Imperial College London

Dr Diaz-Chavez

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Senior Research Fellow
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 9338r.diaz-chavez

 
 
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Location

 

16 Prince's GardensSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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51 results found

Chen KC, Leach M, Black MJ, Tesfamichael M, Kemausuor F, Littlewood P, Marker T, Mwabonje O, Mulugetta Y, Murphy RJ, Diaz-Chavez R, Hauge J, Saleeby D, Evans AW, Puzzolo Eet al., 2021, BioLPG for Clean Cooking in Sub-Saharan Africa: Present and Future Feasibility of Technologies, Feedstocks, Enabling Conditions and Financing, ENERGIES, Vol: 14

Journal article

Carvalho RL, Yadav P, García-López N, Lindgren R, Nyberg G, Diaz-Chavez R, Kumar Upadhyayula VK, Boman C, Athanassiadis Det al., 2020, Environmental sustainability of bioenergy strategies in western Kenya to address household air pollution, Energies, Vol: 13

Over 640 million people in Africa are expected to rely on solid-fuels for cooking by 2040. In Western Kenya, cooking inefficiently persists as a major cause of burden of disease due to household air pollution. Efficient biomass cooking is a local-based renewable energy solution to address this issue. The Life-Cycle Assessment tool Simapro 8.5 is applied for analyzing the environmental impact of four biomass cooking strategies for the Kisumu County, with analysis based on a previous energy modelling study, and literature and background data from the Ecoinvent and Agrifootprint databases applied to the region. A Business-As-Usual scenario (BAU) considers the trends in energy use until 2035. Transition scenarios to Improved Cookstoves (ICS), Pellet-fired Gasifier Stoves (PGS) and Biogas Stoves (BGS) consider the transition to wood-logs, biomass pellets and biogas, respectively. An Integrated (INT) scenario evaluates a mix of the ICS, PGS and BGS. In the BGS, the available biomass waste is sufficient to be upcycled and fulfill cooking demands by 2035. This scenario has the lowest impact on all impact categories analyzed followed by the PGS and INT. Further work should address a detailed socio-economic analysis of the analyzed scenarios.

Journal article

Coelho ST, Diaz-Chavez R, 2019, Best Available Technologies (BAT) for WtE in Developing Countries, Municipal Solid Waste Energy Conversion in Developing Countries: Technologies, Best Practices, Challenges and Policy, Pages: 63-105, ISBN: 9780128134191

This chapter analyzes the best available technologies (BAT) for waste to energy (WtE) for the developing countries (DCs) in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. A general overview of WtE commercialized technologies is presented (biological and thermal treatments), as well as the general situation of the market in the DCs of each region (local manufacturers, availability of the equipment locally information regarding equipment origin).As shown in this chapter, the technology most commercialized is biogas and biomethane (in some cases), in almost all DCs analyzed here. This is because thermal treatment technologies still face economic challenges, since investment costs are high, mainly in the case of incineration process. This is due to the gas cleaning process to fulfill environmental standards regarding heavy metals, dioxins, and furans emissions. Moreover, there is discussion on the most adequate thermal treatment process considering the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) available and the size of the plant.Regarding political issues, as discussed previously in Diaz-Chavez and Coelho (2017), solid waste management is one of the most politically visible urban services but it does not receive much attention from governments in the DCs. The management of MSW is essentially view as an environmental problem that requires attention to protect public health and resolves the problem of collection an, treatment and deposit.In many DCs, it is also an important source for economy and jobs, particularly for the poor who live in large urban centers although it may also create major public health risks. Different studies have focused on the use of waste for energy production with different applications. Nevertheless, as Nuss et al. (2012) point out, in the future, the waste containing carbon should not only be used just for energy production, but also to recycle material considering a circular economy with larger benefits in terms of climate change because of landfill diversion.

