The ever-increasing depletion of natural resources, the economical stress on water bodies and raw materials, the increase of greenhouse emissions and the raising awareness of citizens for sustainable development has culminated in the transformation of organic wastes, residues and biomass to valuable materials and fuels producing no (or limited) waste -a concept known as biorefinery or valorisation.
The waste effluents from the agro-food sector have minimal toxicity and often contain substances having high-added value that can be recovered directly or can represent a zero- or low-cost substrate for biochemical processes aimed at bioproducts of potential commercial interest. Indeed, as the biorefinery concept takes a foothold in the food industry, strong research efforts are already being made towards the identification of novel efficient methods adapted to the particular wastes and to the optimisation of the processes for obtaining high added value bioproducts.
The present VALOWASTE project will develop a novel and efficient set of biochemical methods for the biorefinery of agrofood wastewaters such that added value bioproducts and other commodities such as clean water and energy to be reused in the same industrial process can be obtained. This breakthrough in the state-of-the-art in terms of waste valorisation will take place by applying and transferring the specialised knowledge of Dr. Arunima Nayak, a Chemical Researcher and specialist in the field of wastewater treatments from India, through scientific leadership to the research team in IRIS in order to position them to take forward the results into industry. Providing European agrofood waste producers with affordable access to reliable and accurate valorisation methods will be revolutionary for wastewater management. This project will have a major impact in transferring in knowledge to maintain Europe in a leading sustainable development position on the world stage.
Fields of science
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