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Systemic approach to Reduce Energy demand and CO2 emissions of processes that transform agroforestry waste into High Added value Products.

Project description

Revalorising agroforestry waste and obtaining innovative materials

Europe is home to several world-leading chemical companies. However, biochemicals production from biomass and by-products is limited to a few compounds. Additionally, one of the most abundant resources available is lignocellulosic waste. The EU-funded REHAP project aims to revalorise agricultural waste (such as wheat straw) and forestry waste (such as bark) by recovering and processing primary components like sugars, lignin and tannins, as well as secondary components like sugar acids, carboxylic acids, aromatics and resins. The project's objective is to obtain innovative materials, with a specific focus on Green Building as a potential business case. REHAP aims to significantly reduce the use of fossil resources by up to 100 % and achieve a reduction in energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions of over 30 %.


Europe's position in the production of biochemicals from biomass and by-products is limited to a few compounds, while their demand is among the largest in the world. However, Europe has a lot of world leader chemical companies. On the other hand, lignocellulosic waste constitutes one of the most abundant resources without competing with food chain.
REHAP’s 16 partners aim at revalorizing agricultural (wheat straw) and forestry (bark) waste through its recovery, and primary (sugars, lignin, tannins) and secondary (sugar acids, carboxylic acids, aromatics and resins) processing to turn them into novel materials, and considering Green Building as business case. The project will provide reductions in utilization of fossil resources of 80-100%, and energy utilization and CO2 emissions above 30%.
Specifically, building blocks (1,4 and 2,3-Butanediol, estherpolyols), materials (PUs, phenolic resins, modified hydrolysis lignin) and products (wooden boards, insulation foams, cement, adhesive) will be obtained:
• Isolation of tannins and carbohydrates from forestry waste to turn them into bio-phenolic resins for wooden panels and isocyanate-free polyurethanes (PU) for insulating foams, respectively.
• Isolation of lignin and carbohydrates from agricultural waste to turn them into bio-phenolic resins for wooden panels and biosuperplasticizers for cement, and estherpolyol PU for adhesives, respectively.
• Fire retardant lignin and sugar-based additives will be also developed.
Developed processing technologies (chemo/thermo/enzymatic and fermentation) will be optimized at pilot scale (TRL6-7) for further exploitation and replication of results. All products will be integrated in a prototype to demonstrate industrial applicability into the Green Construction sector.
Throughout the project, Life Cycle and Cost Assessment, market analysis, business plan, waste management strategy and measures for future standardization will be implemented using a systemic perspective approach.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 380 145,00
Parque cientifico y tecnologico de gipuzkoa, paseo mikeletegi 2
20009 Donostia-san sebastian (gipuzkoa)

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Noreste País Vasco Gipuzkoa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (19)