Book chapter

Carvalho RL, Lindgren R, García-López N, Nyambane A, Nyberg G, Diaz-Chavez R, Boman Cet al., 2019, Household air pollution mitigation with integrated biomass/cookstove strategies in Western Kenya, Energy Policy, Vol: 131, Pages: 168-186, ISSN: 0301-4215

Traditional cooking is today's largest global environmental health risk. Over 640 million people in Africa are expected to rely on biomass for cooking by 2040. In Kenya, cooking inefficiently with wood and charcoal persists as a cause of deforestation and household air pollution. This research analyses the effects of four biomass cookstove strategies on reducing air pollutant emissions in Kisumu County between 2015 and 2035 using the Long-Range Energy Alternatives Planning system. The Business as Usual scenario (BAU) was developed considering the historical trends in household energy use. Energy transition scenarios to Improved Cookstoves (ICS), Pellet Gasifier Stoves (PGS) and Biogas Stoves (BGS) were applied to examine the impact of these systems on energy savings and air pollution mitigation. An integrated scenario (INT) was evaluated as a mix of the ICS, PGS and BGS. The highest energy savings, in relation to the BAU, are achieved in the BGS (30.9%), followed by the INT (23.5%), PGS (19.4%) and ICS (9.2%). The BGS offers the highest reduction in the GHG (37.6%), CH4 (94.3%), NMVOCs (85.0%), CO (97.4%), PM2.5 (64.7%) and BC (48.4%) emissions, and the PGS the highest reduction in the N2O (83.0%) and NOx (90.7%) emissions, in relation to the BAU.

Journal article

Mai-Moulin T, Visser L, Fingerman KR, Elbersen W, Elbersen B, Nabuurs GJ, Fritsche UR, Colmenar IDC, Rutz D, Diaz-Chavez RA, Roozen A, Weck M, Iriarte L, Pelkmans L, Gonzalez DS, Janssen R, Junginger Met al., 2019, Erratum to: Sourcing overseas biomass for EU ambitions: assessing net sustainable export potential from various sourcing countries (Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, (2019), 13, 2, (293-324), 10.1002/bbb.1853), Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1932-104X

In the article “Sourcing overseas biomass for EU ambitions: assessing net sustainable export potential from various sourcing countries” (DOI: 10.1002/bbb.1853), published in Wiley Online Library on 22 March 2018 and in Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining, 13: 293–32, the affiliation for author Dominik Rutz was incorrect. The correct affiliation is WIP Renewable Energies, Munich, Germany.

Journal article

Mai-Moulin T, Visser L, Fingerman KR, Elbersen W, Elbersen B, Nabuurs GJ, Fritsche UR, Del Campo Colmenar I, Rutz D, Diaz-Chavez RA, Roozen A, Weck M, Iriarte L, Pelkmans L, Sanchez Gonzalez D, Janssen R, Junginger Met al., 2019, Sourcing overseas biomass for EU ambitions: assessing net sustainable export potential from various sourcing countries, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 13, Pages: 293-324, ISSN: 1932-104X

Low-cost sustainable biomass availability in the European Union may not be able to meet increasing demand; exploring the option of importing biomass is therefore imperative for the years to come. This article assesses sustainable biomass export potential from Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Ukraine, and the United States by applying a number of sustainability criteria. Only biomass types with the highest potential are selected, to take advantage of economies of scale, e.g. pulpwood, wood waste, and residues in the United States, and agricultural residues in Ukraine. This study found that, except for the United States, pellet markets in the sourcing regions are largely undeveloped. The export potential depends strongly on pellet mill capacity and assumed growth rates in the pellet industry. Results show that the United States, Ukraine, Indonesia, and Brazil offer the highest biomass export potential. In the Business As Usual 2030 scenario, up to 204 PJ could potentially be mobilized; in the High Export scenario this could increase to 1423 PJ, with 89% of the potential being available for costs ranging from 6.4 to 15 €/GJ. These potentials meet the European Commission requirements for a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions set in the Renewable Energy Directive. The total export potentials do not reflect the net possible import potentials to the European Union, as biomass could be imported to other countries where there is a demand for it, where less strict sustainability requirements are applied, and which are proximate to the sourcing regions, notably South Korea, Japan, and China. © 2018 The Authors. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining published by Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal article

Pelkmans L, Van Dael M, Junginger M, Fritsche UR, Diaz-Chavez R, Nabuurs GJ, Del Campo Colmenar I, Gonzalez DS, Rutz D, Janssen Ret al., 2019, Long-term strategies for sustainable biomass imports in European bioenergy markets, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 13, Pages: 388-404, ISSN: 1932-104X

