Industry-based biorefineries towards sustainability



Start date 2008-05-01

End date 2022-01-01

Latest developments

This Annex started already in March 2008 and the initial scope was completed during 2017.  Since transferred to a long-standing Annex in 2016, preparations for new tasks have been made and the future scope is being developed. One of the proposed new tasks will focus on the decision support systems (DSS) and ex-ante research. Three well attended webinars presenting software tools have been held during 2018.

In May 2019, the IETS ExCo appointed a “Task Force”, which will compile new ideas and discuss with groups interested in participating in Annex work.


Annex XI has a multi-disciplinary approach to the concept of biorefineries integrated in industrial complexes, aiming at the optimization of energy efficiency in global terms. The approach is based on industry needs and application, combining the knowledge of industrial technologies with energy efficiency and biomass conversion processes. Different industrial sectors are considered, including the integration of bio with oil refineries, together with CCS options yielding hydrocarbons/hydrogen, looking into technology and systems aspects for a better use of energy.

Annex XI was launched in 2008 and has developed with the objective of sharing knowledge and experiences, as well as conducting research assessment based studies and R&D projects to promote the industry-based biorefineries concept.

So far, activities have been implemented to reinforce international cooperation to structure partnerships that lead to optimization of energy efficiency in existing and new integrated industrial plants. Activities also include R&D on sustainability assessments, biofuels/bio-materials production technologies, and yields from thermo-chemical and biological conversion of biomass and waste materials. Read about the earlier work of this annex.

Annex Members


Annex Manager

Paul Stuart of Polytechnique Montréal, Canada

Task 5 Manager

Paul Stuart of Polytechnique Montréal, Canada

Task Force

  • Paul Stuart, Canada
  • Marzouk Benali, Canada
  • Isabel Cabrita, Portugal
  • Thore Berntsson, Sweden

Description, Task 5

The motivation for the new project is:

  • The robustness of new biorefinery pathways will depend on their ability to survive under uncertain future conditions, for example changes in process, processes, production and policy instruments.
  • Assessments and evaluations made at the present by companies considering transformation to the bioeconomy are made considering a set of complex criteria that are unique to the values of the company, eg economic, GHG mitigation, technology risk, market risk, unique competitive advantage, etc.
  • A methodology for systematically quantifying and mitigating risk when assessing transformational strategies is essential, considering for example mathematical uncertainty, and/or different future scenarios.

Main objectives, Task 5:

(a) understanding the complex decision-making needs of industry related to bioeconomy transformation generally, and more specifically, energy decision-making needs as part of the overall decision considering ex-ante analysis;

(b) identifying DSS software that assists in addressing the complex decision-making; and

(c) understanding of ex-ante research related to energy policy, in the overall decision-making context.



The final report from Annex XI, Tasks 1-4, was published in April 2018.