Industry-based biorefineries towards sustainability



Start date 2008-05-01

End date 2025-01-31

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 (now Task), preparations for new Subtasks have been made and the scope has been developed. The first proposal for a Task/Subtask  focusing on decision support systems (DSS) and ex-ante research was approved in November 2018. An updated proposal for Subtask 5 DSS and ExAnte was approved in March 2022 as well as a proposal for a new Subtask on Technology pathways towards net-zero/negative emission biorefineries.


Task 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.

Task XI was launched in 2008 (as Annex XI Industry-based Biorefineries) 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/Task.

Task Members

Austria, Canada, Portugal and Sweden.

Task Manager

Paul Stuart , Polytechnique Montréal, Canada
Marzouk Benali (Co-Task Manager), Natural Resources Canada, CanmetENERGY in Varennes, Canada

Steering Committee

  • Paul Stuart, Canada
  • Marzouk Benali, Canada
  • Isabel Cabrita, Portugal
  • Thore Berntsson, Sweden
  • Bettina Muster, Austria
  • Christoph Brunner, Austria

Subtask 5: Decision Support Systems and Ex-ante Research

Approved proposal


  • Advance and share the knowledge on decision support approaches and tools.
  • Better understand the complex decision-making needs of industry and government related to setting bioeconomy strategies.
  • Demonstrate the pertinence relative to complex bioeconomy decisions critical to industry, especially considering ex-ante research.
  • Establish and disseminate the best practices and guidelines with respect to decision support tools and ex-ante scenario analysis methods.

Key Activities

  • Review decision making methodologies and decision support tools, and establish harmonized DSS and Ex-ante approaches/methods.
  • Synthesize industrial case studies in the area of DSS Ex Ante.
  • Organize a series of webinars and workshops.

Subtask Managers

Paul Stuart, Polytechnique Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Marzouk Benali, Natural Resources Canada, CanmetENERGY in Varennes, Quebec, Canada

Subtask 6:Technology Pathways towards Negative and/or Net-Zero Emission Biorefineries

Approved proposal


  • Focus on reviewing and disseminating technical solutions for biorefineries to reach negative or net-zero GHG emissions.
  • Available methods and approaches to increase energy efficiency and enhance the integration of renewable energy in industry will be applied and re-framed for biorefineries

Key Activities

  • Review emerging technologies for combined resource and energy efficiency with overall impacts on GHG emissions in biorefineries
  • Evaluate and adapt available tools and methodologies for energy efficiency and renewable energy systems integration
  • Synthesize industrial case studies (conceptual and demonstrated) in at least three different industrial sectors

Subtask Manager

Bettina Muster-Slawitsch, AEE-Institute for Sutainable Technologies, Austria

Additional Subtask(s)

Preparations and scoping for a new Subtask on “Circular Bioeconomy and Biomass Oriented Industrial Symbiosis” are ongoing. Information about a recent workshop aiming at further collaboration in this area is posted at the website.