Key players of the activity
The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) effectively communicated the basic research results of its project on the development of a biomass-model for an integrated biorefinery (IBR) to the key stakeholders particularly to the agriculture and energy sectors.
This activity is part of the celebration of 17th National Biotechnology Week, where NRCP showcased the research result of the study of Dr. Michael Francis Benjamin titled “Development of a P-graph based model for Designing Philippine Agricultural Waste based Integrated Biorefinery”. It features the developed model for agricultural waste-based IBR that can be used by agriculture and industry sectors.
IBR is a process facility that converts biomass into value added products with a maximum energy and material recovery. In the Philippines, 21% of its energy requirements are from renewable energy and its biomass approximately accounts for only 1%. Dr. Jason Ligot of Organic Intelligence Consulting Inc., discussed the importance of IBR in the agriculture and energy sector. He mentioned that IBRs act as the middleman in integrating the loop between renewable raw materials and increasing energy demand. On the other hand, supplies for this renewable energy can be generated by our annual rice production, but unfortunately due to the growing population development the demand for this is getting higher.
It was found out that IBRs is a triple win process that will support the environment, economy and livelihood of the community. IBRs for the environment may decrease our reliance on fossil fuels which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and also discourage the practice of open burning of agricultural residues. It is also good for the economy because it generates high-value products that can be sold in the local market as well as in the international market and it is also good for the community because it provides additional sources of revenue for our farmers.
With all the positive impacts of the IBR, the DA – Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and DOE showed their support on the sustainable biomass for IBR process. The DA-BAR through Mr. Glenn Dimayuga discussed the practices or initiatives of their department in managing agricultural waste that is produced by rice farming. On the other hand, DOE through Engr. Ruby De Guzman, addressed the recommendations of Dr. Benjamin specifically on the possible amendment of the Biofuels Act. Engr. De Guzman mentioned that the DOE is now in the process of working on the amendment of the mentioned policy. She also mentioned that the DOE is providing incentives for the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 specifically to support the development of IBRs.
The Chair of the NRCP Division of Industrial and Engineering Research, Dr. Ramon Christian Eusebio, referred to the vision of the Philippines to be one of the highly industrialized countries. He mentioned the alignment of Dr. Benjamin’s research which provides the following policy recommendations:
- Conduct a techno-economic analysis of local biofuels to support its competitiveness in the global market and ensure future sustainability.
- Build national capacity for the development of integrated bio refineries through research, skills training, technology transfer and international best practices in line with the Biofuels Road Map 2040.
- Propose amendments to the Biofuels Act of 2006 to explicitly recognize other sources of bioethanol and biodiesel (e.g. rice residues or waste) in the Philippines.
- Promote current incentives under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 to support the development of IBRs.
- Enhance agricultural waste utilization for clean energy production through local policies, programs and projects.
- Establish a network among stakeholders, including from the rice industry and its supply chain, to support national clean energy production from rice residues.
Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, in her closing remarks, extended her sincerest thanks to the experts and the 256 participants from different institutions in the event. She also stated some facts about biomass and how they are important to our community as well as the environment.
Dr. Benjamin presenting his research
Snapshot of the Open Forum
Dr. Ligot presenting the public policy