Unified bioenergy terminology

Dec 2004

This paper examines and reviews currently used terminology and definitions for woodfuels and other biofuels used in FAO, and in other major databases on biomass-based energy sources. It also proposes ways to improve the methodology for the definition, classification, compilation and presentation of biofuel data and information using the Unified Bioenergy Terminology (UBET).
UBET is compared with current terminology and classification systems, notably the FAO system for gathering woodfuel statistics for its FAOSTAT database which is the source of the woodfuel statistics provided in FAO Forest Products Yearbook, the International Energy Agency (IEA), EUROSTAT, and the United Nations Standard International Trade Classification (SITC). The main departure from these systems is that UBET stresses the supply and demand aspects of biofuels, with particular attention to wood-based fuels, as major commodities to satisfy end user requirements.
Biofuels are classified as direct, indirect or recovered biofuels, according to their "journey" from supply to the end user. The inclusion of agrofuels, such as bagasse, straw, stalks, etc. and the use of municipal by-products (sludge, municipal wastes, sludge gas, etc.) represents an innovation in the UWET classification proposal.
The document offers basic working definitions and outlines the measurement parameters and units taken into account. Biofuel conversion and accounting factors are provided in order to obtain the energy worth of a mass or volume flow of a particular biofuel.

By: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

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