Biofuels are becoming increasingly important in sustainable energy and climate policy. Apart from their significant potential to replace fossil fuels, they also harbour high CO2 reduction potential. Consideration of their CO2 efficiency should not be limited to the raw materials and products – instead the entire production process needs to be taken into account.
The raw materials cultivated for the production of our biofuels grow again and have no harmful repercussions for the environment. The CO2 cycle of biofuels remains closed. And during combustion, only as much CO2 is released as was absorbed during growth.
The VERBIO bio-refinery is based on the closed loop system and the use of the whole crop. Of the raw materials used, over 90% are converted into energy in the form of bioethanol and biomethane (verbiogas). The remaining inorganic components are returned to the cycle as organic fertilizer, hence enabling a high degree of sustainable agriculture. This integrated plant means that the yield from one hectare of land is more than twice that when using current biofuel production methods.
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We require certified raw materials for the sustainable production of our biofuel. Back in early August 2010, VERBIO’s production sites were awarded the REDcert certificate to confirm their compliance with the Biofuel Sustainability Directive – and hence their sustainable production of biofuel. To this end, VERBIO works closely with its agricultural partners.
Biofuel Sustainability Directive
For VERBIO, sustainability in biofuel production has been an absolute must since the word go. The German Biofuel Sustainability Directive has been in force in Germany since 1 January 2011.
It states that all biofuels used in Germany must comply with strict sustainability criteria. This applies to both biofuels produced in Germany and those imported. The Biofuel Sustainability Directive bans the use of conservation areas such as rainforest for the production of biofuels. In addition, each biofuel must cut CO2 emissions by at least 35% compared to fossil fuels – a figure which increased to 50% by 2017.
VERBIO is able to exceed these aims. verbiodiesel produces around 70% less CO2, verbioethanol 80% and verbiogas cuts even 90% CO2. And we are continuing to work to make the production processes more efficient and to further reduce greenhouse gases throughout the value chain.