Projections show that biomass will remain important for reaching future EU renewable energy targets. In addition to using domestic biomass, European bioenergy markets will also partly rely on imports of biomass, in particular in trade-oriented EU member states like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark. There has been a lot of debate on the sustainability of (imported) biomass and how policy should deal with this. In this research, therefore, we defined long-term strategies for sustainable biomass imports in European bioenergy markets. We used the input of different stakeholders in our approach through focus-group discussions and a global survey, focusing on the following aspects: key principles of sustainable biomass trade, risks and opportunities of biomass trade, both for import regions (EU countries) and for sourcing regions, and practical barriers for trade. Overall we conclude that policies should be stable and consistent within a long-term vision. An overall sustainability assurance framework of biomass production and use is key, but should ultimately apply to all end uses of biomass. Furthermore, the mobilization of biomass should be supported, as well as commoditization, considering the large diversity of biomass. Side impacts of biomass use should be monitored. Reducing investors’ risk perception is crucial for future developments in the biobased economy, and a clear policy to phase out fossil fuels, e.g. through a carbon tax, needs to be implemented. The results of this research are of interest for policy makers when deciding on long-term strategies concerning sustainable bioenergy markets. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal article

Carvalho R, Yadav P, Lindgren R, García-Lopez N, Nyberg G, Diaz-Chavez R, Upadhyayula VK, Boman C, Athanassiadis Det al., 2019, Bioenergy strategies to address deforestation and household air pollution in western kenya, Pages: 1536-1542

Over 640 million people in Africa are expected to rely on solid-fuels for cooking by 2040. In Western Kenya, cooking inefficiently persists as a major cause of burden disease due to household air pollution. The Long-Range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) system and the Life-Cycle Assessment tool Simapro 8.5 were applied for analyzing biomass strategies for the region. The calculation of the residential energy consumption and emissions was based on scientific reviews and original data from experimental studies. The research shows the effect of four biomass strategies on the reduction of wood fuel use and short-lived climate pollutant emissions. A Business As Usual scenario (BAU) considered the trends in energy use until 2035. Transition scenarios to Improved Cookstoves (ICS), Pellet-fired Gasifier Stoves (PGS) and Biogas Stoves (BGS) considered the transition to wood-logs, biomass pellets and biogas, respectively. An Integrated (INT) scenario evaluated a mix of the ICS, PGS and BGS. The study shows that, energy use will increase by 8% (BGS), 20% (INT), 26% (PGS), 42% (ICS) and 56% (BAU). The BGS has the lowest impact on global warming, particle formation, terrestrial acidification, fossil resource scarcity, water consumption, as well as on eutrophication followed by the PGS and INT.

Conference paper

Wanjiru H, Diaz-Chavez R, Johnson FX, 2018, Charcoal production in Kenya. Ensuring sustainability in hotspots areas, Pages: 1373-1377

Biomass is the main source of energy for cooking in Kenya. In 2013, 72% of the country’s total primary energy supply came from bioenergy. Charcoal provides 82% of household energy in urban areas, and 34% in rural areas. The sector employs nearly 900,000 people and contribute approximately US$1.6 annually to Kenya’s economy. Countries have tried to ban charcoal production in order to protect forests, but given that charcoal production occur mostly in the informal sector, some efforts have had little success. Since 2009, Kenya has been trying a different approach of adopting policies to formalize and support the charcoal sector. The paper examines sectoral policies and legislations that govern the biomass sector in Kenya, on-farm production of trees for charcoal production and conversion technologies. The findings are drawn from different research projects conducted in Kenya and information from stakeholders. Findings shows that joint and timely implementation of policies is key and institutions like charcoal producer associations has a role in promoting sustainable charcoal harvesting. On-farm growing of trees has multiple benefits including easing pressure on natural forests and income generation. Efficient conversion technologies need to be promoted to increase resource recovery.

