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Newsletter #1 - BIKE project 

Biofuels production at low ILUC risk for European sustainable bioeconomy, is a Horizon 2020 project that supports the implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive II of the European Commission by providing evidence, measuring and widely disseminating the market potential of low ILUC risk value chains for biomass, biofuels and bioliquids in Europe.

The Newsletter will gather updates and insights relative to the project developemnts and results 

Overview on biofuels production facilities and technologies in Europe 
BIKE coordinator RE-CORD has published an insightful overview on the European facilities producing biofuels and those under development 
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BIKE Factsheet series
In BIKE, we focus on four case studies of sustainable biofuel production. They represent two value chain types that match the definition for additionality, as defined by the Delegated Act of the European Commission 2019/807, supplementing the RED II Directive. Here below you can find the small summaries of the case studies considered in BIKE and the link to the respective factsheet.
Biogas done right model
The Biogasdoneright® model (BDR) employs sequential cropping to produce both food and energy from agricultural biomass, primarily cellulosic materials. The crops are planted in period where the land would remain unused, between the main plantations. Crops and manure can be digested to produce biogas, which can then be upgraded to biomethane. Additionally, recycled digestate from the anaerobic digestion of agricultural and waste materials can be used as organic fertiliser, improving soil health, and sequestering atmospheric carbon. BDR was developed by the Italian Biogas Consortium (CIB).
Castor oil for HVO
The castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) is native to Africa. A non-food plant, it is resistant to the hot, dry climate and needs little water, it therefore does not displace any land from food use. Castor seed typically contains between 40 percent and 60 percent oil, it has already been used by the industry in petrochemical applications, used as a lubricant oil for two-stroke engines before the development of synthetic oils. ENI, partner of the BIKE project, is developing a pilot cultivation of Castor oil plants in Tunisia and Italy (Sicily). This will be the world’s first example of semi-industrial non-food being cultivated in a pre-desert area to generate sustainable biofuels, and it will make environment-friendly vegetable oil available as an alternative to gradually replace palm oil, which the EU has decided to phase-out by 2030. The castor oil will be instrumental for the production of HVO (Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil), a sustainable biofuel suitable for use in the transport sector.
Perennial crops for bioethanol
Switchgrass is a perennial crop native to North America and has a wide range of climatic adaptability, making it adaptable to the drought conditions and tolerant to severe water stress conditions. Switchgrass has a good potential to be biomass feedstock because it has high net energy production per hectare, low productions costs, low nutrient requirements, wide geographical adaptation, low ash content and adaptation to marginal soils and increased potential for carbon storage in soil. The same applies to Miscanthus, another perennial crop with similar characteristics. Therefore, growing Switchgrass or Miscanthus on marginal and low productive agricultural lands can increase the farmers income through access to opportunities on bioenergy and bio-products markets. CRES, partner of the BIKE project, is developing a pilot cultivation of perennial crops in Italy and Greece for the production of lignocellulosic ethanol.
Brassica Carinata for renewable diesel
Advanced biofuels are instrumental for the decarbonization of transport in the efforts to achieve the climate targets for 2030 and 2050. But what if low-ILUC risk feedstocks used for biofuel production could significantly contribute to soil health and carbon sequestration from the atmosphere? This is the concept of Climate Positive Fuels, developed by BIKE partner UPM. 
UPM is one of the industrial partners in BIKE consortium and responsible for one of the case studies, demonstrating already developed solutions for low ILUC risk biofuels. Being both a biomass and advanced biofuel producer, UPM has extensive experience on the whole value chain of sustainable fuels. UPM provides the BIKE project with tested data and valuable insights on practical opportunities and challenges when developing new sustainable solutions for low carbon bioeconomy.
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 952872.