Germany Sees Big Potential in Green Biomass Fuel
A study commissioned by Germany's government and published on Thursday concluded that sufficient quantities of the raw materials required were available.
Biofuels are currently largely produced from crops such as rapeseed, maize, soy or palm.
Second generation BTL technology aims to produce biofuels such as biodiesel and gasoline from cheaper sources such as straw, grass, tree leaves, wood chips or low-grade crops.
"Germany has sufficient biomass available for large-scale BTL production which could cover 20 percent of today's fuel requirements," Clemens Neumann, head of the ministry's sustainable materials department, said in a statement.
"By 2030 the technical potential could rise to over 30 percent."
The study, by research company Deutsche Energie-Agentur, said construction of a BTL production plant consuming around one million tonnes of biomass annually would be the next development stage to test technology for commercial-scale production.
A smaller pilot plant is being built at Freiberg by German company Choren. This should produce around 13,000 tonnes of vehicle fuel annually from late 2007.
Choren said separately it was considering building a larger plant in cooperation with industrial partners.
"We are seeking to undertake the next stage of the basic design package for a concrete location in the next quarter (year)," said Choren CEO Tom Baldes.
But he said such a project would probably need state support, possibly in the form of financial guarantees.