Conference paper

Del Campo I, Alegria I, Otazu E, Gaffney D, Iglesias M, Ihalainen P, Faraco V, Wurm FR, Beckers S, Hayes D, Díaz-Chavez R, Etxaniz J, Julliard B, Pérez Met al., 2018, Biorescue: Getting high added value products from mushroom compost, Pages: 1084-1088

Spent mushroom compost is the residual compost waste generated by the mushroom production industry. Annually 3 million tons of these residues are generated in Europe resulting in disposal costs of up to 150 million Euro. The BIOrescue project aims to develop an innovative biorefinery strategy to valorise this promising source of biomass together with other underutilised lignocellulosic feedstocks. This paper shows the main results obtained during the first half of BIOrescue project.

Conference paper

Escobar JF, Coelho ST, Diaz-Chavez R, 2018, Sustainable forests in Brazil. Can provide negative emissions from woody biomass?, Pages: 1408-1412

Brazil is a country with several advantages to act as a leader in agro-industrial and forest sectors, particularly those dedicated to energy, featuring sustainable biomass production with significant potential for exploitation. Its natural and geographical conditions are quite favorable and there are available areas with adequate characteristics of soil and climate conditions, making it the country’s largest gathering of quantitative comparative advantages to lead the sustainable production and use of biomass energy on a large scale, without competition with other crops such as food crops. If successful in institutional advancements, we can expect Brazil to accelerate the sustainable expansion of forest plantations. Considering forestry in Brazil, it is important to notice that, in this sector, the prospects for expansion of forest plantations can ensure future demand for wood that are linked to the production of high added value, given that the country has the characteristics required for the production of wood for energy, as well as great potential for structure bioproducts as (LVL and plywood technology), replacing concrete and structural steel, with wood involving the projected bioenergy demands and potentially linked to CCS technology to promote negative emissions in the power systems. However, to place Brazil in the international solid biomass area, it is necessary to remove the existing barriers and to create policies to incentive investments in this sector aiming a higher participation, as discussed in this paper.

Conference paper

Fritsche UR, Diaz-Chavez R, de la Rúa C, Gabriel B, Perrin Aet al., 2018, Sustainability of bioenergy, The Role of Bioenergy in the Emerging Bioeconomy: Resources, Technologies, Sustainability and Policy, Pages: 225-296, ISBN: 9780128130575

Book chapter

Del Campo I, Alegria I, Otazu E, Gaffney D, Forde C, Ihalainen P, Faraco V, Wurm F, Hayes D, Díaz-Chavez R, Etxaniz J, Julliard B, Pérez M, Sanciñena Jet al., 2017, Biorescue: Enhanced bioconversion of agricultural residues through cascading use, Pages: 2015-2018

Mushroom production generates three million tonnes of compost each year in the European Union which is currently landfilled or used for landscaping purposes even though it contains valuable organic components. In view of transforming this compost into a new income stream for mushroom producers, the BIOrescue project aims to develop and demonstrate a new innovative biorefinery concept based on the cascading use of spent mushroom substrate (SMS) supplemented by wheat straw (and other seasonal underutilized lignocellulosic feedstocks). This new concept will avoid disposal and allow for the production of some biodegradable bio-based products and bioactive compounds that will help to replace the existing ones based on fossil resources. The research will help to expand the business opportunities of the mushroom cultivation farms, and the know-how and business opportunities of all the partners involved. The main scientific innovations are: improved methods for the lab-based rapid (NIR) (1) analysis of biomass, innovative two step fractionation of SMS, synergistic effects for complete SMS glucan hydrolysis, innovative enzyme immobilisation strategy, development of highly efficient glucan-enzymes, novel lignin based nano- and micro-carriers and biopesticide production from monomeric sugars derived from SMS and their packaging into nanocarriers.

Conference paper

Thrän D, Peetz D, Schaubach K, Trømborg E, Pellini A, Lamers P, Richard Hess J, Schipfer F, Hektor B, Olsson O, Bruce L, Stelte W, Proskurina S, Heinimö J, Benedetti L, Mai-Moulin T, Junginger M, Craggs L, Wild M, Murray G, Diaz-Chavez R, Thiermann U, Escobar FJ, Goldemberg J, Coelho STet al., 2017, Global wood pellet industry and market - Current developments and outlook, Pages: 1909-1912

The wood pellet use in the heating and electricity sector has recorded a steady growth in the last years. IEA bioenergy task 40 carried out an update of the situation on the national pellet markets in the most relevant pellet producing countries and the global development as well. Various country specific data is collected and compiled for more than 30 countries, containing updated information about regulatory framework, production, consumption, price trends, quality standards and trade aspects. The analysis confirmed the positive development in terms of production and consumption of wood pellets in almost all countries. In 2015, more than26Mt of wood pellets have been produced and consumed worldwide. Technologies and markets become more mature. Increased international pellet trade needs to be supported by adequate frame condition not only for commerce, but also with regard to sustainability issues.

