. Combining the relevance of industrial pine stands in the country and corresponding environmental concerns, this current study aims to identify and quantify the environmental impacts derived from industrial pine roundwood production in Brazil. The environmental study was developed considering the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology according to ISO14040 framework. The study convers the life cycle of pine roundwood production from cradle-to-forest gate perspective and considers the current practices in the country. The production system was divided in five main stages: Soil preparation, seedlings plantation, forest management, forest harvesting and infrastructure establishment. The environmental profile was estimated considering characterization factors from the ReCiPe method, in terms of twelve impact categories. According to the results, forest harvesting stage was identified as the environmental hotspot being the main responsible of contributions to nine impact categories under assessment with contributing ratios ranging from 21% (e.g., freshwater eutrophication) to 76% (e.g., photochemical oxidants formation). The high amount of fossil fuel required by heavy machinery used in the activities involved in this stage is behind this result. Soil preparation stage reported also an outstanding contribution in categories such as freshwater eutrophication (37%) and toxicity related categories (≈35%). The rationale behind these contributions is associated with the use of chemical fertilizers, mostly superphosphate. The identification of the environmental hotspots in forest biomass production can assist the Brazilian forest practitioners to improve the environmental profile by means of the optimization of forest practices.

Click here to read the article.

Comparative environmental Life Cycle Assessment of integral revalorization of vine shoots from a biorefinery perspective

Patricia GullónBeatriz GullónIzaskun DávilaJalel LabidiSara Gonzalez-Garcia

The use of vine shoots as feedstock in biorefining activities to obtain bioproducts under efficient and optimized conditions could be crucial to make future high added value compounds and processes more sustainable. In this study, five different potential valorization scenarios from vine shoots differing on diverse extraction and delignification steps were assessed from an environmental perspective using the Life Cycle Assessment methodology to identify the most sustainable biorefining route. The main findings from this study reported that an increment on the number of valorization steps involved higher energy and chemical requirements deriving on worse environmental profiles. Scenarios incorporating fermentation of the glucose liquors or organosolv delignification performed the worst profiles. Autohydrolysis, concentration and freeze drying and enzymatic hydrolysis were the main responsible stages of the environmental burdens. Further research should be focused on optimizing chemicals and electricity requirements to develop greener systems.

Click here to read the article.