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Import of biomass and biogenic products to Germany

Import of biomass and biogenic products to Germany
Project team:

Leible, Ludwig (Project leader); Stefan Kälber; Tobias Domnik

Start date:


End date:


Research group:

Research for Sustainable Energy Technologies

Project description

Within the globalization of commodity markets, the orientation of the economy towards "bioeconomy" and the energy transition, biomass is gaining importance for Germany as food, raw materials and energy sources. The versatile possibilities of using biomass will generate an additional demand on the world market. Beside the general availability of biomass, it depends on a number of other factors, whether biomass potentials are tapped and whether an import is economically and ecologically sensible. Central starting point is the analysis of foreign trade.

Against this background, a detailed overview of the currently most important biomass sources in terms of quantity and value as well as their origin countries was provided for Germany, based on the imports of 2014. The used data basis was the German foreign trade statistic in the GENESIS database of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). After narrowing down and defining the term "biomass", a re-categorization of the biomass positions contained in the GENESIS database was conducted, tailored to the three previously defined main biomass categories of "woody biomass", "fruit and stalk type biomass" and "animals and animal products". In addition to a differentiated quantity and value related analysis of imported biomass / biogenic products and their origin countries, the results were then restricted to the key combinations of biomass and origin country using several iterations and aggregation levels.

Related doctoral study at ITAS

Tobias Domnik: State and prospects of overseas biomass transport to Germany


KIT Scientific Report 7719 is published:

Domnik, T.; Kälber, S.; Leible, L.
Mengen- und wertmäßige Bedeutung des Biomasseimports von Deutschland - Eine detaillierte Auswertung der Importstatistik. Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing 2016
(KIT Scientific Reports 7719)
Titelbild/jpg Volltext/pdf


Domnik, T.; Kälber, S.; Leible, L.; Mahmudah, N.; Jahn, C.
Techno-economic assessment and GHG balance of the Indonesian Palm Oil supply path for Europe.
2019. 27th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE 2019), Lisbon, Portugal, May 27–30, 2019 
Conference Papers
Domnik, T.; Wendeberg, E.; Poncette, D.; Kälber, S.; Leible, L.; Alpperspach, C.; Jahn, C.
Techno-economic and environmental analysis of global biomass supply chains for Germany - Exemplified by a case study for ethanol from Brazil.
2017. 25th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition - Setting the course for a biobased economy - EUBCE, Stockholm, S, June 12-15, 2017. Ed.: L. Ek, 1016–1030, ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, Florenz 
Journal Articles
Domnik, T.; Kälber, S.; Leible, L.
Bedeutung des Biomasseimports für Deutschland.
2016. Chemie - Ingenieur - Technik, 88 (9), 1348–1349. doi:10.1002/cite.201650142
Domnik, T.; Kälber, S.; Leible, L.
Bedeutung des Biomasseimports für Deutschland. Analysen zur globalen Biomasselogistik.
2016. Energiewendetag, KIT, Karlsruhe, 16.September 2016 
Domnik, T.; Kälber, S.; Leible, L.
Mengen- und wertmäßige Bedeutung der Biomasseimporte nach Deutschland. EIne detaillierte Auswertung der Importstatistik.
2016. 32 ProcessNet-Jahrestagung und 32. DECHEMA-Jahrestagung der Biotechnologen (2016), Aachen, Germany, September 12–15, 2016 


Dr. Ludwig Leible
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-24869