New European body launched to certify biofuel authenticity

28 November 2012 16:58  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Biodiesel Board (EBB) on Wednesday announced the launch of a Register of Biofuels Origination (RBO) Consortium to combat traceability issues surrounding biofuels made of waste products.

Biodiesel made of waste products such as UCO (used cooking oil) have become popular in the European biodiesel market as it counts double towards the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) targets.

The double-counting incentive has pushed up prices and demand for the biodiesel grade UCOME (used cooking oil methyl ester) to the point that some market participants are concerned virgin vegetable oils (VVO) are being fraudulently sold as UCO.

The RBO Consortium aims to redress the traceability issues at the launch of its first meeting on 16 January in Brussels, Belgium, by introducing a single pan-European scheme for a register of biofuels origination.

The scheme aims to identify and register waste from the source for a number of waste biofuel products until entry into the market.

In an email on Wednesday, EBB secretary general Raffaello Garofalo said the absence of a certification scheme has created the possibility for fraudulent claims of the same physical biofuel substances under two or more national schemes

He also said traceability is difficult to certify in final biofuel products as it will have the same chemical composition regardless of whether it originates from waste or crop.

The RBO’s website states membership to the Consortium is open to any extra incentivised biofuel producer, manufacturer, trader, final distributor or importer, established inside or outside the EU.

The European Commission is currently investigating the RED targets and is expected to release new criteria in 2013, which could see crop-based biodiesel used capped at 5% (of the 10% RED target) and possibly introduce quadruple counting for waste product.

At the time of writing, the EBB was unavailable for comment.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Kate Wilcock
+44 208 652 3214

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