Conference paper

Heil V, Schulzke T, Bezergianni S, Kubicka D, Rettenmaier N, Pfisterer U, Martin M, Mulder M, Diaz-Chavez R, Auersvald M, Shumeiko Bet al., 2017, Reliable bio-based refinery intermediates - Biomates, Pages: 1890-1895

The BioMates technology aims to convert residues and 2nd generation biomass like straw and miscanthus into high-quality bio-based intermediates (the “BioMates”), of compatible properties with conventional refinery conversion units, allowing their direct and risk-free integration to any refinery towards the production of hybrid fuels. The BioMates approach encompasses innovative non-food/non-feed biomass conversion technologies, including ablative fast pyrolysis (AFP) and single-stage mild catalytic hydrotreating (mild-HDT) as main processes. In-linecatalysis and staged condensation attached to AFP as well as electrochemical H2-compression in mild-HDT are additional innovative steps that improve the conversion efficiency and product quality of the BioMates approach. BioMates is a Horizon 2020-project, put into practice by eight partners from industry, academia and research centres. First results: Bio-oil production from a mixture of wheat and barley straw in a TRL 4 AFP-plant was performed with a yield of 21 wt.-% to tarry liquid product. Mild-HDT of such bio-oil lead to organic product phases with acid numbers down to 3.0 mg KOH/g for reaction temperatures of up to 360 °C.

Conference paper

Dale VH, Kline KL, Parish ES, Cowie AL, Emory R, Malmsheimer RW, Slade R, Smith CTT, Wigley TBB, Bentsen NS, Berndes G, Bernier P, Brandão M, Chum HL, Diaz-Chavez R, Egnell G, Gustavsson L, Schweinle J, Stupak I, Trianosky P, Walter A, Whittaker C, Brown M, Chescheir G, Dimitriou I, Donnison C, Goss Eng A, Hoyt KP, Jenkins JC, Johnson K, Levesque CA, Lockhart V, Negri MC, Nettles JE, Wellisch Met al., 2017, Status and prospects for renewable energy using wood pellets from the southeastern United States, GCB Bioenergy, Vol: 9, Pages: 1296-1305, ISSN: 1757-1693

Global Change Biology Bioenergy Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The ongoing debate about costs and benefits of wood-pellet based bioenergy production in the southeastern United States (SE USA) requires an understanding of the science and context influencing market decisions associated with its sustainability. Production of pellets has garnered much attention as US exports have grown from negligible amounts in the early 2000s to 4.6 million metric tonnes in 2015. Currently, 98% of these pellet exports are shipped to Europe to displace coal in power plants. We ask, ‘How is the production of wood pellets in the SE USA affecting forest systems and the ecosystem services they provide?’ To address this question, we review current forest conditions and the status of the wood products industry, how pellet production affects ecosystem services and biodiversity, and what methods are in place to monitor changes and protect vulnerable systems. Scientific studies provide evidence that wood pellets in the SE USA are a fraction of total forestry operations and can be produced while maintaining or improving forest ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are protected by the requirement to utilize loggers trained to apply scientifically based best management practices in planning and implementing harvest for the export market. Bioenergy markets supplement incomes to private rural landholders and provide an incentive for forest management practices that simultaneously benefit water quality and wildlife and reduce risk of fire and insect outbreaks. Bioenergy also increases the value of forest land to landowners, thereby decreasing likelihood of conversion to nonforest uses. Monitoring and evaluation are essential to verify that regulations and good practices are achieving goals and to enable timely responses if problems arise. Conducting rigorous research to understand how conditions change in response to management choices requires baseline data, monitoring, and

