Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Heterogeneous biowaste streams (e.g. biodegradable fraction of municipal solid waste and low volume agro-food waste streams like leaves, stems, bulbs, flowers) pose environmental risks while being an important potential feedstock resource for producing a wide range of bioproducts. Their valorisation is limited by the lack of technologies able to process heterogeneous mixtures beyond existing homogenisation technologies, that fully break down the valuable complexity of organic components, or specific extraction technologies, which are excessively costly.

 Scope: Development of pre-treatment, extraction, conversion and separation technologies for the processing of full heterogeneous biowaste streams into valuable chemical building blocks and substrates suitable for biotechnological conversion into new bioproducts. Research challenges relate to 1) pre-treatment parameters for the production of basis components (e.g. furfural, derivatives and lignin); 2) the required extraction and purification methods; development of suitable organic-based platform substrates through e.g. enzymatic hydrolysis (e.g. sugars, proteins, lipids and acids); and 3) conversion of the substrates into valuable products by e.g. microorganisms. Process and theoretical yield shall be validated at small pilot level. A life-cycle assessment should be carried out in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed products. Proposals will consider potential standardisation related activities expected to facilitate the market uptake of the developed products.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of at least EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.

Expected impact:

·         Improving environmental performace and cost efficiency of targeted products and processes.

·         Reducing of the CO2 footprint of at least 20% with respect to currently available technologies.

·         Creating of new revenues for the participating actors owning or having direct access to waste source.

·         Achieving technological validation of at least 2 new bio-based products.

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