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Behaviour change catalysts © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

An effective measure to reduce energy consumption in buildings is to deploy technologies that have the ability to influence occupants’ behaviours towards a sustainable lifestyle and being less wasteful of electricity. The characteristics of this group of technologies are to make information and data related to energy consumption visible to the occupants, and to make the benefits of being energy efficient tangible to the occupants, especially in monetary terms.

Biochar Copyright David Andersson ECOERA AB (

Biochar is a charcoal-like substance produced from agriculture and forest wastes which contains 70% carbon. It is used as soil enhancer to increase fertility, prevent soil degradation and to sequester carbon in the soil. Biochar can store carbon in the soil for as many as hundreds to thousands of years. Biochar can be produced through pyrolysis, gasification and hydrothermal carbonization, which leaves bio-oil and syngas as by-products. Small scale production can be through pyrolysis using modified stoves and kilns which are low cost and relatively simple technologies.

Biocovers of landfills © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

An inexpensive way to reduce greenhouse-active methane emissions from existing Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfills is to exploit the natural process of microbial methane oxidation through improved landfill cover design. Landfill top covers, which optimise environmental conditions for methanotrophic bacteria and enhance biotic methane consumption, are often called ‘biocovers’ and function as vast bio-filters. Biocovers are typically spread over an entire landfill area.

Biodiesel © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

Liquid biofuels for transport, including biodiesel, have to a certain extent been in use for a very long time. In recent years however, they are enjoying renewed interest in both developed and developing countries as a result of the need to curb rising emissions from the transport sector, reduce dependence on expensive fossil oil imports and increase farm incomes.

Bioethanol from sugar and starch based crops Sugar-beet based bioethanol refinery in the UK (source: British Sugar)

Liquid biofuels for transport have to a certain extent been in use for a very long time. In recent years however, they are enjoying renewed interest in both developed and developing countries as a result of the need to curb rising emissions from the transport sector, reduce dependence on increasingly expensive fossil oil imports and increase farm incomes. An important advantage of biofuels is that they can easily be integrated into the existing transport infrastructure, thus avoiding the significant investment costs associated with other renewable options for the transport sector.

Biofuels from algae An open pond for growing algae in Israel. (source: Seambiotic)

Producing biofuels from algae is still in a pre-commercial state of technology development. But algae-based biofuels are considered to be a promising upcoming alternative to fossil fuels as they could reduce GHG emissions when compared to fossil fuels, and because algal biofuels may have additional advantages over traditional biofuels such as higher per acre yields and less competition for arable land. The main obstacle to a wide spread use of algae-based biofuels are the high production costs.

Biogas for cooking and electricity © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

Biogas is a gaseous mixture generated during anearobic digestion processes using waste water, solid waste (e.g. at landfills), organic waste, and other sources of biomass. Biogas can be upgraded to a level compatible with natural gas (‘green gas’) by cleaning (removal of H2S, ammonia and some hydrocarbons from the biogas) and by increasing its methane share (by removing the CO2).

Biomass combustion and co-firing for electricty and heat Alholmens Kraft, Finland, the world's largest biomass-fired power plant

Combustion is the most common way of converting solid biomass fuels to energy. Worldwide, it already provides over 90% of the energy generated from biomass, a significant part of which in the form of traditional uses for cooking and heating. Biomass of different forms can also be used to produce power (and heat) in small-scale distributed generation facilities used for rural electrification, in industrial scale applications, as well as in larger scale electricity generation and district heating plants.

Biomethane CNG hybrid fuel © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

Transport sector is one of the major oil consuming sectors; it consumes 51% of the final oil consumption (International Energy Agency, 2010). There is a huge need of a sustainable fuel for the transport sector. Current trend of fossil fuel based transport sector only adds to the greenhouse gas crisis more and more. Lots of studies are going on and a lot of emphasis is given to other alternative fuel for transport sector which can provide fuel for a long term option and large scale as well. Biomethane Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) hybrid can be one of the options for transport sector.

Bioplastics © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

Bioplastics have much in common with conventional plastics. Two main characteristics separate bioplastics from conventional plastics: 1) The use of renewable biomass materials in the manufacture of bioplastics. Bioplastics are manufactured from sources such as starch and vegetable oil rather than fossil fuel based plastics which are derived from petroleum. 2) the biodegradability and compostability of bioplastics. Some, but not all, bioplastics are biodegradable or compostable.

Biopolymer production for (petro-)chemical sector

A polymer is a large molecule (macromolecule) composed of repeating structural units typically connected by covalent chemical bonds. Examples of synthetic polymers are plastics, Bakelite and nylon, while rubber, proteins, DNA but also spider-silk are naturally occurring polymers or so-called natural bio-based polymers. Reproducing naturally occurring and/or synthetic polymers based on non renewable fossil feedstocks is common practice in the (petro-) chemical industry. When replacing the fossil feedstocks with renewable biomass in this industry, bio-based polymers can be produced.

Biorefinery © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

With the surge in bio-based activities around the globe, a new concept called bio-refining starts to emerge. IEA Bioenergy Task 42 on Biorefineries defines biorefining as “the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products and energy”. A bio-refinery combines/integrates a series of biomass conversion technologies to produce a range of products and (base-)materials, such as food, feed, chemicals, materials, oil, gas, heat and/or electricity.

Black liquor gasifiers for the paper and pulp sector © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

Black liquor gasification is an emerging commercial technology founded on decades of research and development. Its goal is to produce a combustible mixture of raw gases as well as separate out the inorganic pulping chemicals for recycling for the pulping process. The processes can take place at low, 600 degrees Celsius, or high temperatures around 1000 degrees Celsius.

Blast furnace slag granulation © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

Cement is a global commodity, manufactured at thousands of plants. The industry is consolidating globally, but large international firms account for only 30% of the worldwide market. The principal and most visible market for cement is the construction industry in a multitude of applications where it is combined with water to make concrete. Most modern civil engineering projects, office buildings, apartments and domestic housing projects use concrete, often in association with steel reinforcement systems.

Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

Managing the energy and other needs in buildings efficiently and intelligently can have considerable benefits. A building energy management system (BEMS) is a sophisticated method to monitor and control the building's energy needs. Next to energy management, the system can control and monitor a large variety of other aspects of the building regardless of whether it is residential or commercial. Examples of these functions are heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting or security measures.

Building envelope thermal insulation © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

Thermal insulation is an important technology to reduce energy consumption in buildings by preventing heat gain/loss through the building envelope. Thermal insulation is a construction material with low thermal conductivity, often less than 0.1W/mK. These materials have no other purpose than to save energy and protect and provide comfort to occupants. Of the many forms, shapes and applications of thermal insulation, this section focuses on those that are commonly used for building envelopes– i.e., floor, walls and roof, and have potential for South-South technology transfer.

Building life cycle and integrated design process © ClimateTechWiki and respective owners

The life cycle and integrated design process can be understood as a design process to deliver a building, in which its relationship to the surrounding context, technical components and technologies are parts of a whole system, for the whole building life cycle (Larsson, 2005). This objective can be obtained once interdisciplinary professional team members work collaboratively right from the inception and conceptual design to make strategic decisions and address all design issues.

Bus Rapid Transit systems © Climate Tech Wiki - acc and respective owners

A bus rapid transit system (BRT) is a high-capacity transport system with its own right of way, which can be implemented against relatively low cost. It is a key technology in cities in developing countries, which can change the trend of modal shifts towards more private vehicles towards public transportation, thereby bringing about a range of benefits, including reduced congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gases and better service to people in developing countries.