Journal article

Silva CAM, Prunescu RM, Gernaey KV, Sin G, Diaz-Chavez RAet al., 2017, Biorefinery sustainability analysis, Lecture Notes in Energy, Pages: 161-200

This chapter deals with sustainability analysis of biorefinery systems in terms of environmental and socio-economic indicators. Life cycle analysis has methodological issues related to the functional unit (FU), allocation, land use and biogenic carbon neutrality of the reference system and of the biorefinery-based system. Socio-economic criteria and indicators used in sustainability frameworks assessment are presented and discussed. There is not one single methodology that can aptly cover the synergies of environmental, economic, social and governance issues required to assess the sustainable production and use of bioenergy systems. The perfect metric for environmental issues is not yet established and some researchers prefer to avoid high levels of uncertainty in life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology and adopt more physically quantifying methods like the annual basis carbon (ABC) method presented here. In addition to establishing the perfect metric, there are three types of uncertainty when building scenarios with biorefinery-based systems that must be regarded to have a more holistic point of view. This uncertainty is at the level of the concept, of the configuration and of the operation.

Book chapter

Diaz-Chavez RA, 2016, Book Review: “Routledge Handbook of Ecosystem Services”, Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, Vol: 18, ISSN: 1464-3332

Journal article

Diaz-Chavez R, Stichnothe H, Johnson K, 2016, Sustainability Considerations for the Future Bioeconomy, Developing the Global Bioeconomy: Technical, Market, and Environmental Lessons from Bioenergy, Pages: 69-90, ISBN: 9780128051658

It is critical to ensure the sustainability of biomass when used for energy, chemicals, and/or materials in the future bioeconomy. This does not only apply to the feedstock, a common focus within traditional bioenergy assessments; it also needs to consider the wider value chain, that is, from feedstock production through end use, including a range of coproducts, to end-of-life. The scope of such an assessment can vary but may be most practical at the "biorefinery" scale. Experience gained from first-generation biofuels offers lessons about sustainability challenges and prospects for the future bioeconomy. However, sustainability assessments of bioproducts require unique considerations, some of which are not necessarily addressed in the assessments of biofuels. We find that sustainability assessments are not "one-size-fits-all" and should engage stakeholders in determining clear goals and objectives for the assessment, consider the specific context, and maintain transparency in approach and assumptions. Sustainability is also not a steady state or fixed target. Sustainability assessments are most useful when they help decisionmakers and technology developers make continuous improvements across social, environmental, and economic dimensions. In addition to the traditional three-pillar approach, good governance is of equal importance and has to be implemented in sustainability assessment frameworks. As such, methodologies must continuously evolve to accommodate the increasingly diverse range of biomass-derived products within the future bioeconomy.

Book chapter

Sánchez D, Del Campo I, Janssen R, Rutz D, Fritsche U, Iriarte L, Fingerman K, Diaz-Chávez R, Junginger M, Mai-Moulin T, Visser L, Elbersen B, Nabuurs GJ, Elbersen W, Staritsky I, Pelkmans Let al., 2016, Towards the development of a European bioenergy trade strategy for 2020 and beyond (Biotrade2020plus project), Pages: 1356-1363

In Europe the demand of biomass for the whole bioeconomy is increasing year by year. In some cases, this biomass come from non-European countries. The EU is already a net importer of biomass for bioenergy and imports could be even more relevant in the near future. Therefore, it is important to guarantee that this biomass supply from outside the EU is being done in a sustainable way and that negative environmental and socio-economic impacts are minimised. The project BioTrade2020plus has the aim of providing guidelines for the development of a European Bioenergy Trade Strategy for 2020 and beyond. It has analyzed in depth the role of lignocellulosic biomass (woody resources, agricultural residues and cellulosic crops) imports from six selected sourcing regions: North America (Southeast United States), South America (Brazil, Colombia), East Europe (Ukraine), Southeast Asia (Indonesia) and East Africa (Kenya). It has considered availability and sustainability constrains as well as existing strategies in these sourcing regions. All this info is being integrated in an interactive tool available on the BioTrade2020plus webpage.

