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New RSB standard for advanced fuels to be instrumental for waste-to-fuel projects

At the recent Assembly of Delegates meeting in Vancouver Canada, the RSB accepted and adopted the revised Standard for Advanced Fuels based on the proposal of the RSB’s Technical Working Group on End-of-life products, By-products and Residues.

Waste and residue materials are a crucial part of the feedstock mix as their use reduces the pressure on land and natural resources which are pivotal factors in the development of a truly sustainable bioeconomy. The RSB Standard for Advanced Fuels defines a credible approach for using waste and residual material for fuel production and gives answers to questions as: “How to define a residue?”, “How to ensure traceability?” and “Which sustainability risks have to be considered?”

The proposal for the standard was developed by the the technical working group that included representatives from The MBP Group, Neste, The American Chemistry Council (ACC), SECCA, WWF, Cosmo Biofuels Group, The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), UPM – The Biofore Company, LanzaTech, Good Fuels, Humboldt State University, Fulcrum BioEnergy and Velocys.

Fulcrum BioEnergy’s Managing Director, Dr. Bruno Miller, acknowledged “The new standard on waste and residues will be instrumental in supporting the development of waste-to-fuels projects. Having clear guidance regarding this certification process gives consumers, producers, investors, and all other stakeholders confidence in the sustainability of these fuels”.

The new RSB Standard for Advanced Fuels considers traditionally used materials like agricultural and forestry residues, used cooking oil and municipal solid waste as well as the new material category of fossil waste material including waste plastic, end-of-life tyres and CO2 captured from flue gas.

Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, the CEO of LanzaTech said that in order “to safeguard our future, we must use carbon wisely, and not treat it as a single use liability. Using wastes and residues as feedstocks is essential to give carbon a second chance at life, making new products that would otherwise come from fossil resources. LanzaTech and our partners turn to RSB to guide us in ensuring that wastes and residues can be used sustainably to create a carbon smart world.”

Following the adoption of the standard the technical working group will continue its efforts to develop a commonly accepted approach for modelling displacement effects that might occur if material streams are being diverted from other uses.

The RSB consists of a worldwide movement of businesses, NGO’s, academics, government and UN organisations that help drive best practice for sustainable biomaterial, biofuels and biomass production. As such it is uniquely positioned to find solutions to the most pressing questions of the bioeconomy as Dr. Kevin Fingerman, Assistant Professor at Humboldt State University, recognised. He said that the “RSB’s certification enables concerned consumers and companies to support products that align with their values regarding environmental and social impact. It was a pleasure working with colleagues from across the industry and civil society on this wastes and residues standard. The sharing of ideas through these working groups makes us all smarter and delivers a standard that is more robust than any of us would have been able to develop alone.”

Alix Grabowski Program Officer Packaging and Material Science, WWF-USA supported the new standard and said that the “RSB continues to uphold a strong and credible standard for biomaterials, even as it expands its scope to meet an evolving industry. The newly adopted standard for waste and residues fills a critical gap, as these feedstocks require unique environmental and social considerations.”

If you would like to be a part of the Technical Working Group, please contact Elena Schmidt, The RSB’s Standards Director: [email protected]

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