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Biomass flow in bioeconomy: Overview for Germany

The sustainable management of renewable resources is one of the crucial pillars in the encouraged transition from a fossil-based economy towards a sustainable bioeconomy in Germany. In order to support the current strategic actions, endorsed by the National Bioeconomy Strategy (2020), a broad range of information about the bioeconomy must be generated in terms of available biomass sources and their uses. This study presents a contribution towards bioeconomy knowledge, with the calculations and depiction of the biomass flows of production and use in the German bioeconomy. First, the system boundaries for this study were established. The system includes agriculture, forest and biogenic residues and waste as biomass producing and generating sectors, and food, feed, material, and energy as biomass use sectors. Further, the net trade of biomass was considered. An extensive collection and processing of available official data and its harmonisation was carried out and validated with experts. Core of the study was the construction of a biomass flow Sankey diagram for the year 2015. Our results showed, that the most important consumer of the agricultural biomass was the food and feed sector with about 95 million tons of dry matter. The total amount of biomass from biogenic residues and waste summed up to 32 million tons of dry matter, of which 22 million tons of dry matter were used by the energy sector. The forest sector produced around 33 million tons of dry matter of woody biomass, of which around 20 million tons of dry matter forest biomass was used as solid fuel.

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