Conference paper

Meneses-Jácome A, Diaz-Chavez R, Velásquez-Arredondo HI, Cárdenas-Chávez DL, Parra R, Ruiz-Colorado AAet al., 2015, Sustainable Energy from agro-industrial wastewaters in Latin-America, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol: 56, Pages: 1249-1262, ISSN: 1364-0321

Conventional biological processes used to treat high-polluted agro-industrial effluents produce biogas and sludge, two by-products stocking up important energy contents. Advanced biotechnologies to treat these effluents are being developed to obtain increased biogas production and other efficient and useful energy sources, such as bio-hydrogen and even bio-electricity. Utilization of these clean energies is significantly lower than other renewables, particularly in developing regions such as Latin-America. This occurs despite the close link between the environmental benefits and sustainable use of this energy, which might be incorporated in different sustainable strategies for local and regional development. This study reviews the 'state of the art' of Latin-American research regarding technologies for energy recovery from agro-industrial wastewaters and their sustainable implementation. It also discusses the need for a more sustainable management of the water-energy nexus in treatment systems used to decont minate effluents, which should be committed to the improvement of renewable energy production and to a more extended regional use. Contributions of methodologies based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and criteria-indicators used to drive sustainability studies in this field are updated and used to outline a conceptual framework advising sustainable practices in this sector.

Journal article

Diaz-Chavez R, 2015, Assessing sustainability for biomass energy production and use, The Biomass Assessment Handbook: Energy for a Sustainable Environment, Pages: 181-209, ISBN: 9781138019645

Book chapter

Alemán-Nava GS, Meneses-Jácome A, Cárdenas-Chávez DL, Díaz-Chavez R, Scarlat N, Dallemand JF, Ornelas-Soto N, García-Arrazola R, Parra Ret al., 2015, Bioenergy in Mexico: Status and perspective, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 9, Pages: 8-20, ISSN: 1932-104X

Mexico's government has introduced a Law on Climate Change that is unique worldwide; it establishes targets for greenhouse gases reductions at the same level of developed countries despite being an emerging country. This reform represents a crucial challenge for the electrical and transport sectors largely dependent on fossil energy since Mexico is the ninth-largest oil producer in the world. Local industry and academic sectors are called to lead the introduction of renewable energy sources, and particularly to enhance the share of energy from biomass in the local energy basket. Thus, this paper outlines the baseline on regulatory, energy, and carbon markets, and the scientific capacity to increase bioenergy utilization in Mexico. Furthermore, it opens a discussion about the steps forward with regard to sustainability and research needs, emphasizing some priorities and principles to develop a bioenergy system environmentally compatible in this country.

Journal article

Moraes MAFD, Oliveira FCR, Diaz-Chavez RA, 2015, Socio-economic impacts of Brazilian sugarcane industry, Environmental Development, Vol: 16, Pages: 31-43, ISSN: 2211-4645

This paper analyzes the socio-economic impacts of the Brazilian sugar cane industry, examining the characteristics of the workforce, pay and working conditions. It also examines the role of the family on socio-economic indicators, comparing the indicators for first generation sugar cane workers with those for the second generation of workers, as well as comparing these indicators with those for workers in the agricultural sector as a whole. We draw on data from Relação Anual de Informações Sociais (RAIS) and also from Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios (PNAD, or National Household Sample Survey). The findings show that together, the three key sectors that comprise the sugarcane industry in the country (sugar cane cultivation, sugar production and ethanol production) employed about one million workers in 2012. The results also show that family background plays a role on the choices made by second generation workers relative to work and thus impacting on the socio-economic indicators for the sectors. The comparison between indicators for the sugar cane sector and the overall agricultural sector showed differences, with the sugar cane sector being better off than the agricultural sector. Finally, the assessment of indicators for the second generation shows that they have face better choices and conditions than first-generation workers.

