science & the city: Biomass - fuelling the future

Biomass: Fuelling the Future – a public event in Rome

Science & the City Italy was held live and online from the International Italo-Latin American Organisation IILA in Rome, on 13 December 2022, at 6 pm.

IILA hosted the conference “Biomass: fuelling the future” at its headquarters, organised in collaboration with the ICGEB. Representatives from across the Latin American Region attended the public engagement event focusing on the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy: one of the keystones in the battle against climate change and in the transition to a sustainable world.

ICGEB experts Vittorio Venturi (Scientific Coordinator and Group Leader, Bacteriology) and Shams Yazdani (Group Leader, Microbial Engineering, ICGEB, New Delhi) explored the topic of biomass and bioenergy and their use from a sustainable development perspective.

Among the available types of renewable energy, biomass is unique in its ability to provide solid, liquid and gaseous fuels which can be stored and transported. Biofuels have several advantages in terms of emissions savings, fuel security, rural economic development. However, the various challenges associated with the conversion process limit their production. Scientific research and the development of new technologies play an important role in accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy system.
In defining biomass and how it is linked to 1st and 2nd generation biofuels, the panel discussed global concerns regarding using land for energy instead of food, and the effects of this on soil health.

The event, which addressed issues such as the challenges for 2nd generation biofuels, current levels of production, and the benefits of 3rd generation biofuels, was moderated by Mr. Antonio Maconi, Director of Trieste Next Festival of Scientific Research.

Also present to welcome participants, on behalf of IILA, Ms. Tatiana Ribeiro Viana, IILA Technical Scientific Secretary, and on behalf of ICGEB, Ms. Marianna Maculan, ICGEB Chief of External Relations. Representatives from the Italian Ministry of Universities and Research MUR, from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs MAECI, and the Ministry of Environment MITE were in attendance, together with special guests from the Embassies of India and Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras, in Rome.

The conference represents the last of the “ICGEB Science & the City Italy” series of events, bringing topics in the life sciences for public debate across cities in Italy (Parma, Trieste, Padua and Bergamo). A project funded by the Italian Ministry of Universities and Research MUR, with Media Partners Rai Radio3 and Rai FVG.

The conference, in English and Spanish, together with the events held between June and December 2022 are also available in podcast.