Replication of industrial ecosystems for sustainable biofuel production

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientific


The utilisation of organic waste and other organic by-products for biofuel production needs to build on industrial symbiosis. The first challenge is to make such a symbiosis work as it involves setting up a complex system of input supplying and output using firms. Moreover, this is not enough. Due to the distributed character of biomass production, mass production of biofuels faces challenges when ensuring feasibility and sustainability of the produced fuel. At the same time, the need for adaptation of biofuel production to local conditions makes each biofuel production system unique and difficult to replicate in other locations. The distributed logic of biofuel production based on local industrial symbiosis is still a highly attractive business: biomass exists everywhere, as well as energy demand. However, the supply of biofuels does not automatically guarantee that there will be a demand for it. Current challenges of the concept are uncertainty and the need to consider multiple stakeholders’ business and interests in order to adjust biofuel production to local conditions and ensure the stable consumption of the fuel.In this paper we propose a framework for replicating industrial ecosystems for biogas production. This framework includes the systemic perspective on biogas industry, adaptation and collaboration mechanisms required for cooperating with the relevant stakeholders, the processes of functional modularisation and replication of the biogas production ecosystems. This generalised framework is expected to be relevant for any local biofuel production industry. The proposed replication approach is able to increase feasibility of distributed biofuel production while ensuring it environmental sustainability through the economies of repetition. With such approach biofuel industry can decrease uncertainty and increase knowledge and expertise part of the offering. In general, the proposed framework promotes decentralisation, collaborative way of working, and open innovation within biofuel and green energy industry. The research of a biogas production ecosystem is in the focus of this paper, however the overall logic proposed in this paper is considered to be applicable to the biofuel industry in general.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publication18th Conference of the Greening of Industry Network (GIN2012)
Editors GIN
PublisherGreening of Industry Network
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
Eventconference; 2012-10-22; 2012-10-24 -
Duration: 22 Oct 201224 Oct 2012


Conferenceconference; 2012-10-22; 2012-10-24

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