Journal article

Souza GM, Ballester MVR, Victoria RL, Diaz-Chavez Ret al., 2015, Editorial note on bioenergy and sustainability-Bridging the gaps, Environmental Development, Vol: 15, Pages: 1-2, ISSN: 2211-4645

Journal article

Diaz-Chavez RA, Colangeli M, Morese M, Fallot A, Azanha M, Sibanda L, Mapako Met al., 2015, Social Considerations., Bioenergy & Sustainability: Bridging the gaps, Editors: Souza, Victoria, Joly, Verdade, Publisher: SCOPE, ISBN: 978-2-9545557-0-6

Book chapter

Tomei J, Diaz-Chavez R, 2014, Guatemala, Sustainable Development of Biofuels in Latin America and the Caribbean, Pages: 179-201, ISBN: 9781461492740

The Central American isthmus is a region that has to date been largely overlooked in the biofuel debate, despite several countries currently developing biofuel policies and programs, including Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. This chapter provides an introduction to the biofuels sector in Central America, before focusing on Guatemala, which has been identified as the strongest potential leader in Central America for the production, trade, and consumption of biofuels. This potential is primarily due to high yields of sugarcane and oil palm, although at present only ethanol is being produced on a large scale; most of this production is currently exported. Furthermore, Guatemala has no national policy to promote a domestic market and it is unlikely that one will be developed in the short-to-medium term. This has consequences for the way in which the sector is developing in Guatemala and the sustainability issues associated with the production of the principal feedstocks. This chapter concludes that biofuels in Guatemala represent an industrial strategy rather than an energy policy, a sector driven by private interests with strategic concerns for sustainability.

Book chapter

Alemán-Nava GS, Casiano-Flores VH, Cárdenas-Chávez DL, Díaz-Chavez R, Scarlat N, Mahlknecht J, Dallemand JF, Parra Ret al., 2014, Renewable energy research progress in Mexico: a review, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol: 32, Pages: 140-153, ISSN: 1879-0690

Mexico ranks 9th in the world in crude oil reserves, 4th in natural gas reserves in America and it is also highly rich in renewable energy sources (solar, wind, biomasss, hydropower and geothermal). However, the potential of this type of energy has not been fully exploited. Hydropower is the renewable energy source with the highest installed capacity within the country (11,603 MW), while geothermal power capacity (958 MW) makes Mexico to be ranked 4th in the use of this energy worldwide. Wind energy potential is concentrated in five different zones, mainly in the state of Oaxaca, and solar energy has a high potential due to Mexico's ideal location in the so called Solar Belt. Biomass energy has the highest potential (2635 to 3771 PJ/year) and has been the subject of the highest number of research publications in the country during the last 30 years (1982-2012). Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico has led research publications in hydropower, wind, solar and biomass energy and Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas in geothermal energy during this period. According to the General Law for Climate Change the country has set the goal of generating 35% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2024. This paper presents an overview of the renewable energy options available in Mexico, current status, main positive results to date and future potential. It also analyses barriers hindering improvements and proposes pertinent solutions. © 2014 The Authors.

Journal article

Diaz-Chavez R, 2014, Indicators for socio-economic sustainability assessment, Socio-Economic Impacts of Bioenergy Production, Pages: 17-37, ISBN: 9783319038285

Indicators have been used to organize, monitor and assess information in different contexts. During the last twenty years indicators have gained more importance, being used to assess sustainability performance of different activities through the implementation of standards. This chapter explores the evolution of the use of socio-economic indicators and their applicability in a relatively new production area, that of biofuels. The use of indicators has been more focused on environmental issues and compliance with voluntary schemes. Socio-economic indicators have gained more attention as a result of concerns with production of biofuels in developing countries. A set of indicators is proposed to monitor the possible impacts (both negative and positive). It is suggested that monitoring may help initiatives at national, regional and local level and may be combined with voluntary performance schemes in order to promote a sustainable production of biofuels.

Book chapter

Diaz-Chavez R, Vuohelainen A, 2014, Test auditing of socio-economic indicators for biofuel production, Socio-Economic Impacts of Bioenergy Production, Pages: 39-58, ISBN: 9783319038285

The EU funded Global-Bio-Pact project developed a set of socio-economic impact indicators. The purpose was not to create a new standard or scheme for bioenergy production, but to compile a set of socio-economic sustainability criteria and indicators for biomass production and conversion which could be used by developers, governments, nongovernmental organizations or as an aid to existing standards. The set of indicators was tested in two locations in South America, which comprise the two case studies reported in the chapter. The selected indicators are introduced and discussed here, along with an assessment of the results from their application in the field.

Book chapter

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